Jan. 16. Bildad Speaks; Job Replies

Job 8:1-10:22

When a person is down, he needs his friends to pick him up. Job was down, but the words of Bildad the Shuhite did not comfort him. Like Eliphaz, he harshly placed the reason for Job’s misfortune upon the sins that he obviously had committed. Even his children’s deaths were supposedly caused by their sins. He reasoned that God is just and would not allow evil to overcome those who were faithful to Him. Even in nature, there are direct consequences from adversities such as drought or other conditions. Bildad reasoned that if Job would repent and seek God, his life would again be blessed. However, he did not recognize that bad things do sometimes happen to good people. Conventional wisdom from previous generations truthfully stated that for the righteous everything would ultimately be good. The apostle, Paul taught that same principle when He wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28) When in the midst of adversity, it is difficult most times to see how that could be, but eventually in God’s time, it happens. We should listen and learn from the wisdom of past generations.

Job agreed that God is a just God, but defended his own righteousness. He also recognized the Lord’s supremacy and his own weakness. One may wish to challenge God, but he would be facing an impossible task. Even though blameless, Job knew that he could not prevail against the righteous Judge. God is not a man; therefore, we do not answer Him as such. Job then wished for a mediator to plead his case before God, but there was none. He must plead for mercy. FAST FORWARD TO THE PRESENT. We do have such a mediator in Jesus the Christ. “Therefore I exhort…For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…” (I Tim. 2:1-5)

As he continued his response to Bildad, Job recited to him further thoughts toward God. He questioned what his sins were and why God would allow him in his righteousness to be condemned. Job had begun to equate God’s justice with man’s justice. He even doubted God’s love for His creation. Job seemed to be in a no-win situation. If he sinned, he would be punished and he was suffering misery in his righteousness. He again lamented the very fact that he did not die at birth. That would have prevented the life of pain that had enveloped him. He then begged to escape to the darkness of the grave.

#chronological-bible-study

Diotrophes’s evil

“If evangelists were not supported, then many people would never have an opportunity to hear and obey the gospel. Those who live the gospel know this. Diotrephes’ behavior, however, was disrupting the evangelistic function of the body of Christ because he was threatening Gaius and others who supported the preaching of the gospel. In contrast to living the gospel, he was doing evil by obstructing the evangelistic function of the body of Christ.” —Roger Dickson

#gospel #evangelism #mission

Hugh’s News & Views (Sins Of Presidents)

SINS OF PRESIDENTS

Back on November 13 of last year I sent out a “News & Views” titled “Sins of Preachers.” One of my readers suggested that I needed to also write about the “Sins of Presidents.” He thinks I should especially be “calling out” President Trump for his sins. He is not one of Trump’s fans, although he acknowledges that the president has done some good things, but also some bad things. I am curious as to how he thinks that is any different from any other president. They all have been human, and they all have done some good things and some bad things! Continue reading

So that you may teach them: Exodus 24.14

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and remain there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the law and the commandments that I have written, so that you may teach them.'”

Exodus 24.14

The giving of the 10 commandments was a historic moment, perhaps second only to the crucifixion of Christ. God wrote down his will, in order that it be taught to the people.

As God’s written will, Scripture is meant to be taught. If you have received it, you are responsible to teach it. Who are you teaching?

#votd #Exodus #teaching

[teach-ex24-14]

Jan. 15. Job’s Three Friends Begin to “Comfort” Him

Job 4:1-7:21

Eliphaz, the Temanite was the first of Job’s friends to speak. His words of comfort were not comforting. He reminded Job of his righteousness in the times that he had been merciful to the unfortunate. Circumstances had changed and he was the unfortunate one. In the words of conventional wisdom, Eliphaz pointed out that the innocent do not perish. That indicated that Job was guilty of some grave sin that had caused his calamity. If angels can sin, surely Job, a mere man was not more righteous than they.

With Job supposedly steeped in sin, Eliphaz asked him if there was anyone he could call upon to help him in his trouble. Evil did not occur to him without a cause. Therefore, he was surely guilty of some great sin. The best solution to Job’s misery was to call upon God rather than depending upon himself. That bit of advice is true. He enumerated many of the capabilities of God. Man is strengthened by suffering and overcoming hardships in life. Whatever befalls man can be eased by complete trust in God. However true, those principles were misapplied by Eliphaz as he “comforted” Job.

Job began his reply to Eliphaz with a defense of his complaint. Well-fed animals do not cry out for food without a reason, but they remain content. His words had been harsh because the pain of his misery was so great. He longed for the relief of comforting death from a life that had no hope.

