After God questioned Job about numerous things, He gave Job an opportunity to respond. “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:2) At an earlier time Job had commented that he desired to talk to God about his issues. “Surely I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God.” (Job 13:3) Now, after all that God had said to him, Job must have been humbled a little bit. “Then Job answered the LORD and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” (Job 40:3-5) God desires each one of us to have a humble heart. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10)
Today’s reading: Job 39-40
The chapter we have as Psalm 59 are some of David’s writing about King Saul sending men out to watch his house in order to kill him. He describes this enemy and their plans of evil toward him. Mixed in with the descriptions of them are David’s prayer to God for help. His words show that no matter what happened, he knew God was in control of everything. “But you, O LORD, laugh at them; you hold all the nations in derision.” (Psalms 59:8) He repeatedly calls out to his source of strength and protection. “O my Strength, I will watch for you, for you, O God, are my fortress.” (Psalms 59:9) “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.” (Psalms 59:16) “O my Strength, I will sing praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.” (Psalms 59:17) David’s source of strength and protection is the same one that is available for us today.
Today’s reading: Psalms 57-59
David’s own son Absalom conspired against his father to take over as king. He gained power and then he had soldiers go out to try and kill David. In the battle, Absalom was killed by some of David’s men even though that is not what he had commanded them to do. “And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.” (2 Samuel 18:5) With Absalom being killed, David’s life was spared but that was no comfort to David. “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33) David knew that death on this earth was not the worst thing that could have happened to him. He was much more concerned about the lost soul of his son.
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 15-19
Exodus chapter 25 starts with God telling Moses to ask the people for contributions to build a tabernacle for Him. “The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.” (Exodus 25:1-2) The following verses down thru chapter 28 are very specific instructions on how God wanted this tabernacle and everything in it to be built. The details included sizes, types of wood and other materials, even the color of the garments to be worn by the priests. He also let them know that He would dwell there. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8) So why did God include this level of detail to be preserved in the Bible for us to read today? One reason may be that He wanted us to know the importance of worshiping and honoring Him by following specific details from His word. He probably also wanted them to see the respect that was to be given to the place that He dwelled with them. We can compare this to what we read about His dwelling place with us today. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
Today’s reading: Exodus 25-28
The devil does not leave anyone out with his works of temptation. One of his tactics is to catch his victims at their weakest point. The tempting of our Savior that we read about in Luke chapter 4 happened after Jesus had not eaten for forty days. I can only imagine how weak and hungry a person would be after not eating for that long. What was the first thing the devil tried to get Jesus to do? He challenged him to turn a stone into bread. Jesus did not fall for his tricks and after a few failures, the devil gave up temporarily. “And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.” (Luke 4:13) It is comforting to know that whatever the devil may throw at us, we have a way out. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Today’s reading: Luke 3-4
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians he knew that he might have hurt their feelings a little bit. “For though I made you sorry with my epistle, I do not regret it: though I did regret it (for I see that that epistle made you sorry, though but for a season)” (2 Corinthians 7:8) Even though it might have bothered the people for a short time, Paul’s motive was backed by love for them. “I now rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye were made sorry unto repentance; for ye were made sorry after a godly sort, that ye might suffer loss by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance unto salvation, a repentance which bringeth no regret: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10) Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to get our feelings hurt a little bit if we will look honestly at ourselves and repent when necessary.
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 6-8
Baruch the son of Neriah was a scribe who had written some of the prophecies of Jeremiah and read them publicly in the temple. He was born of nobility as the grandson of Maaseiah, a governor of Jerusalem. Words spoken just for him from God were delivered thru Jeremiah. “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: You said, ‘Woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.’” (Jeremiah 45:2-3) Whether Baruch’s complaining was for things happening specifically to him or for the destruction that was coming upon all the land, God had an answer for him. “And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the LORD. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” (Jeremiah 45:5) God’s promise here to Baruch is that his life will be spared during this time of destruction. At the same time, God also commands him to stop selfishly striving for great personal gain. God wanted Baruch to trust Him and unselfishly do His work without constant complaining. The lesson to Baruch is the same for us today.
Today’s reading: Jeremiah 42-46
Elihu continues his speech to Job with descriptions of God’s majesty. As he is listing these powers, he rhetorically asks Job if he is God’s partner in His work. In the following chapter (38) we read the continued questioning of Job, but this time the questions come from God. Verse 1 tells us that God is talking to Job from a whirlwind and He tells Job to be prepared. “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Job 38:3) I would imagine Job was a little scared at this point since he is being told by God to bring forth his best effort. Like Job, none of us can compare to the majesty of our Heavenly Father. The good news is that we do not have to compare to Him. We just need to be willing to follow Him with all of our being and let Him take care of us.
Today’s reading: Job 37-38
The Psalmist reminds us that no matter what struggles we have on this earth, nothing is beyond God’s power to control. “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22) He also reminds us that God will handle our fears as well. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalms 56:3-4) He makes a similar statement again and again reminds us to give praise to Him and His word. “In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalms 56:10-11) The words of the Psalmist are true; God is our strength and power every day if we will just follow Him.
Today’s reading: Psalms 54-56
David was chosen by God to be king. He was also known as a man after God’s own heart. But there were times when God was not pleased with the things David did. When he had Uriah killed and married Bathsheba, God sent Nathan to talk to David. Nathan told a story of a rich man who needed a lamb to feed his guests so he took one from a certain poor man. The poor man only owned the one lamb and it was like a pet to him. David’s response was one of anger toward the rich man and he told Nathan this man deserved to die. “Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.” (2 Samuel 12:7) Like David, it is usually easier for us to see others faults before we see our own. Jesus teaches us this lesson as well. “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 10-14