Obadiah is the shortest book of the Bible. It is titled The Vision of Obadiah as it prophesies the judgment to fall on the nation of Edom. The Edomites were descendants of Esau which made them related to the children of Israel (Genesis 25:19-27:45). Because of Edom's defiance of God, their pride, and how they treated Judah, disaster would come unto them.
In verse 3:
Edom was the southern neighbor of Judah, and its capital was Petra, which was a city cut into the cliff of a solid rock. It was considered impenetrable due to the only way in was through a narrow canyon. The Edomites were proud of how secure they felt in their city, their self-sufficiency, their wealth, their allies, and their wisdom, but this would cause them to be brought down. They only fooled themselves.
Those that have a favorable opinion of themselves are adept to think that others appreciate them as well; but they will be mistaken. God can make low those that have amplified and lifted up themselves. What Edom says in the pride of their heart, talks with their very own certainty quality, and a hatred of God's decisions, as though the intensity of the Almighty could not overwhelm them.
Pride of heart is the disposition of an existence that announces its capacity to live without God. Pride is and will always destroy Christians which will make them of no use for the service of God. They are all in it for the show. Remember the Pharisee and the Publican. The Pharisee was showing off, look at what I am not, look at what I do, and look at what I have (Luke 18:11). Satan was proud and it was his downfall (Isaiah 14:13-15). Nebuchadnezzar was proud and look at what happened to him (Daniel 4:30-32).
In verse 4:
The Bible declares the route to self-destruction is pride (Proverbs 16:18). The judgment on Edom was to bring about justice. To anyone that believes “who shall bring me down?” God’s reply is, “I will.” Just like the way the nation of Edom and the city of Petra fell, people with pride in their hearts will fall. Humility is more secure than pride.
In Proverbs 6:16-19, These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
What is the first one? Pride!
Many Christians have pride in their race, pride of face (social standing), and pride of grace (proud of being saved). Salvation should not make us proud. It is a free gift offered to everyone. Grace is given to those who are humble.
Other Scripture regarding pride:
When we try to run our lives, we put ourselves in the place of God. How many try to run their lives without God, as if they do not need Him? That is pride. That is sin and it is fatal. Do not let pride control us. We must recognize when pride tries to set in and push it back out the door. Pray to God to help us defend against proudness of heart.
Hosea 10:12-15; 14:1-3
During the declining reign of Jeroboam II of Israel, Hosea was called by God to prophesy to His people. Hosea was given instructions to marry a woman of whoredoms, and God told Hosea that the woman would be unfaithful. Hosea went on to marry Gomer. Children were born, then as God had said, Gomer left Hosea to pursue her sinful desires. However, at some point Hosea finds her, redeems her, and brings her back home in reconciliation.
Hosea depicts God’s persistent love to His people. The book of Hosea demonstrates how the people of Israel were once close to God, but then fall into sin. And although they sinned, God still loved them, but judgment would come unto them. They would be punished for their disobedience. Yet there was mercy. Repentance would bring restoration.
The first three chapters discus Hosea’s wayward wife. Chapter 1 tells us of Hosea’s wife and children. In Chapter 2, we learn of punishment and restoration. In chapter 3, Hosea is reconciled with his wife. The remainder of the book of Hosea is about God’s wayward people. In chapter 4, God charges Israel for its sins. Chapter 5 through part of Chapter 6, regards God’s judgment against Israel. The last part of Chapter 6, God wants Israel’s love.
Israel is described as a crooked bow in Chapter 7. Israel is told that it will reap the whirlwind in Chapter 8. In Chapter 9, Israel wanders aimlessly without God. Chapter 10, Hosea predicts punishment to the people of Israel. Chapter 11 describes God’s fatherly love. God invites His people to return to Him in Chapter 12. And then in Chapter 13, God expresses His anger with Israel. But we finally learn that repentance will bring restoration in Chapter 14.
Today we will focus on seeking the Lord and repentance.
In verses 12-13:
Hosea utilizes examples about fields and crops. He discusses a furrowed field and the ground that is prepared to get seeds. It is not, at this point stony and hard. It has been deliberately arranged and accessible. Are our lives prepared for God to work in them? We can furrow the hard ground of our souls by recognizing our wrongdoings and holding nothing back from God's pardoning and direction.