True friends should show love, kindness and comfort to their suffering comrades. Eliphaz had been a disappointment to Job. Like winter streams that disappear in the summer when they are needed, his friend’s words had hurt him instead of easing his mind.

When one is accused of a wrong, he deserves to be informed of the nature of his offence. Job sought an explanation for the sin of which Eliphaz had accused him. If none could be presented, Job asked for a concession of his righteousness.

After replying to Eliphaz, Job turned to speak to God. His was not a prayer of thanksgiving, but a lament and question of why. He felt that his faithfulness deserved a reward as the hired servant desires rest and refreshment at night and looks for his pay. Nights were long and filled with scary dreams. There were no antiseptic lotions or creams to soothe his scabbed worm-infested flesh. In those days, the worms may have been literal or figurative. However, his death would be a welcome blessing.

Job asked God for an explanation of his sin, if he had sinned; why He had allowed him to suffer and would there be a pardon for whatever his transgression had been.

#chronological-bible-study

Desire to seek for unity

You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. (Acts 10:36 NIV)

Он послал сынам Израилевым слово, благовествуя мир чрез Иисуса Христа; Сей есть Господь всех. (Деяния 10:36 Russian)

O LORD God, our blessed Father in heaven ~ your power and might remains unchallenged as seasons and years come and go. Lift up the feeble hand of your children who are living by faith in your beloved Son – our Messiah. Bless the people who are fleshly Israel with the life changing knowledge that Jesus is also their Prince of Peace. Give Christians around the world desire and strong will to ardently seek for unity among all children of faith through in Christ as Lord. Abba Father, silence the influence of the voices of Satan who oppose Jesus as Lord. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr.

Cedar Key Church

#david-binkley

Jan. 14. Satan Attacks Righteous Job; Job’s Reaction

Job 1:1-3:26

The time and location of the story of Job are unknown. Some scholars have placed his life during the time of Abraham. Others have identified him with the Edomites, who were descendants of Abraham’s grandson, Esau. It is apparent that he was not an Israelite, but he was definitely a God-fearing man. The theme of the story could be stated, “Why do godly people suffer?” There is much conventional wisdom stated by Job and his friends, even though some of it does not totally conform with God’s actions. For the purpose of our study, we are placing Job’s story after the separation of Jacob and Esau and before Joseph’s entry into Egypt.

Job’s home was in Uz, a place unknown today. His household consisted of a wife, seven sons, three daughters and many servants. He was described as a wealthy, blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil. It seemed that he had everything and was living a perfect life. Nothing could go wrong. When we think that nothing can go wrong, we must be especially alert for the snares of Satan. He can attack when we least expect him.

A conversation between God and Satan would bring devastating results to the godly Job. Satan suggested that he would curse God instead of worshipping Him if all that he had would be taken from him. God allowed him to take everything from Job, but not to touch him. Job was notified by some of his servants, one after another, of the death of his children, his livestock and all of his other servants. His mournful reaction: “Naked I came…naked shall I return…The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

“In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.”

Satan was not satisfied. God allowed him to further afflict Job, “but spare his life.” With that, Job’s body became covered with boils from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. It is unclear exactly what that disease was. However, one cannot imagine the agony that Job suffered with his entire body covered with the painful affliction.

Husbands and wives should be loyal and sympathetic with one another when calamity strikes. However, Job’s wife instead of encouraging him, uttered those infamous words, “…Curse God and die.” He replied, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?”

One’s friends can be of great comfort when misfortune comes upon him. Three of Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar came to comfort him after hearing of his grief. They were devastated at his appearance and sat speechless in his presence for a week.

After the long period of silence, Job began to speak. Sometimes in a period of embarrassment, one may vainly state, “I wish I could die.” However, in his misery, Job cursed and lamented the days of his conception and birth. He stated that it would have been better if he had not been conceived, died at birth or had been stillborn. He would have not been faced with the misery and agony that had befallen him. At that time, Job failed to consider that life is given by God and in whatever circumstances, must be lived according to His will.

#chronological-bible-study

So you may have fellowship: 1 John 1.3

“we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

1 John 1.3 NRSV

This appears to be John’s purpose statement for his letter, along with v. 4. It’s about fellowship with the One who came in human form, so that all, accepting the gospel’s truth, could be one with God and with him.

To have fellowship with God, Christ, and his people, he must be proclaimed. What are you doing right now to proclaim Christ?

