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S.O.A.P. September 14, 2017

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God Speaks to Job in the Whirlwind

 

September 14, 2017

Read: Job 38

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Job 38:36-38- Who gives intuition to the heart and instinct to the mind? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven when the parched ground is dry and the soil has hardened into clods?

Observations- Job has laid out a series of questions before God in the midst of his unbearable suffering. He cries out to understand the nature of this God he has loved and served so long and so well, and now God responds to him, not with answers, but with a series of questions for reflection. These questions serve to remind Job that God is God, and he is a human being. This God, the Creator of the universe, is also Job's Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, Who reaches back to him and responds with a personal connection. Job doesn't get the answers he wants, but God engages him. 

Application- In the midst of our suffering and pain we may well not get the "answers" we are seeking. It's natural for us human being to wonder "Why?" almost anything happens. This impulse is a part of how we are made in God's image, but it doesn't mean we will always get the answers we want on our time schedule. What we do get is the promise of a relationship with the living God, not to snatch us out of the storms of life, but to see us through those storms. God is with us and that makes all the difference.  

Prayer- Thank You for Your abiding presence when the storms of my life lead me to wonder where You are and what you are up to, O Lord. Your Word is inexhaustible, and it's impossible for me to fully know You and understand Your ways in a single lifetime. Draw me closer to You through every storm as I seek to keep my eyes on Jesus, my strength, my rock, and my redeemer. Amen.

"So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." (2 Corinthians 4:18),

Pastor Jamie

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S.O.A.P. September 13, 2017

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September 12, 2017

Read: Job 1

To read this text click HERE.

Scripture- Job 1:21-22- He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

Observations- For some unexplained reason God allows Satan to test Job, a man of great character and integrity. Satan declares to God that the only reason Job worships him is because of his abundant blessings. If he lost most everything of value, Satan argued, Job would curse God, which doesn't happen here as Job experiences the worst possible wounds in life. He chose to praise God, even in the midst of profound loss and deep pain.

Application- Job is a book that asks about the meaning of suffering without giving any clear cut answers. The traditional understanding from much of the wisdom literature (like Proverbs) was that God blessed those with character and integrity and punished those who were evil. While this might well have been true in many instances, was it true in every instance? What about the exceptions? The Book of Job says, "Yes, but...what about this? How does this make sense?" Job takes the reader on a slowly unfolding (42 chapters) that ponders the fairness and justice of God. It reminds me that we have a God big enough to handle our questions as long as we can deal with not being given the answers we want to hear in the time frame we demand. The key point is that Job never leaves the conversation with the living God, and neither should we.

Prayer- God, there is so much I will never understand on this side of heaven. Be patient with me as I ask my question, wonder about how things all fit together, and struggle with the pain and suffering I see all around me. Help me learn to trust that You are good and with me and for me at every point along the journey of my life, in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”           (John 16:33),

Pastor Jamie

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