Talk to Me: Psalm 34 & Ecclesiastes 7

Father, in the name of Jesus,

I will praise you at all times. Not some time, but at all times. I will never stop singing his praises and ain’t nobody gonna have to do the praising for me.

I wish I was always one of the “humble people” who could “listen and be happy” and just brag about you. But most of the time, I’m just the opposite. I can’t hear you because I’m too wrapped up in what’s not making me happy. Situation, circumstance, stupidity.

There hasn’t been a single time that came to you for help and you ignored me. Like, ever. My mind and soul like to play tricks to the contrary but I have to know that’s just the stealing, killing, and destroying part of me. You always listen and you always deliver – no question and without fail. You have saved me from all that I feared. And WHY did I fear in the first place? Yo no se.

I know like I know my name that when I look to him for help, he will always put a smile on my face. I have no need or even reason to be ashamed. But for some reason, I seem to like it there so I force myself – no I indulge in the lies.

Even though you don’t have to, you tell me that I can “try” you. All you ask of me is to give you, my LORD and King, a chance to show me how good you are. You want me to test you. You want me to try you out…because You already know. Great blessings belong to those who depend on him! Fear and respect are all you ask. Not perfection, not even what I would consider my best efforts. Just respek. Because you said that anyone who respects you will always have what they need. No matter what the reality of my condition, all I have to do is find you. Make some noise and get to you and there’s nothing you won’t do for me. Nothing. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that. You said you would give me everything. And considering you created everything…well, I can’t even articulate it properly. I’m yours and you’re mine and that’s all there is to it.

And so, I look at what you have made and I have to realize that I cannot change a thing, even if I think it’s wrong. All I know is that you commanded that I could eat from any tree in the garden, that the place you are taking me to will always have your name there as the one who Saw and made a way, and that you’ve given me not only wisdom but everything else that could possibly come with it. You said that when life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, all I have to do is remember that You give good times and hard times. And no one knows what will happen in the future. So I rest knowing that you got this.

I guess what bothers me the most sometimes is that in my short life, I have seen a little of everything – whether I wanted to or not. I have seen good people die young, and I have seen evil people live long lives. At times, it messed me up because I always wanted to ask You “why?” I used my wisdom and thought about all these things. I wanted to be wise, but I couldn’t do it. No matter how much I try to spin it around in my peanut head, I cannot understand why things are as they are. Frankly, it is too hard for anyone to understand. I studied and I tried very hard to find true wisdom. I tried to find a reason for everything.

But I’ll tell you what though. I did learn that it is foolish – stupid even – to be evil, and it is crazy to act like a fool. Especially me. Because I have the likelihood and more of a propensity to drag people down into foolishness when I’m acting like an idiot. So I can say, “I added all this together to see what answer I could find. I am still looking for answers, but I did find this”: God, you are Awesome, in the name of Jesus. And that’s enough for me.

In the name of Jesus, the name above all names and the name that makes the earth tremble.

So it shall be.

Amen to the אמן


While I Wait

I’ll pray. Then I’ll write because I pray while I wait.

That is all.


Eh…here’s more Job

The last several days have been sheer HELL in abundance…and in talking to a good friend of mine, it wasn’t just that way for me alone. Sometimes you just need that voice that confirms what you know and puts everything back into perspective…and he happen to call right when I needed that kick in the pants (I think if he had come off like one of Job’s wretched friends though, I woulda had to punch him in the arm!!)

So even though over the last few days I really couldn’t have cared less about what debate Job and Bildad or Eliphaz got into next, it makes perfect sense that I’d be in the late chapters of the book of Job right now. They’re all speaking what I need to hear.

Job came out the gate speaking for me in chapter 29. I’m broken and I’m not strong. I’m anxious all day and hardly sleep at night. I feel gut-checked and punched in the jaw and I don’t know what to do. I wish I could go backward to when I was stable – (29:1-5)when I could hear Him and I thought he heard me. I cried out – He said keep movin.  I moved – He’s either saying stay still (Exodus 14: 13-14) or nothing at all (Job 30:16-22). I wasn’t expecting THIS by any stretch of the imagination (30:18, 26)…but then I had to stop and remember that I ain’t the Professor so I can’t design the test. Funny though, like Job, I knew what questions would be on it and I even know for sure what some of the answers are…but it still ain’t really helping me see clearly right now.

In chapter 31…Job’s taking inventory – checking his friends while he’s checking himself! He ran through every possible sin he could have committed and declared that if he’d done any of them then he deserved to be taken down. He even takes it to the Word!! Verse 33 he contrasts his forthrightness with Adam and how he tried to hide from God. Job said “I ain’t doin it!!! I’m not ducking from God NOR man!!” I guess if we wanna hear it that way it could sound arrogant…but all I keep hearing from this man is “I know I ain’t perfect but I don’t get THIS!!”