#votd #1-John #fellowship

Jan. 13. Life and Death Happen in Jacob’s Family

Gen. 34:1-36:43

Hamor, prince of the country had a son, Shechem, who seeing the beauty of Jacob’s daughter, Dinah abducted and raped her. He wanted to marry her and asked his father to help get her for him.

In a meeting with Jacob and his sons, Hamor and Shechem proposed that the two extended families merge, dwell in the land together and intermarry. Jacob’s sons pointed out that they could not give their sister to anyone who was uncircumcised. Deceitfully, they agreed that Shechem could have her if all of the men of the city would be circumcised.

Hamor and Shechem agreed to the terms as set forth by the sons of Jacob. Three days later, while the men were recovering from the circumcision procedure, Simeon and Levi attacked the city with a sword and killed all of the men. They, possibly with their brothers’ help, plundered the city of its wealth and took women and children as captives.

This did not please Jacob as he feared that they would be destroyed by other inhabitants of the land. Simeon and Levi replied, “Should he treat our sister like a harlot?”

Probably for his safety, God instructed Jacob to return to Bethel about twenty-five miles to the south of Shechem. It was at this location that he had his dream of a ladder extending to heaven. God had made His promise to Jacob at this place as he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.

As an act of purification and to make a fresh start, Jacob ordered all who were with him to put all of their foreign gods away and change their clothes for the journey. God protected them as they made their move to a new location. Upon arrival, as he had done before, he built an altar to worship God.

God appeared to Jacob and stated once again that his name would be changed to Israel. The Lord reassured him of His promise that Israel would become a great nation.

Jacob continued his journey into Ephrath. It was here that Rachel went into labor with her second child. As was the case so many times before modern medical services, she died as her son was being born. She named him Ben-Oni, but Jacob called him Benjamin.

After the birth of Benjamin, Jacob moved on to Hebron, the home of his father, Isaac. It was here that Isaac died at the age of one hundred eighty years and was buried by his sons, Esau and Jacob.

Jacob and Esau continued to dwell together for a period of time in the land of Canaan after their reunion. However, sometime after Isaac’s death, their cattle and other possessions became too great for them to remain on the same land. Esau took his family and possessions and moved to Mt. Seir.

God had promised Esau a great nation. He had married at least three wives and had become known as Edom. The descendants of his five sons were known as the Edomites. Through intermarriage with other nations, they also had a great presence among them. Even though Esau left Jacob on friendly terms, his descendants later became bitter enemies of the Israelites.

The Old Testament Scriptures deal with the lineage of the Son of God and His plan for the salvation of man. Since Esau was not of that lineage, we have no other recordings of his life or death.

#chronological-bible-study

A real and close relationship

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8 ESV)

И Писание, провидя, что Бог верою оправдает язычников, предвозвестило Аврааму: в тебе благословятся все народы. (Галатам 3:8 Russian)

O LORD my God, I come before you on this new day with fear and trembling as did those in ancient times. Thank you for giving us your Son who has taught us to call upon you in a more familiar manner as our Father. Considering the magnitude and frequency of my sins, this always seems so awkward that you will regard me as your child. Please lead me as you led Abraham long ago into a very real and close relationship with you and your magnificent Son. We are so blessed to have the presence of your Spirit dwelling among the saved in this day and time. Magnify the efforts of everyone who dares to leave the peace and security of home, in search of souls who are starved to hear about your message of grace to all people on earth. Help us Lord before it is too late and the door is shut. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr.

Cedar Key Church

#david-binkley

Sin, faith, duty

Some think that Luke has collected three separate sayings of Jesus in Lk 17.1-10, with little connection between them. That assumes much.

Jesus might well have said these three things in this order. Even if he did not, it also assumes that Luke is clumsy.

No such assumptions are needed. There can be seen a clear connection among the three points.

  1. The business of the kingdom is forgiveness of sin, 1-4. Don’t be a cause of sin, 1-2. Be a cause of forgiveness, 3-4.
  2. For that forgiving spirit, the apostles felt the need for a greater faith, 5-6. In one sense, Jesus anticipates Nike: Just do it. Faith is to be exercised. For it to grow it must be put into action.
  3. Duty in the kingdom deserves no special praise, 7-10, but it must be done. What is this duty? Again, seeking forgiveness for all.

#Luke #faith #forgiveness #duty

Increase faith: Luke 17.5

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’”

Luke 17.5

Perhaps impressed with the need for continued forgiveness, the Twelve ask for greater faith. The desire is a good one. It is an ancient desire, one that many feel today. Jesus gave a good reply, v. 6.

