Dr. David Rose, Pastor
Thursday, January 23, 2020—Job 25-27
In The Message, Eugene Peterson translates Psalm 46:10 this way: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.” Bildad had never read that Psalm, but he did that very thing. He saw the majesty of God and wondered, “How then can a man be righteous before God?” (25:4).
Job had pondered the same mystery before (see Job 12, for instance). Job then echoed Bildad’s description of God’s power with one of his own (26:6-14). These friends continued to pit themselves against one another in their discussion, but they were finally finding common ground in God. Job was fully aware of his feebleness before God.
This was precisely why he needed comfort from his friends, and they were providing none (26:1-5). Job said he would never speak wickedly, but he would also not change his story about himself. It seemed as if God were denying him justice (27:2), treating him like one of the godless. He needed his friends to suffer with him, not accuse him of wrong (27:12).
While believers are wise to remind one another of the greatness of God when they gather, they cannot forget to minister to one another. The struggles of life can drain the joy and peace of the Spirit, so God has given His people time together for rejoicing in Him and renewal of the soul. Pray for your church family to be equally effective in worship of the God who deserves it and comforting to the people who need it.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020—Job 21-24
Job asked his friends to comfort him by listening to him (21:2). He felt they had not done that thus far. He wondered why he suffered so greatly when there were people that he and his friends knew were wicked who were prospering in life. God remained in control, so maybe they needed to rethink their view of how He punished and rewarded.
Because they weren’t considering how God might be working differently than anticipated, Job’s friends were of no consolation (21:34). They simply spouted nonsense. Eliphaz confirmed Job’s observation by responding to Job with more rebuke and a list of the times Job hurt others and failed to be a good man (22:1-9). He pleaded with Job to return to God so that he could be restored (22:23).
Job once again told his friends he was truly seeking God. He had not wandered away or forsaken His commands. He simply could not understand what God was doing and wanted desperately to know. “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (23:12b). He was convinced that God remained in authority and able to condemn the wicked and judge with righteousness (24:22-24). He could not, however, figure out what God was doing with him personally.
When people are hurting, they need someone to listen and offer hope. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). Pray for wisdom to point people to hope and holiness in Jesus.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018—17-19
Walking with the Lord requires discipline and intentionality. Old habits are always lurking. New temptations crouch at the door. When Jehoshaphat became king, “he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah” (17:6). He took a stand for righteousness as the king and made an impact on the greater culture as a result. This is what leaders do.
God blessed Jehoshaphat because he sought God, and his mind rejoiced in His ways (17:4-6). He knew the necessity of teaching this truth to all the people, so he sent teachers throughout the land. The people would not simply absorb the truth from his example. They needed to hear personally the truth of God and choose to obey.
Jehoshaphat had the gift of discernment. When in discussion about potential military action with Israel, Jehoshaphat encouraged King Ahab to inquire of the Lord before acting. Ahab brought prophets to speak positively, but Jehoshaphat knew these men were not speaking for Yahweh (18:6). Micaiah came forward and said the attack would be the end of Israel, and Ahab threw him in prison. Micaiah was transparent and said if Ahab succeed in battle, then Micaiah was not God’s spokesman. Ahab proceeded and died in battle (18:34). Micaiah was truly the prophet he claimed to be.
Though Jehoshaphat foolishly sided with Ahab, he was not without merit. He urged the judges he appointed to serve with integrity because they were representing Yahweh and serving Him (19:6-7). Pray for the leaders in your life to seek God wholeheartedly and lead others into integrity.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018—2 Chronicles 14-16
King Asa had proper perspective. He rid the land of pagan altars and worship places and told the people of Judah to seek the Lord and carry out the instruction and commands (14:4). After fortifying the people spiritually, he then fortified the land militarily. Military might was of great importance but secondary to spiritual obedience.
When his army marched out against the Cushites, they were outnumbered nearly two to one. Asa called out in prayer, knowing only God could help the mighty and the weak. “Help us, Lord God, for we depend on you, and in your name we have come against this large army. Lord, you are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder you” (14:11). God energized them to defeat a stronger enemy.
God’s mighty work stirred a revival in the land. Asa led further spiritual cleansing, and the people responded with national repentance, making an oath to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul. “All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their mind. They had sought him with all their heart, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side” (15:15). Spiritual health helped provide national peace though the northern kingdom did not follow suit.
Spiritual growth and health require constant attention and discipline. When faced with another enemy, Asa relied on economic leverage rather than prayerful dependence. The seer Hanani chided him for his lack of faith and predicted war as a result (16:9).
Pray for constant repentance, dependence, and growth.
Monday, September 3, 2018—2 Chronicles 10-13
Lord Acton said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Throughout history, those in power have often made poor decisions in regards to their power and position. Those with the greatest power have often been those who have made the most heinous mistakes.
God made clear, with each king of Israel, that he was to choose God’s ways and find blessing. God would not force him to do so. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king, he allowed the power to corrupt him. The people asked for some leniency, and his older advisers urged him to comply, but his younger advisers said he should put even more pressure on the people. Because he did not listen to the people (10:15), the people rebelled. The rift this caused between the northern tribes and David remained at the time of the writing of Chronicles (10:19).
Those reading Chronicles and rebuilding Israel had several truths to consider. The leader was under the direction of God, but he was also in relationship to the people. God wanted the king to lead courageously and obediently, but He also wanted His people treated with respect because they were made in His image and called to personal obedience.
Rehoboam’s initial mistake did not prevent his later obedience (11:17), walking in the ways of David. Jeroboam’s call from God did not prevent him from later disobedience, appointing his own preists (11:15). Failure is not final. The past does not fully dictate the future.
Seek the Lord (12:14). Walk consistently and humbly in obedience.