The Israelites confided in the untruth that military force could guard them. Believers today are capable for succumbing to lies. The individuals who need to lead others off track frequently adhere to these guidelines for compelling lying: make it grand, keep it straightforward, and rehash it regularly. Believers can abstain from succumbing to lies by asking: Am I accepting this because I might gain something personally from it? Am I limiting significant facts? Does it go against an immediate order of Scripture? Are there any scriptural equals to the circumstance I am confronting that would enable me to realize what to accept?
In verses 14-15:
Hosea was telling the people of Israel that their fate would be like that of the city of Beth-arbel when it was attacked by Shalman. Israel put its trust in military might as opposed to in God, and therefore, it would be decimated by military force. The king of Israel, who had driven the people into worshiping idols, would be the first to fall. Divine judgment is at times quick; however, it is in every case sure.
The people could come back to God by requesting that He remove their transgressions. The equivalent is valid for us: we can implore Hosea's supplication and realize our sins are pardoned on the grounds that Christ died for them on the cross (John 3:16). Absolution starts when we see the ruinous tendency of transgression and the uselessness of existence without God. At that point we should concede we cannot save ourselves; our lone expectation is in God's benevolence. When we demand pardoning, we should realize that we do not merit it and along these lines cannot demand it. Our petition must be for God's adoration and benevolence, not for His judgment. Even though we cannot demand absolution, we can be sure we have gotten it, since God is generous and cherishing and wants to reestablish us to Himself, similarly as He needed to reestablish Israel.
For whom is now the time to seek the Lord? Everyone needs to seek the Lord, those in government, parliament, government officials of both city, state, and nation. People of our communities, our businesses, our churches, and even ourselves; we all need to seek the Lord.
For what reason is it time to seek the Lord? Believers need to be urgent, in season and out of season. Sinners need to give heed to what they have heard. The time for planting is passing us by and the time for harvest is ready but there are not enough workers in the field. The time that we have for seeking the Lord will soon end.
Do not put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today, for tomorrow may never come.
What does it mean to lament? To lament means to feel sorrow, to mourn, to have a passionate expression of intense grief.
Jeremiah authored the book of Lamentations sometime after the fall of Jerusalem. His first book, Jeremiah, predicted Jerusalem’s destruction. Jeremiah was known as the “weeping prophet” and the “prophet of a broken heart,” for he cried for Jerusalem. What caused his grief? The people had rejected God. God had made them, loved them, and continually looked after them and blessed them, yet they still turned their backs on Him. This broke Jeremiah’s heart. He knew that the people’s selfish and sinful ways would bring suffering and exile. Jeremiah had compassion and he understood why God’s heart was broken.
In chapter 1, it tells why Jeremiah mourns for Jerusalem. In chapter two, discusses the angriness of God toward sin. In chapter three, speaks on the hope during times of sorrow. In chapter four, states that God has satisfied His anger. And finally, in chapter five, Jeremiah prays for reconditioning.
But today we will look at a few passages of Scripture in the book of Jeremiah.
Jerusalem had sinned against God and the Lord is righteous. Here Jerusalem justifies its punishment from the Lord by admitting its sin. It also mentions how its young people were taken into slavery by the conquering nation, Babylon.
Man does not want to hear about God’s anger to sin. Humanity only wants to hear about the love of God. The question should be, how do we feel about our sin and God being angry with us for our sin? Is it right for believers to sit and cry out for justice when the believer is the one that caused the punishment? Too often tele-evangelist and ministers of today all want to profess about the good and the bounty and the prosperity of God but do any of them preach on and against sin? (Deuteronomy 28:32 & 41; 1 Samuel 12:14-15; Psalm 119:75; Jeremiah 12:1)
Undoubtedly Jeremiah cried so much that he could not see. He probably had a headache. His insides churned from the stress. His whole body was wrecked. Jeremiah was sincere and sympathetic. His intense grief was due to the agony and desolation that he saw his people go through. The ‘bowels’ is thought to be the center of emotion, which is probably due to watching the children starve on the city streets.
What sinfulness have we witnessed that has caused us to have similar compassion and sorrow that Jeremiah felt for Jerusalem? Does it grieve us to see sin running rampant through our communities, our state, our nation, or our world? How do you think God feels knowing that He has provided and given so much and yet the world still turns its back on Him? (Job 16:13; Jeremiah 4:19; Lamentations 2:19)
Here we see that Jeremiah saw a ray of hope amongst all the turmoil, God’s compassions fail not. If we ask, God will respond with help. If we ask for forgiveness with a true penitent heart, He will forgive us. There is no sin too great for God’s compassion. God is also faithful. He promised judgment for disobedience, and that is what happened. But God also promises to restore and to bless.
