Epitaphs on tombstones

As I continue reading through my Bible each morning I have been touched by some of the beautiful things written about different people in the Bible. So much so that I have decided to write them down to refer back to later.

It made me think of what might be said about me. Have you ever thought of a quote that might be placed on your tombstone which would sum up your life, or give others a glimpse into your life? 

During the week I saw a picture on FB of a tombstone that tickled me. It had a recipe on the back of the tombstone for Christmas cookies. It happens that the lady had refused to give out her recipe through the years and always said, “Over my dead body.” So, sure enough, the recipe was finally displayed over her dead body on her tombstone. To say the least, she kept her word. 

Now we all have to agree that is funny and we like the humor in it, but on a serious note what is it that might be written on our tombstone? 

I noticed that “Asa was careful to obey the Lord his God.” Uzziah “followed in the footsteps of his father Amaziah, and was in general a good king so far as the Lord’s opinion of him was concerned.” (He later sinned and became a leper.) And another, “King Jotham became powerful because he was careful to follow the path of the Lord his God.” These are all taken from The Living Bible Paraphrased but you can find and think of others as you read your Bible. It’s a fun thing to think about but in summary they were successful as long as they followed the Lord. That is powerful for us to think about and makes one wonder just what might be written on our tombstone one day. May it be of good report.                 



Studies in the Book of Proverbs

(#7) God’s Wisdom Delivers From Perverse Teachers and Immoral Women 2:10-22

Verses 10-15: Those who have accepted wisdom, are pleased with knowledge, preserved by discretion (good judgment), kept (protected) by understanding, are prepared to ward off “evil.” “Evil” is described by the four phrases in verses 12-15:  (1) “Perverse” teaching. “Perverse” means “to turn or change a thing from its truthful meaning.” This is designed to misdirect and confuse a right-thinking person. (2) “Leave the paths of righteousness.” These are determined to go their own way. (3) “Walk in the ways of darkness.” Those who hide their sinful deeds either in the dark of night, or in the darkness of ignorance, do not please God.  (4) “Rejoice in doing evil.” Their pleasure is in what is wrong, not what is right. (5) “Delight in the perversity of the wicked.” Not only their own evil deeds, but have pleasure in others who are like them morally. (6) “Crooked,” and “devious” describe them, not “upright” and “truthful.”

What has been described is why youthful, inexperienced, ignorant, immature children have no business making their own decisions about life without parental guidance and The Word of God! Proverbs 2:10-15 have just described “the wrong crowd” for any good person, and, unfortunately, this “crowd” has descended into “religion,” as the Apostles of Jesus Christ described (1 Timothy 6:3-5; Jude 3-21), and has given it a bad reputation.

Verses 16-19: Since God created one woman for one man and brought her to that man to complete him, the terms for a married couple has been “the man and his wife” (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6, 9). That said, every woman is “strange” who seeks a sexual relationship with any man who is not her own husband. Sex before or outside of marriage is “fornication,” and sex with anyone already in a marriage relationship with another individual is “adultery” (Hebrews 13:4). The “immoral woman” is one who:

(1) “Flatters with her words.” This is “oily, slick” speech of a prostitute.

(2) “Forsakes the companion of her youth.” She carries no learned convictions from her childhood, nor appreciation of men since that time.

(3) “Forgets the covenant of her God.” She has irreverence for God and His pattern for marriage, and is willing to put this out of her mind altogether.

(4) “Her house leads down to death.” Disease, affliction, pain and sorrow are inside, not a pleasant future.

(5) “Her paths to the dead.” All roads lead to her “cemetery.” How can anyone having sex with her say, “Man, that’s living?”

(6) It’s a one-way street, meaning once she seduces, it plants the seeds of discontent, desire, and destruction in a heart, that seldom can recover. “The paths of life” that are not recovered involve the life of health, happiness, honesty, and heaven. Fornicators and adulterers have violated their bodies and souls (1 Corinthians 6:15-19), and while not impossible, repentance and recovery is very difficult.

Verses 20-22: Teach the prior judgment of God, and the wise will be warned and advised of conduct to be avoided. God’s Wisdom shows the way of “goodness,” “righteousness” which the “upright” and “blameless” will follow. Rejecting that Wisdom is for the “wicked” that shall be “cut off from the earth,” and the “unfaithful” are to be “uprooted from it.”

