Monday, November 24, 2008
**In This Issue**
- Learning From
What Does the Bible Say About...?
Welcome to the
Reflections Newsletter from Reflect His Glory. RHG is a co-ministry
with Creation Science Ministries. Feel free to send this to your relatives
Learning From Job
The primary lesson of Job is what God
reveals about the nature of the evil in humans.
As we go through the many dialogues
of Job's 'friends', we see
his friends view wicked people in terms of murderers,
thieves, rapists, fornicators, cruel tyrants, etc. These
are the wicked, as Job's counselors see them. But
as we begin to understand more clearly, the things they point out as wicked are
really only the fruit of something deeper in human nature.
They emerge from a deep-seated root of
pride that expresses itself as independence and self-sufficiency:
"I can run my own life...
I've got what it takes... I don't need help from
anybody." Jesus summarized it this way
in Matthew 15:19
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
In Isaiah 14:12-16, the Lord God tells us that
all evil comes from the root of pride, which is evil in its purest form.
What we also learn from this book is that pride
is expressed not only in terms of murder, thievery and robbery, but also,
as we see in Job's three friends, as bigotry,
pompousness, self-righteous legalism, critical judgmental attitudes,
condemnation of others, harsh, sarcastic words and vengeful, vindictive actions
against someone else. Got the picture?
The evil in
humans is not confined to the criminals of the land.
It is present in every heart, without
exception (Jeremiah 17:9). Pride is the root of
all sin and it can express itself in many different ways.
The Nature of Faith
Job thought he was exercising faith when he obeyed God and did
what was right when it was clearly in his best interests to do so.
Many people today think that
they are exercising
great faith when they simply believe God is there; when they live their lives
day by day, with the recognition that God is watching and is present in their
affairs. They do right because they know that if
they do not they will get into trouble. This is,
of course, a form of faith, but it is a weak faith. They
live at a level of serving God only when it is in their best interests to do so.
This is the very accusation that Satan hurled at God when Job
was discussed in
Then Satan answered the Lord, and said,
Job fear God for nothing?
not You made a hedge about him, and
about his house, and about all that he has
on every side? You have
blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
put forth Your hand now, and touch
all that he has, and he will curse
Many people are like that.
The moment blessing ceases,
difficulty or trials
come along, they want to quit. The lack of a
persistent, enduring witness by visible leaders is one of the greatest
discouragements among believers.
The kind of faith that makes the world sit up and take notice
is revealed as we serve God when it is difficult to do so -
when serving Him is the hardest thing we can do. This
is the heart of the Book of Job. Remember
will, but Yours be done."
Luke 22:42 KJV ER
This is what we see in Job. Though
he trembles... though he falters...
though he fails... the final thing he does is cling in helplessness to God.
Job ultimately becomes an example of faith.
Great faith is exercised when we feel we are
being the least faithful. When
we are so weak that we cannot do anything but cling. In
that moment all heaven is looking and rejoicing at the greatness of our faith.
What Does the Bible Say About...?
In this section of the
Reflections Newsletter we answer questions that have been asked.
If you have a question that you would like ask, and do not mind having
printed in the newsletter, (your name will not be mentioned), feel free to
send your question in an email to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, you may call me
anytime by phone at 801.302-1111.
The question for this issue is, "Why
was Jonah so displeased when God spared Nineveh?"
of Jonah is known to almost all of us. Jonah,
who was chosen
by God to preach to Nineveh about God's judgment,
instead went on a cruise in a different direction.
While sailing away from Nineveh, a storm came up
that resulted with Jonah being
thrown overboard. God sent a big fish to swallow
him. Three days and three nights later, the
fish vomited up Jonah. After receiving this
additional motivational training from the Lord, Bleach Boy, Jonah,
proceeded post haste to Nineveh.
In Nineveh, Jonah told the people of the city, "Yet
forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown" (Jonah
3:4). The city repented, but Jonah went to a
hill overlooking the city to see God's judgment fall
upon it. When God spared the city, "it
displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry"
Jonah prayed to God, wherein he acknowledged that
God is gracious and merciful, and he knew that God
would relent from destroying Nineveh. This was
the reason he gave for his disobedience in sailing
to Tarshish. Jonah then asked God to take his
Nineveh was the capitol city of the Assyrian Empire,
a people who were known for their wanton cruelty
toward their enemies, among whom was Israel. A
normal political, cultural, and religious reaction
by an Israelite to the prospect of Nineveh's
destruction would probably have been just that which
Jonah displayed. But God expected more from
His people, and especially from one who He had
chosen to be a prophet.
God responded, again mercifully, by preparing a
gourd, a vine that would provide Jonah with shade as
he continued to wait outside the city for judgment
to fall upon it. But the next day, God sent a
worm that destroyed the gourd, and a scorching wind. Jonah was again
angry, and again prayed for death. God
criticized Jonah for being more concerned about the
gourd than about the people of Nineveh "that
cannot discern between their right hand and their
left hand; and also much cattle?" (Jonah
The Book of Jonah ends with a question mark. God is
asking Jonah, in effect, to see things as He sees
them. Jonah was more concerned about his gourd
withering, causing him discomfort, than he was about
a city of 120,000 potentially perishing by falling
under the hand of God's judgment.
The final aspect of Jonah's experience as related to
his book has applications for us today.
What is our greater will for our enemies; their
annihilation, or their salvation? And are we
allowing our 'stuff', that which God has generously
provided for us, to take priority over our lives and
overshadow the more urgent need of bringing the
Gospel to a lost world? These are some of the
'question marks' that we must place in front of
ourselves as we study the Book of Jonah.
**MEMORY VERSE OF THE
shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you
shall be witnesses to Me both in Jerusalem, and in all
Judaea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.
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