Jeremiah saw the mercies of God because Jerusalem was not totally expended. If Jerusalem had received what they truly deserved, Jerusalem would be no more. Remember Sodom and Gomorrah? Where are they now? The prophets had all said that God would judge them for their sin, to which He has done so but has not destroyed them. A remnant of the faithful have remained.
What about our nation? Will God judge America? Has God judged America? Has God judged us for our sins as a people? (Psalm 78:38; Jeremiah 3:12; Malachi 3:6; Psalm 73:26)
To enter the Temple or to worship God, one could not be unclean or polluted. The priests and prophets were to be careful in maintaining their ceremonial purity. That way they would be clean to perform their duties in the Temple. Unfortunately, many of them had succumbed to sin and evil. They had given the wrong example to the people and had led them into sin, which caused Jerusalem’s collapse. The Priest and prophets did not tell the truth to the people. They were guilty. If we do not present the Word of God today, we are also guilty.
There were some prophets, like Jeremiah, who spoke the truth. But some people paid no attention and were judged. Have we presented the Truth of the Word? (Jeremiah 2:30, 26:8-9, 45:5, 52:24-27; Deuteronomy 28:28-29; Isaiah 9:14-16, 29:10, 56:10, 59:9-10; Leviticus 13:45-46)
Although we have sinned and deserve punishment, God is still the same God. Jeremiah prayed for mercy and grace. He prayed for forgiveness. He asks God to revive renew and revive the people spiritually so that God would be with them. God had rejected them, and God had been angry with them. But God has provided forgiveness, all we need to do is ask. (Psalm 13:1, 44:24, 45:6; Jeremiah 31:18)
Jeremiah 39:6-18, (15-18)
Jeremiah was to have God by his side through all of his difficulties. There are special rewards for God’s faithful people. However, it is possible that they might not be received during this life.
Jeremiah had been God’s spokesman to Judah for forty years, during the last five kings. He continually urged the people to repent and to act, but nobody would listen to him or do anything. He was not a successful man by the world’s standards, like those who have fortune and fame. He did not gain material success, yet he continued his mission. He had been assaulted, thrown in jail, and compelled to leave his home. The only ones that showed him any respect were the Babylonians.
In chapter thirty-seven, during Zedekiah’s reign as king, Jeremiah was thrown in prison. In chapter thirty-eight, Jeremiah was then thrown into a well but was finally rescued from the well by Ebed-melech, (38:7-13) who was a eunuch serving in the king’s house, under the command of Zedekiah. At the same time, the Babylonians are coming to Jerusalem. Zedekiah approaches Jeremiah to inquire about a word from the Lord. Jeremiah tries to tell Zedekiah what to do to save his life and the life of the people. Unfortunately, Zedekiah would not listen.
In verses 6-8:
In chapter thirty-nine, Nebuchadnezzar captures Jerusalem. He has the sons of Zedekiah killed and has Zedekiah’s eyes put out (Jeremiah 24:8-10, Jeremiah 34:18-21, Jeremiah 52:10-11).
In verses 9-10:
The king’s house is burned as well as the houses of the people. then the walls of Jerusalem are broken down. The captain of the guard is carrying away the captive to Babylon, as was there policy for conquered lands. The Babylonians would carry the rich and powerful back to Babylon as slaves, but they would leave the poor in charge of the land that they conquered. This would then in turn leave the conquered people to be loyal subjects (2 Kings 25:9-12, Jeremiah 52:12-16).
In verses 11-14:
The king of the Babylonians, Nebuchadnezzar, gives a command concerning Jeremiah. The Babylonians were superstitious and believed in fortune tellers and magicians. So, they had somewhat of a respect for Jeremiah the prophet. Being as he was in prison, they assumed he was a traitor to his own people. They probably heard how he prophesied about the Babylonian victory, so they freed him and gave him protection. The guard captain took him out of the prison and sent him home so he could be with his own people, free. Jeremiah had concern for the people, was respected, was saved, and freed by his faith. Zedekiah had only concern for himself not his people, therefore, he was ridiculed and imprisoned (Job 5:15-16, Jeremiah 15:20-21, Jeremiah 15:20-21, 2 Kings 22:12-14, Jeremiah 40:1-6).