#adultery, #bible-study, #crooked, #daily-bible-reading-old-testament, #evil, #fornication, #immoral-woman, #obedience, #perverse-things, #practical-lessons, #sin, #strange-woman, #wicked, #wisdom

&nbsp Job’s repentance 42:1-6 Job’s three friends rebuked…


  1. Job’s repentance (42:1-6). Job’s three friends rebuked by the Lord (42:7-9). The Lord gives Job all that he lost, and then some (42:10-17).
  2. Application.  This wisdom of Job was in recognizing that he spoke without knowledge; the lack of wisdom in Job’s friends was that they did not recognize this in themselves. At least with four, maybe five men, there was a change in their theology concerning why people suffer; did this, however, change the views of those all around Job? Perhaps not initially, but it is reasonable that Job took the time to expound on such things – and why wouldn’t he? Perhaps, as they saw Job afflicted they concluded the Lord was against him; then, perhaps, they also viewed Job as he was gaining his wealth back (and much more) as one who was blessed by the Lord. This confusion in the minds of the people gave Job the avenue he needed to persuade people to think differently. *** If you know from where you came and are grateful to the Lord for what you received could you not do what Job did and take advantage of the avenue given to you and persuade people to think differently about life?


Job 40 and 41

  1. “Job, are you in any position to judge and correct the Almighty? Have you the kind of wisdom that can bring a proud man low, or do you have the ability to deal with the behemoth, or even the leviathan?” The point of these questions, again, is to bring to Job’s thinking his real position in relation to the Lord; his position is one of complete inadequacy!
  2. Application. The Lord asked Job a number of question, and Job was able to get a word in that was recognition of his inadequacy, and the Lord was not going to let him lose sight of that. Job, with all of his knowledge, had come to realize that He who has all knowledge was the only one who could truly answer the questions posed to him. **** Have you ever been sure of what the Lord was thinking and then going to do? If so, it would be good to be reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9, and Job’s rebuke from the Lord. Man may be smart in many areas, but he is not that smart.


Job 38 and 39

  1. In a rapid fire set of questions the Lord calls upon him who thinks he knows much to answer what to the Lord are elementary questions. Things that pertain to the creation of the earth, the existence of the heavenly bodies, and the matters that pertain to weather (C-38). Can Job even begin to understand related to the kingdom of the wild (C-39)?
  2. Application. What Job so quickly dismissed from his friends he finds his is guilty of the same. Job refused any accusation that he was suffering as a result of any particular sin or sins. In fact, his refusal to accepting such accusation was that his friends spoke without knowledge. Job was absolutely sure of him himself (I presume) in that which he spoke, but when called upon by the Lord to defend himself what he thought he knew was but the wisdom of ashes! In particular we need to make an application concerning judgments we make. All too often people come to a conclusive judgment and they are certain they have things right! If you hear only one side, it won’t be long before the other side makes you look a fool!


Job 35, 36, and 37

  1. Elihu takes up a remark by Job that said there was no value to living righteously in comparison to living wickedly. When people cry out they ought not to be surprised when God does not answer those who have pride in their heart – regardless of what type of life is being lived (C-35). Elihu holds up the Lord’s honor and method of dealing with those who live on earth (C-36). Can man know the wondrous works of God (C-37).
  2. Application. Job suffered a great amount of affliction. It was a common belief that those who suffered affliction did so because their sin was detected and the punishment came from the Lord. Job rejected this because he could think of nothing for which he should be afflicted. This perplexity of his stumped him throughout. Elihu understands that but takes Job to task for calling into question the Lord’s method of dealing with man. In fact, Job takes the Lord to task when he really does not understand what he thinks he does – for what can man understand in relationship to the Lord unless the Lord reveal Himself to man? Paul said something about this to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:6ff). Herein is our application: we don’t understand, but the Lord does!