The start of chapter 32 is interestingly weird. Elihu tight with everybody and pretty much for the same reason – he thinks they’re all a little too full of themselves: Job thinks he’s right against God and his friends think they’re right against Job.  My question is just where did this guy come from?? If he heard all four of them – how long had he been there with no introduction?!?! This is going a little left and I haven’t looked deeply into it (yeah…I’ve got like three commentaries in front of me but that would mean verb parcing and such – I don’t wanna right now.) but there might just be some interesting wordplay here – and if so, it’s pretty funny! Elihu (or God is he) is a Buzite…Job has used the word ‘buz’ (contempt, put to shame, despise) a few times to describe how he’s been treated. So not even looking forward to the end of the story, but isn’t it ironic right now that Elihu is about to step in with what we can only assume is a word against the whole set of them to “put them to shame”.

Regardless…those are all just passing ideas – more wondering in the midst of everything. Because all I do know is that the new dude, Elihu, is introducing a shift – there’s something different about the turn everything is taking now, and we’ll just have to see where he’s gonna go with it.

 


Just Quote

The question, then, “Doth Job fear God for nought?”…compelling all to look to the foundation and motives of their faith…[i]t is, we may say, the first note of a piercing strain which thrills on to the present time.

…To grant that happiness is in any sense the distinctive issue of faith and faithfulness, to keep happiness in view in submitting to the restraints and bearing the burdens of religion, is to build the highest and best on the shifting sand of personal taste and craving. Make happiness that for which the believer is to endure and strive, allow the sense of personal comfort and immunity from change to enter into his picture of the reward he may expect, and the question returns, Doth this man serve God for nought? Life is not happiness, and the gift of God is everlasting life.  Only when we keep to this supreme word in the teaching of Christ, and seek the fullness and liberty and purity of life, apart from that happiness which is at bottom the satisfaction of predominant desires, shall we escape from the constantly recurring doubt that threatens to undermine and destroy our faith…

The favourite aim of social meliorists is to secure happiness for all…their dream is to make the warfare and service of man upon the earth so easy that he shall have no need for earnest personal endeavour. He is to serve for happiness…The pity bestowed on those who toil and endure…is that they fail of happiness. Persons who have no conception that vigour and endurance are spiritually profitable, and others who once knew but have forgotten the benefits of vigour and the gains of endurance, would undo the very order and discipline of God.

…If God is good for this reason, what follows when He appoints pain, especially pain that brings no enjoyment [happiness] in the long run?

Watson, Robert A.”The Opening Scene in Heaven.” and “The Shadow of God’s Hand.” The Book of Job – The Expositor’s Bible. pp 44-46, 53

 

 


Not forgotten…more with Job

There are just certain points when you’re reading anything that you can just kinda be “over it”…well that’s how I feel about Job and his “friends” right now. Like, seriously, ya’ll STILL going at it?!? *It’s almost like getting through the lists of genealogies!*

Anyhoo, I’m gonna combine a couple days worth of chapters and add a little remix from my pastor, affectionately known as “Revvie”!

 Job 17-20


17&18
I’d always heard people say “oh he/she has the patience of Job.” Now I understand what that means. It took 12 long-winded chapters before Job even made a direct reply to his “friends”.  At chapter 17, he’s straight forward and to the point with them but even in his reply, he’s still going back to God. So while he asserts that his friends are complete doofuses, he even attributes that to God – that He has “closed their minds to understanding.” It almost goes back to the “full armor” discussion. Job seems to know that he’s not arguing against his friends per se (Eph 6:12) because for all the truth they’ve told, they’re still missing the biggest picture. It’s very apparent that they wanna be right (as they know right to be) so badly that they aren’t listening to anything.  So I truly I wanted to ask Bildad in 18:2 when he was gonna shut HIS trap!!!

19&20
Now in chapter 20, I just wanna know what da heck Zophar is talking about…..! Job 19:29 woulda been a really good place for everybody to just hush and think for a second – just let that idea marinate. But Zophar is so far off on a tangent that nothing he’s saying makes ANY sense at all! Zophar makes a very peculiar statement at 20:3. If he’s being sarcastic, kinda in response to Job from 19:3, then he’s clearly doesn’t realize he’s only making a bigger case for why JOB continues to speak and uphold his case. If he’s really just talking about himself, then he just showed all his cards. Because if his “spirit of understanding causes [him] to respond” then all his following words show that he doesn’t understand much.

More from Revvie:
Title: Bring It!! Say What Ever U Have To Say…!!