In verses 15-18:
God tells Jeremiah to go speak with Ebed-melech. Jeremiah is to tell him that the Lord will deliver him because he put his trust in the Lord. Ebed-melech had put his life in jeopardy to save Jeremiah. God had protected him from the Babylonians during Jerusalem’s takeover (Psalm 50:14-15, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Psalm 41:1-2).
God does not guarantee His faithful an escape from persecution. But He does promise that He will be with them and strengthen them so that they can endure (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). As we serve, we should realize that our service is for God, not for man’s approval. Our faithfulness will be rewarded.
Isaiah's perspective on God in the initial four verses gives us a feeling of God's significance, power, and mystery. Isaiah's case of perceiving his sin before God urges us to admit our own wrongdoings.
The image of absolution, that Isaiah gives, advises us that we are pardoned as well. At the point when we perceive how incredible God is, how guilty we are, and the degree of His absolution, we get the strength to accomplish His work. How does our idea of the significance of God match Isaiah’s?
In verses 1-4:
The seraphim are angelic beings made by God. This is the only spot in the Bible where they are referenced. Here they work as God's operators in commissioning Isaiah. Isaiah could comprehend them when they addressed him and when they praised God. Since they drifted above God's throne, they may have been God's attendants. They were striking and amazing creatures, and their singing shook the Temple.
In verse 5:
The Common Man:
To be common is to be unclean, unworthy, no hope, sinful, deceitful, low in ranking, impure, and/or guilty. Listening in to the recognition of the holy messengers, Isaiah acknowledges he was common and unclean before God, with no hope for matching God's standard of blessedness.
Were we not all common before accepting Christ as our personal Savior? Are our lives so important that we are to be placed upon some high pedestal above all other people?
In verses 6-7:
The Cleansed Man:
To be set apart, free from blemish, rid of corruption & impurities, or free of guilt. At the point when his lips were contacted with a burning coal, he was informed that his sins were pardoned. It was not the coal that purged him, yet God. Were any ofus holy before we met God? Were we not all dirty with sin? Are any of us still stained with sin? Should we not seek cleansing?
Church Hymnal, page 368, Nothing But The Blood,
What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow.
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.
In verse 8:
The Called Man:
To be summoned, an invitation, a command, or a divine vocation. Accordingly, he submitted himself altogether to the service of God. Regardless of how troublesome his assignment would be, he stated, 'here am I, send me'. The difficult purifying procedure was vital before Isaiah could satisfy the undertaking to which God was calling him. Has God called us for a purpose, to do a task, to do a specific job? Have we acknowledged that calling? Have we responded to that calling?
Before we acknowledge God's call to represent Him to people around us, we should be purged as Isaiah was. Letting God decontaminate us might be excruciating; however, we should be refined with the goal that we can genuinely be a spokesperson for God, who is holy and pure.
In verse 11:
The Continual Man:
To be constant, perpetual, unfailing repetition to endure. How long must I endure? How long must I work? We are to continually work until the task is complete. Have we gotten lazy and quit working? Have we given up? Have we said to ourselves that the job is too hard? Do we have the strength and the fortitude to continue? If not, then why not? Have we asked Christ to give us the strength? Have we not asked for His guidance?
God disclosed to Isaiah that the individuals would listen, yet they would not learn from his message on the grounds that their hearts had hardened past repenting, God's understanding with their incessant resistance was at long last depleted, and his judgment was to desert them to their wickedness. For what reason did God send Isaiah if He knew the individuals wouldn't listen?
Although the country itself would not apologize and would harvest judgment; a few people would listen. In verse 13, God clarifies His plan for a remainder of steadfast followers. Indeed, even in judgment God is kind. We can attain consolation from God's promise to save His people. If we are dedicated to Him, we can make certain of His benevolence.
When might people listen to God? Simply after they had reached the end and had no place to tum yet to God. This would happen when the land was wrecked by attacking armed forces and the people taken into imprisonment. The 'tenth' alludes either to the people who stayed in the land after captivity, or the people who came back from Babylon to rebuild the land. Each gathering was about a tenth of the total populace. When will we listen to God speak to us?
Must we experience disasters before we will listen to God's words like to Judah? Consider what God might be saying to you and obey Him before it is too late.
Church Hymnal, page 157, Trust and Obey.