Job 32, 33, and 34

  1. Elihu, the youngest who came with Job’s three friends now offers his assessment at what just transpired. He is disappointed that Job’s friends were so willing to condemn Job, but had no answer to anything Job offered (C-32). Elihu summarizes Job’s argument (33:8-11), and then proceeds to tell Job that God communicates with man in various ways to turn him from the dark path he is walking on (33:12-30). Elihu turns his words toward those who engaged Job, giving his interpretation of Job’s remarks (34:1-9). There is no injustice in God, so why is Job finding fault with God for what Job can’t explain (34:10-30)? Why Job is suffering only the Lord can say, but let Job ask of the Lord to teach him in order for Job to be able to turn away from his wrong because, as Elihu is making clear, Job is not innocent (34:31-36)!
  2. Application. It is actually difficult for me to know whether or not Elihu is saying that Job’s affliction are because of his evil deed, or whether he is just stating the facts of the case that God will render to man what he deserves (34:10-30). In any case, it is certainly true that what a man sows he will also reap. It may be the case, furthermore, that the sins of man will not go before him to judgment (that is, evident to others), but will be exposed by the judgment (1 Timothy 5:24). As Elihu speaks it is clear that he has the same – albeit modified – opinion that his three older and wiser friends have. In Elihu’s case, he is not leveling condemnatory accusations at Job’s feet, but he does address the words that Job has expressed to be in rebellion to the Lord.


Job 29, 30, and 31

  1. Job begins to wish that as things once were, they could be that way again. He was a man recognized for his wisdom and charity; now he is a man who feels as though the Lord is against him (C-29). Those who once honored Job now look upon him much differently; presumably they have come to interpret Job’s experiences as though the Lord was against him, and they should be also (C-30). Job brings his words to a close in what many consider to be a great statement on personal ethics (cf. Shackelford, p. 348). In this chapter Job puts his life before others, including the Lord, to judge; if he is guilty of anything that he mentioned he would then be will to suffer. As he previously said, however, he is not guilty of doing wrong like others have ascribed (C-31).
  2. Application. A life without regret is clearly a life worth living. Have you any regrets in your life? I do! Life is still worth living because of Him who has gone before me to pave the path that I could not pave. If not for the mercy of the Lord, if not for the love of Christ, if not for the seal of the Holy Spirit, where could I go? A favorite song of mine is “His Grace Reaches me.” It is a moving song for me and they are many times when I have to pause in the singing of it – but I love the song.


Job 26, 27, and 28

  1. The ESV gives this chapter a title: God’s majesty is unsearchable. With such a lofty recognition, Job, nonetheless, rails at what his friends have offered him – no help at all (C-26)! Job maintains his righteousness, and that he has done nothing to warrant this affliction that is severely against him. In fact, those who are wicked will suffer, and Job details this. What Job said his friends also said; their application, however, of making this apply to Job was a mistaken notion, a misjudgment (C-27). Man has had much in the way of accomplishments, but with all that he has achieved, he cannot locate wisdom by turning the spade over on this earth; in fact, wisdom comes only from the Lord (C-28).
  2. Application. An appropriate place to make application is with regard to what Job had come to know – even though he can’t explain why he was experiencing what he was. He had come to know that wisdom is not gained from labor on earth, and neither is it gained in what man has accomplished. It is gained and maintained when man comes to know the Lord. Not just know Him, but also turn away from those things that are opposed to Him. In a world that looks upon life as a perspective of secularism or not, does not one wonder how things would be different if humanity saw things the way the Lord desired?


Job 25

  1. Bildad gives his third reply. He speaks of God’s glory and asks rhetorical questions to be answered in the negative. He brings his small reply to a close; “The brevity of Bildad’s final speech and the absence of a third speech by Zophar are indications that the friends have run out of fuel” (Andersen, p. 214).
  2. Application. Job was not done making a substantive reply to his friends, however. It seems that as Job was “taking a breath” Bildad interjected, and his interjection was nothing of substance. People don’t like losing arguments or being on the short end of something they are convinced is right. Neither do others like accusation flying in their faces when they know those accusations are flatly false. Job and his friends were communicating, but their communication wasn’t being heard (in fact, it was heard, but the other side rejected what was offered). We might illustrate it like missiles flying from one side then another never really hitting the target. **** Bildad asked what I think is a good question: How can man be right before God? Of himself he can’t. He can, however, be right before God if the Lord has given him an avenue to walk, and that man walks it. Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” Jesus is our way. For some he is not adequate; for the Lord he is the only way.