JOB lost everything and his body was being afflicted!! Job was GOING THROUGH IT!! Yet, his boys still had much to say! They visited Job’s home and went in hard – Job could not hide even if he wanted to!! Imagine, THE LORD allowing your friends to visit your house, job, school, the park where you walk in the morning, or be at the train station waiting for U to arrive JUST TO GO IN VICIOUSLY ABOUT WHY YOU ARE SUFFERING!

Really God?!?!?  Really?!?!!!!!

But remember–THIS WAS ONLY A TEST….
Job let them talk regardless to the fact they were heartless & clueless to his situation! Notice none of Job’s friends said anything about going to the All-Knowing God in prayer about Job’s situation nor did they pray with him b4 leaving his home!!  They were just free-styling what they believed were the reasons why Job was suffering. “Let me say what I have to say but don’t you dare respond!!!” How sick is that!!

Let’s stop here! Please Allow people to say what they desire…everyone has a right & choice to say and believe what they so desire! But as for YOU….Let THE LORD check their chin…U just CONTINUE TO ROCK WITH JESUS!!
God Bless!!
Rev.


Back on Track with Job

Job 11 & 12


Before I started Job this morning, I was looking at how Judas really gets a bum rap in the grand scheme of things. He had a purpose and he served it well…made a despicably bad decision that he regretted so much that his only recourse was to hang himself. But Psalm 145:14 says that ‘God supports all who “fall” (intentionally and unintentionally; and those who have just collapsed whether in discouragement or despair) and “raises up” all who are “bowed down”‘, and in this verse’s context I would say that means “bowed down” in shame or some such. So I figured if that’s good enough for Jesus then it’s good enough for me and I was gonna start cutting Judas, and today, even though I knew it wasn’t gonna be good, Job’s friends some slack. They all had a part in this drama…and Zophar did not disappoint in playing his role.
To me, he is a classic example of a person who is so anxious to TALK and prove their point that it’s pretty clear they weren’t LISTENING to anything. Zophar name calls(11:1-3), misquotes (4) and even repeats Job, but in this, only to suit his own agenda (10). In the midst of all this he completely misses Job’s cry in order to prove how right he is. It’s interesting how Zophar is so quick to admonish Job about wisdom when it seems he himself has none. He’s moved from self-righteousness into plain ego-trippin’. All three friends have spoken as if they’re on payroll in Jesus’ PR department…but Zophar sounds like he knows a pink-slip is coming any day and he’s trying to save his job by doing way too much!
I think chapter 12 is the first time Job actually comes at the three directly. But how Job so impresses is that while he’s giving his friends the business, he is still telling the truth about God. And it probably all went over non-listening Zophar’s head. Which makes me wonder why Job chose now to go at them? Eliphaz and Bildad went hard at him too, but I wonder if he grasped just how ridiculous Zophar’s retort was and decided it was time to “answer a fool according to his foolishness” (Proverbs 26:5)…


Last one on the catch up with Job

OK…I’m done for the day after this one…Job 9 & 10


I don’t really have much on Job today. Precious child of God is agreeing with his wretched friends on the truths they spoke. What I notice, though, is that he never REACTED to the things they said. He could have gone on a tangent and ripped Bildad a new one for talking about his babies, but he didn’t. He kept it on God EVEN THOUGH he is confused and doesn’t get what’s going on. What he does seem to understand (9:22) is Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, and James 2:1-4….EVERYBODY is the same under God.  He ain’t special. He wasn’t in wealth and he isn’t in suffering. That’s a tough dichotomy for a lot of us – how to know you’re chosen, sanctified, and justified WITHOUT thinking you’re the only one Jesus died for! I think that’s another place arrogance tends to sneak in. “Christians and saints” believe they’re SPECIAL. Some Christians believe that as a Christian, you should receive everything you ask for or else you aren’t a true Christian – and it’s also what the whole “prosperity gospel” nonsense and the “touch not Israel” ideas are about. People start believing their own hype instead of Jesus.

9:27-28: the “church” has taught some people that if they’re going through any type of hardship, struggle, pain, anything, that they should just “put on a happy face”.  Job said “‘damn that’ cause even if I DO, my pain is still here! ‘Skinnin’ and grinnin’ is NOT gonna change the fact that I’m facing this situation.” Nobody teaches THIS! Maybe I’m crazy but I see the “joy of The Lord” coming from Job that I think many try to get to, but because we’re all so afraid of HONESTY that we’d rather limit how people relate to God (and how He relates to US).

That’s pretty much all I got for today because it wanna see how Zophar responds! Knowing that he’s gonna be just as wrong as the other two, I’m anxious to see how he can possibly screw this up!! LOLOL After everything that Job has just poured from his heart, what can he really say????