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way,
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.
Song of Solomon 2:1
Song of Solomon is about a man and a woman, their love, courtship, and marriage. It is an allegory of God's love for Israel and/or the church. Here we look at the “I am” of 2:1-2.
Why the comparison?
Unlike some areas where flowers are planted, there are NO signs posted for us to “Keep Out.”
What does it mean to have a purpose without power? Are we talking about having power or having a purpose? Or is there power in purpose? Sounds a bit confusing, does it not? There is an old story from roughly over 20 years ago about an elementary teacher. I do not know who the author is, so let me tell you my interpretation of the story and then we will go from there.
His name was Mr. Ed, and as he stood in front of his fifth-grade class on the first day of school, he told the children a lie. Like most teachers, he looked at his students and said that he loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Tommy Sullivan.
Mr. Ed had watched Tommy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children. His clothes were messy, and he constantly needed a bath. Tommy could be a bit unpleasant at times. It had gotten to the point to where Mr. Ed would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red marker, making bold X’s, and then putting a big red ‘F’ at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mr. Ed taught, he was required to review each child’s past records and he put Tommy’s off till last. However, when he reviewed his file, he was in for a surprise.
Tommy’s first-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”
His second-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is an excellent student, well like by his classmates, but he is troubled because his father has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”
His third-grade teacher wrote, “His father’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his mother doesn’t seem to show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”
Tommy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Tommy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class.”
By now, Mr. Ed realized the problem and he was ashamed of himself. He felt even worse when his students brought him Christmas presents, wrapped in nice ribbons and colorful paper, except for Tommy’s. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mr. Ed took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when he found a rhinestone tie clasp with some of the stones missing. But he stifled the children’s laughter when he exclaimed how nice the tie clasp was as he put it on his own tie.
After the children left Mr. Ed sat solemnly with tears in his eyes for at least an hour. On that day, he quit teaching the basics and instead began really teaching the children. He paid particular attention to Tommy. As he worked with him, Tommy’s mind seemed to open up. The more encouragement he gave, the more Tommy’s mind seemed to come alive. By the end of the year, Tommy had become one of the smartest pupils in the class. And despite what he said about loving them all the same, Tommy had become one of the teacher’s pets.
A year later, Mr. Ed found a note on his desk from Tommy, telling him that he was still the best teacher he ever had in his life.
Six years passed before he received another letter from Tommy. In this letter, Tommy wrote that he had finished high school, and that he was still the best teacher he had ever had.
Four more years passed, then he received another letter. It said that although things have sometimes gotten rough, he stayed in school and that he would soon graduate from college with high honors. He assured Mr. Ed that he was still the best teacher that he had ever had.
Four more years passed and then another letter came. This time it explained that after he had finished college, he went further. It still read that Mr. Ed was the best teacher that he had ever had. It was signed, Dr. Thomas Sullivan.
The story does not end just yet. You see, there was another letter that came. Tommy said that he had met a young lady and was to be married. He explained that his mother had died recently and was wondering if Mr. Ed would sit at the seat that was usually assigned to the parents of the groom. And of course, Mr. Ed did, while wearing the tie clasp with the missing rhinestones.
Dr. Sullivan gave Mr. Ed a hug and thanked him for believing in him and making him feel important and showing him that he could make a difference.
Mr. Ed replied, “Tommy, it was you who taught me that I could make a difference. I was not truly teaching until I met you.”
Now this story may sound a bit outlandish but there is a point to it. But you see God has a purpose and a plan for all people. though we may face problems that may go against God’s plan, there should not be walls to prevent us from believing in his Word (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
God’s purpose cannot be defeated. Regardless of if we choose to admit it, do not use what we do not understand as an excuse for not trusting in God (Job 42:2).
God’s purpose endures. Man will make plans based upon decisions and motives that he has determined for himself. Many times, these will lead us toward the wrong direction. Regardless of whether we choose to or not, God’s plans are what prevails in our lives (Proverbs 19:21).
Every Christian has a purpose. When we accept Christ as our personal Savior, a purpose for us is planted. We may not know and understand what it is. But as we grow in the knowledge and in faith in Christ, that purpose will be revealed (Proverbs 20:5).
God’s purpose is brought to fruition. To transform our desires to be more like to Christ, we need the power of the Holy Spirit (1:19), the impact of loyal Christians, dutifulness to God's Word, and to serve sacrificially (Philippians 2:13).