Job 23 and 24

  1. Job declares that he seeks an audience before God, for then he would reason with God, making his case. Job’s use of the personal pronoun “I” in this chapter is significant (nearly 20 times); it suggests a different temperament than we have read previously. Job notes the injustices rendered to people every day, and that the Lord does not charge them with wrong (24:1-17). In fact, justice should come to those who are wicked much quicker than it does – but it does not (24:18-21). As for those who are righteous (innocent), those who are wicked live old and/or die young – just like it can be said for those who live righteously (24:22-24). “Job had now attacked their main position, and had appealed to facts in defense of what he held. He maintained that, as a matter of fact, the wicked were prospered, that they often lived to old age, and that they then died a peaceful death, without any direct demonstration of the divine displeasure. He boldly appeals, now, to anyone to deny this, or to prove the contrary” (Barnes on 24:25).
  2. Application. It is so often asked “Why do evil people prosper?” It was a question for Job in his day and it is the same question in our day. The question has been answered, however. They don’t prosper; in fact, what they think they have built for themselves is seen one day and then they are gone the next (24:24). It is a challenge to us to trust the Lord to tend to things as He thinks is best. If He thought our thinking was the right course of action it is like that He would have asked us for our opinion. Has He asked any one of us?


Job 22

  1. Eliphaz speaks for the third time. He begins by acknowledging that Job regards his actions before the Lord innocent of particular wrongs, and then asked if that is something the Lord should consider profitable to him (22:1-3). He then turns around and denounces Job and particularizes his faults (22:4-11). “Job challenged to rethink his position” (22:12-20, Hailey). God will even redeem one not innocent if that one turns to the Lord (22:21-30).
  2. Application. Don Shackelford has some useful points to consider when dealing with false accusation (Commentary on Job, Resource Publications, pp. 264-265). First, do not return evil for evil. This is much easier said than done, but paramount if we are to bring glory to the Lord, and not have to deal with a conscience of guilt. Second, continue to live righteously. Didn’t Paul say this (Romans 12:17)? Surely he did, and he even gave reasons why we should pursue this course (Romans 12:18-21). Third, attempt to set the record straight. The importance of this is easily understood, but it will be the manner and the substance connected with the manner of delivery that will get noticed. Fourth, not only does one want to live righteously (#2), but even more important, entrust your soul to the living God. This is what Jesus did (1 Peter 2:21-25).


Job 21

  1. Job replies to all his friends, not just Zophar’s last speech. He calls upon them to listen to him while he dismantles their prejudices toward those who suffer (21:1-21). The wicked will meet their doom when they face God; for Job, this knowledge is comforting (21:22-34).
  2. Application. Job brings to the forefront of these series of arguments between him and his friends why their predispositions are wrong. If God brings judgment against the wicked, then why do they prosper and live a full life. Life’s experiences teach Job – and it should teach his friends as well – that their theological underpinning is built on a foundation of sand. It is not unlikely that many people in the world have the same theological underpinning; isn’t it sad when the underpinning stays in place when evidence to the contrary is so….well, evident?


Job 20

  1. Zophar speaks for the second time. His words are a continuation of those which Bildad spoke. He takes exception to Job’s words (20-1-3). The triumph of the wicked is short (20:4-11).  The wicked will not even enjoy the blessings of savored food; it will but come up and out violently (20:12-19). Those who are wicked have nothing to look forward to (20:20-29).
  2. Application. The essence of Zophar’s speech is that one can be sure that sin, though hidden, will manifest itself (cf. Numbers 32:23). This is a truth that thoughtful people clearly understand (cf. Galatians 6:7). When a man sows discord toward others, it is a bit naïve to think it will not be sown toward him. People can’t possibly keep all the tracks that that lain down covered up for others not to follow. Though Zophar’s word are true (in hyperbolic form), they were wrongly applied to Job. We can learn (and should learn) that when we sow discord in our heart we separate ourselves from the Lord by secret sins – and those things are not hidden from Him who sees all.


Job 19

  1. As Hailey said, Job did not address Bildad’s words, but expresses his grief at his current situation in a way that it is probably the lowest point of Job’s expressed words. God had afflicted me and my friends (who came to comfort) have also wronged me (19:1-6, 21-22). God had hedged Job in, and though he wants to pass he can’t; thus, those intimate relationships he has are now gone (19:7-20). Job suddenly takes a more positive view; his grief was at seriously low ebb, now his words change direction and speak of great hope (19:23-29).
  2. Application. The words of a despondent man can surely bring others down. Job’s friends continued with their pounding: Job was suffering because of his own sin that he refused to address and, much more, confess to God! While Job’s friends were terribly misguided in their thinking, it appears that their thinking was not exclusive to them. Why would others leave Job’s company when he needed them most, but that they had the same sort of thinking (19:13-19)? With Job we learn the value of being sure our thinking is firmly placed on something greater that one’s own thinking. The bedrock of a solid foundation is crucial to security and assurance (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11). False thinking and the expressing of those words can send a person spiraling downward.