Am I waiting for greater faith in order to act? Perhaps I need to act now in order to have greater faith. Start now! Do your duty, vv. 7-10.

#votd #Luke #faith

Jan. 12. With Twenty Years of Blessings, Jacob Returns to Canaan

Gen. 30:25-33:20

After working for Laban fourteen years, Jacob was ready to establish his independence. Laban recognized that God had blessed him because of Jacob and was reluctant to let him leave. Jacob agreed to remain if Laban would allow him to take the off-colored sheep and goats for his pay, leaving the white ones for Laban.

This was agreeable to Laban, but before Jacob could remove his share of the flocks, Laban went ahead of him and removed them and gave them to his sons.

God allowed Laban’s remaining white flocks to produce more off-colored animals than white ones in order for Jacob’s flocks to increase while Laban’s flocks decreased. This was a step toward keeping His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

After a period of six years, Laban’s sons began to complain that Jacob had taken away all that was their father’s. Jacob realized that it was time for him to leave because Laban’s countenance “was not favorable toward him as before.” Jacob’s wives also felt like strangers in their father’s house.

Laban received the news three days after Jacob had fled. He pursued for seven days before coming upon Jacob. God had warned Laban in a dream not to harm Jacob.

During their confrontation, Jacob explained how he had worked twenty years for Laban. During that time, Laban had prospered, but had changed his wages numerous times. He was now ready to return home to his father’s house.

Jacob and Laban piled a heap of stones and agreed to a covenant that neither of them would cross to the other side to harm the other. Early the next morning Laban kissed his daughters and grandchildren goodbye and blessed them. He then returned home and Jacob continued toward Canaan.

As Jacob left a dangerous confrontation with his father-in-law, Laban, he faced returning to his homeland where his brother, Esau had vowed to kill him. This required a large measure of humility, penitence and careful planning on the part of Jacob.

Jacob sent goodwill messengers to Esau to prepare the way for him to meet his brother. Their report distressed him even greater. Esau was coming to meet him and had four hundred men with him. That sounded like war!

As he prayed to God for safety, Jacob reminded God of His promise. He then divided his group into two companies. Perhaps if one was attacked, the other could escape.

In seeking peace, it was customary to send a gift of appeasement to the offended person. Jacob’s gift was huge. It consisted of various groups of animals totaling more than five hundred fifty.

Angels of God had met Jacob earlier as he had begun his journey. That night was a sleepless night for him for he wrestled with a man until daybreak. This man was the manifestation of God, possibly even the Son of God. Jacob was informed that, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob but Israel, for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

As they continued their journey, they saw Esau in the distance with his four hundred men. Instead of attacking Jacob, Esau ran to him and kissed him—a gracious greeting for a long-departed brother. Time had healed his wounds and instead of seeking revenge, he forgave.

Jacob had prepared for the worse, but received the better. Esau had prospered during their twenty-year separation and refused Jacob’s gift. Upon Jacob’s insistence, he eventually accepted the animals.

After returning to Canaan, Jacob purchased a parcel of land from Hamor and settled with his family in Shechem. “Then he erected an altar there…” When we move to another location, we should follow Jacob’s example and seek a place to worship God.

#chronological-bible-study

When we felt so high and mighty

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” (Romans 15:1-3 ESV)

Мы, сильные, должны сносить немощи бессильных и не себе угождать. Каждый из нас должен угождать ближнему, во благо, к назиданию. Ибо и Христос не Себе угождал, но, как написано: злословия злословящих Тебя пали на Меня. (Римлянам 15:1-3 Russian)

Dear heavenly Father ~ thank you for this new day and the awareness of your very real presence in our lives as we voluntarily follow Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Rattle our senses so that we aware of those around us who are suffering, or just in need of a friend to help or simply have a conversation with. Please forgive us for the times when we felt we were so high and mighty that we would never stoop to suffer in order to help someone in need. Let us feel the stinging insults that our blessed Savior experienced and yet continue to forgive and serve others. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr.

Cedar Key Church

#david-binkley

You yourselves are our letter: 2 Corinthians 3.2-3

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone, revealing that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on stone tablets but on tablets of human hearts.”

2 Corinthians 3.2-3

How did Paul recommend himself to the Corinthians? By the converts made. His credentials consisted of the gospel in the hearts of saved men and women.

People like to have their names on university or hospital buildings. They love diplomas hanging on walls. The true measure of a servant of Christ is work done among people for salvation.

#votd #2-Corinthians #identity