God’s purpose is fulfilled regardless of the situation we may face. The Christian’s goal is to be like Christ (1 John 3:2). As we become increasingly more like him, we will find our true selves. We can be seen in his image by the reading and the studying to his Word, by examining his life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with the Holy Spirit, and by performing the Lord’s work here on earth (Romans 8:28).
Paul changes from the suffering for the gospel to the blessed life to which Christians are called. Both Paul and Timothy had been saved and were given a calling to serve others in ministry. Salvation is not based on our extraordinary deeds, yet by God’s power (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is also true for those for a calling to serve others in the ministry: it is not due to the aftereffect of our efforts. The calling of each individual who serves in a ministry is backed by God’s grace and purpose (2 Timothy 1:9).
What is a person to do when they fall down? Does he or she stay down, or does the person get back up?
The genuine soul falls as an explorer may do, by faltering at some stone in his way; however, he gets up, and goes on his way with more consideration and speed. The writer might be utilizing “falls” not in the feeling of falling into transgression, yet in the feeling of being overpowered by disaster. The righteous ought to emerge from whatever transitory disaster is brought upon them.
Undoubtedly, many preachers have discussed how a good man may fall into trouble or sin, but that just man never gives in. He looks to God in repentance and rises back up into service. God never forsakes a repentant sinner but will deliver him out of his transgressions. (Job 5:19, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 37:24)
Seven times refers to often or plural. The number seven is also the number for completeness. (Proverbs 6:31, Proverbs 26:16, Genesis 4:24, Matthew 18:21-22)
A just man does not fall from his righteousness for it is an everlasting one, nor from the grace of God.
However, he may fall into temptation and sin, as every just man does.
Every day man stands in need of freshly applying the pardoning grace of God, for which he is directed to pray daily.
Interestingly with the recuperation and restoration of the just man, when the wicked endure calamity there is no recovery for them. (Proverbs 14:32, Psalm 6:8, Psalm 119:115)
The wicked shall fall into mischief where they will lie in it and never rise from it. They will fall into punishment to which there is no delivery.
How many believers have fallen and how many looked up to Jesus and were able to get back up and continued to serve the Lord? Simon Peter fell many times, and yet he got back up. (Matthew 14:29, Matthew 26:69-75, 1 John 1:7-9, Hebrews 13:5)
The purpose of the teaching is not the risk of good men to fall or stumble, yet God’s continued grace and mercy for man.
Job 1:7-8, Job 2:2-3, Job 38:1, Job 39:1
Undoubtedly, everybody has heard about Job at some point in time. The book was written to discuss the age-old question, “Why do the righteous always seem to suffer?” The purpose of Job is to give a demonstration of the sovereignty of God and the value of true faith.
Introduction to the book of Job:
Suffering can be a punishment for wrongdoing, however that is not generally the situation. Success is not generally a compensation for being good. The children of God (born-again Christians, believers) are not excluded from tribulations. We might be unable to comprehend the trial and torment we are experiencing, but it might be the catalyst to draw us closer to God. We need to learn how to perceive Satan’s assaults and not to be apprehensive about it. God sets the constraints of what evil that Satan is allowed to do to us. We should try not to let any experience make a divider that would separate ourselves from God. We cannot govern what Satan does, however, we can control how we respond and react when things begin turning out badly.
How do we respond?
Now turn to 1 Peter 4:12-19.
Jesus’ words are brought to mind by Peter: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11). Christ will send His Spirit to help those whose faith is being attacked. However, this does not imply that Christian behavior causes all suffering. When it is abundantly clear to everyone else that the individual’s own unfavorable behavior is the root of his or her problems, a person may occasionally complain, “He is just picking on me because I am a Cristian.” To identify the true cause of our suffering, it may necessitate careful consideration or wise counsel. However, we can rest assured that Christ will be with us throughout any suffering we endure as a result of our devotion to Him.
Being a Christian is not something to be ashamed of. At the point when Peter and John were mistreated for proclaiming the Good News, they cheered in light of the fact that such oppression was a sign of God’s endorsement of their work.
We should not attempt to avoid suffering or seek it out. Instead, we ought to continue doing what is right despite the potential for suffering.
Now look at Job 38:1.
