LISTEN. IT’S SIMPLE
Eternal Father, I thank you that each day I live under your unsleeping eye. How great you are!
Read JOB 18
18 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “When will you end these speeches?
Be sensible, and then we can talk.
3 Why are we regarded as cattle
and considered stupid in your sight?
4 You who tear yourself to pieces in your anger,
is the earth to be abandoned for your sake?
Or must the rocks be moved from their place?
5 “The lamp of a wicked man is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.
6 The light in his tent becomes dark;
the lamp beside him goes out.
7 The vigor of his step is weakened;
his own schemes throw him down.
8 His feet thrust him into a net;
he wanders into its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare holds him fast.
10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;
a trap lies in his path.
11 Terrors startle him on every side
and dog his every step.
12 Calamity is hungry for him;
disaster is ready for him when he falls.
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
death’s firstborn devours his limbs.
14 He is torn from the security of his tent
and marched off to the king of terrors.
15 Fire resides[a] in his tent;
burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
16 His roots dry up below
and his branches wither above.
17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
he has no name in the land.
18 He is driven from light into the realm of darkness
and is banished from the world.
19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people,
no survivor where once he lived.
20 People of the west are appalled at his fate;
those of the east are seized with horror.
21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;
such is the place of one who does not know God.”
- Job 18:15 Or Nothing he had remains
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWe will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). But we rejoice that he will bring everything to a perfect conclusion. Give thanks.
‘All Scottish people are tight-fisted!’ I don’t believe that for a moment, but ideas get embedded in culture and become almost impossible to dislodge! Not entirely wrong, it is far from universally true.* The idea that wicked people never succeed is entrenched in the minds of Job’s friends. It has some basis in the Bible, for example Jesus’ parable of the rich farmer (Luke 12:13–21). But generalized ideas like this do not budge, even in the face of contradictory evidence. Bildad trots out the accepted wisdom – wicked people come a cropper (experience an embarrassing failure).’ And you, Job, heed my warning. Keep going as you are and you’ll end up snuffed out, ensnared, terrorized, forgotten’ (see vs 5–17). But there are plenty of examples of wicked people who do just fine, and we certainly do not find that God’s people get a free pass – in this life anyway.
Are there harmful, partial truths in our heads? How about the way we think about God’s judgment of us? He will look at Jesus and declare us ‘not guilty’ (Romans 3:23,24). Yes! Why then is it that whenever the New Testament envisages judgment, it talks about our works being assessed (e.g. Matthew 25:31–46; 2 Corinthians 5:10)? Both are true; both need to inform our life.
Here is a challenge to have minds continually renewed and refined. What are your means for that to happen?
Lord, thank you for your forgiveness, restoration, and strength. Help me to be prepared when times of testing come.
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