God spoke out of a mighty wind or storm. Job's questions were not at the heart of the issue, so it was surprising that He did not respond to any of them. Instead, God revealed Job's ignorance of God's moral order by utilizing Job's ignorance of the natural order of the earth. How could Job possibly comprehend God's mind and character if he did not understand how God's physical creation worked? When it comes to judging, there is no higher standard or criterion than God Himself. The standard is set by God alone. The only option we have is to rely on Him and submit to His authority.
Then Job 39:1.
God demonstrated Job's limited knowledge of the animal kingdom by asking him a number of questions about it. Job did not answer God's questions. Instead, He was persuading Job to acknowledge and submit to God's sovereignty and power. He could not hear what God was really saying to him until that point.
God speaks but we might not know the answer. If we do not comprehend the workings of creation, how can we comprehend the mind and manner of God? We must identify and surrender to God's might and ruling, then will we be able to hear God. Are we worse off than Job or are we more righteous than he was? Do we plead our innocence to God or offer our humility? We are not to question God’s justice, but we are to repent of our attitude. True faith begins with our submission to the Lord and being humble.
If God had not restored Job, would the message have been any different? No, I do not think so. Our restoration may not be on this earth, but it will be completed. We are to be prepared for trials, persevere through those trials, and give praise to God continually.
Have you been chosen? Esther is an illustration of God's care and direction for our lives. In order to effectively serve God, we must have faith that God is in control, working through both good and bad times, despite the fact that we may question certain aspects of our lives.
Persian rulers gathered immense measures of gems, goods, wealth, and numerous young ladies. These women were taken from their homes and made to live in a structure close to the palace, called a haram. Their sole intention was to serve the ruler and to anticipate a call to enter his bed chamber. They rarely visited the king, so their lives were confined. In Chapter 1, King Ahasuerus, had a party to show off his queen, Vashti. She refused so the king banished her and stripped her of royalty.
In Chapter 2, verses 1-4:
After banishing Vashti, the king sent officers out to gather fair young women of all the lands to choose a new queen. Not only did Persian kings collect a lot of jewelry, but they also collected a lot of women. These young virgins were taken from their homes and forced to live in a special structure called a harem near the palace. They were there to serve the king and wait for his call. Their lives were restricted and monotonous, and they rarely saw the king. If she were dismissed, Esther would have been one of the numerous young ladies the king had seen just a single time and rejected. But the king liked Esther's presence and beauty so much that he made her his queen instead of Vashti. The queen had more freedom and authority than other members of the harem, and her position was more powerful than that of a concubine. Yet, even as a queen, Esther did not have many privileges, particularly since she had been picked to supplant a lady who had become excessively strong-willed. (Esther 1:9, Esther 1:1-3)
In verses 5-7:
Mordecai was a Jew that worked in the palace of Shushan. The Israelites had been exiled from Jerusalem one hundred years earlier, and as such, their numbers had grown. They were given freedom in the Medio-Persian empire, so they could own businesses and hold government positions. Mordecai had raised Esther, his uncle's daughter, so in a sense he was a stepfather.
In verses 8-11:
Esther had been chosen to be placed in the king's harem for purification and beautification; to be trained in how to be a queen. Mordecai had instructed her to keep quiet about her heritage during her training. There are times when it is better to keep silent and let God work through our lives to work His will. For Esther, this was the case.
In verses 12-17:
The women were given whatever they wanted to wear before the king. Esther followed Hegai's guidance and chose nothing extra. We cannot see the end of the road, but God does.
When we let God drive, He will not hit the potholes in the road of life like we do.
The king loved Esther above all others. According to Esther 3:5, God put Esther on the throne before the Jews were in danger of being completely destroyed so that when trouble struck, someone would be able to assist. God's plan to send the Messiah to Earth as a Jew was foiled by no human effort. Know that God is in charge even if you cannot see God's plan for your situation when you change jobs, positions, or location. It is possible that he will put you in a position to assist other people when they need it.
In verses 18-23:
Mordecai learned of a threat against the king of two men, as Mordechai was in a position at the king's gate. Mordecai told Esther, who in turn told the king. After the investigation was made, the two men were hanged. Good employees must not conceal any bad situations they know of with their employers.
Although Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, the deed was recorded. This typifies servants of Christ. Although recompense may not be shown at the time, an account of our actions, work of faith and love is recorded. We must remember that reward may not come now, but it will be remembered in the hereafter.
Although God's name is not mentioned, we can see:
The Presence of God:
The Providence of God:
The Power of God: