Righteous Persecution


King James Bible StudyAnd when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Date: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Chapters: Job 4-7
Message: Righteous Persecution

Hello My Friend,

I received my official letter of employment for my new full-time job that I will begin paid training on Monday. Praise God! When the recruiter called and told me that I had the job I cried for a good half hour, tears of joy and praise to God for seeing me through the past few months and starting the year with a job that I did not have to spend hours driving from store to store, or even deal with grumpy store managers. I get to talk to people over the phone and help them with orders that they placed. Much of my tears has to do with the fact that I know I do not deserve God’s goodness, if He took it all away, and all I had left was the clothes on my back, and Jesus, then that would be all I need. Yet God is so good that His blessings pour out on His perfect and upright servants. I mean, we should be so humble to understand that while our righteousness is, but filthy rags it does bring blessings, [Matthew 5:10-12  Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  12  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.]

If there is anyone’s testimony in the Bible that we can relate to regarding Covid and how it has has now crept in the church and is afflicting faithful pastors and servants of God, it is Job. Remember, God’s perfect and upright are not sinless, they are complete in Christ and never waver in their faith. So, even though they do fail Him, He is faithful and just to forgive them when they confess their sin. It is however a different story when we are doing our best to live as righteously as we can and affliction comes. When God allowed Satan to afflict Job, he did not mess around, after losing his children, and pretty much everything he possessed, he was struck with some disease that left him covered in boils from head to toe, he had to be wrapped up like some mummy, and all he could do was just lay there. Friends came to comfort him, three of them are mentioned here.

[Job 2:11-13  Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.  12  And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.  13  So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.]

[So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights] Okay, so this is from yesterday’s reading, but I added it again. For one week, they all sat there and watched Job, saying not a word to him. Job was the first to speak out in grief, actually wondering why God just left him there. And that was all it took to get the friends to start talking. The first to speak is Eliphaz, and he was not eloquent at all.

[Job 4:1-8,4-12,14-17  Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,  2  If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?  3  Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands.  4  Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees.  5  But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.  6  Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?  7  Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?  8  Even as I have seen,ll my bones to shake.  15  Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:  16  It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. 12  Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. 14  Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made a heard a voice, saying,  17  Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?]

[who ever perished, being innocent?] Eliphaz must have known Job for quite some time and seen how he was always helping people, how righteous he was, and his worth. Somewhere in the back of his mind he had doubts about his integrity, and this was the opportune time to call him out, he just knew he could not have been as righteous as he appeared. This is the typical response of Christians who are envious of others who seem to be blessed with more than them. I will tell you that God’s blessings come in all forms, and it not always wealth, in fact, the greatest blessings come through our afflictions, [II Corinthians 4:17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;]

[Then a spirit passed before my face;] This has Satan’s name written all over it. Remember, God allowed Satan to afflict Job with the disease that he had in an attempt to prove to God that he would turn on Him. When striking him directly did not work, he thought that he could still get him by turning his friends against him. Eliphaz continues, suggesting that God is chastening him and therefore he needs own up to what he has done.

[Job 5:6-8,13,15-17  Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;  7  Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.  8  I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: 13  He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. 15  But he saveth the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.  16  So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.  17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:]

[But he saveth the poor from the sword,] While some to the things that Eliphaz says does have some merit, yes, God does chasten us, sometimes we deserve it, sometimes we do not. If we are honest with ourselves, God is more merciful with us than we deserve because we have gotten away with more things than we care to admit. He is incorrect in claiming that affliction only comes from sin, and until he comes clean He will continue to be chastened, [Hebrews 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.]

Now, Job responds, quite discouraged. The only hope Job sees right now is death, and since his friend basically tells him to take the punishment and like it, he contemplates something, the end of life itself, [Job 6:1-4,26-29  But Job answered and said,  2  Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!  3  For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.  4  For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. 26  Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?  27  Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.  28  Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.  29  Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.]

[for it is evident unto you if I lie.] There is absolutely no benefit to us or anyone to make ourselves into something that we are not. God knows the way that we take, if we are living our lives to please God, then it is not for others to question our righteousness as though we have something to hide because there is some affliction in our lives. I know that it is natural to question, even I have been guilty of wondering what someone may have done when I see them losing one thing after another. I even questioned myself when it starts happening to me. We must understand that it is perfectly fine to talk to someone about sin, and give righteous judgment, it not fine to accuse and judge them. We do not know what they are going through, we need to be careful that we do not add fuel to their fire, and bring them to the point that life is not worth living. This is how Job’s friends made him feel, he felt as though the only comfort would be death.

[Job 7:4-6,11-15,20  When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.  5  My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.  6  My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope. 11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.  12  Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?  13  When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;  14  Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:  15  So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. 20  I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?]

[So that my soul chooseth strangling,] The suicide rate among Christians is astounding, much of this is being pressured to be a certain way as instructed by their religion. Critical judgment comes from envy of what others have, [Romans 14:10,13  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.]

[I have sinned;] Job could not understand why he was going through so much, he knows he is a sinner, but also maintains his righteousness. He earnestly begs for forgiveness of any sins he might have committed that he was unaware of it that was the case. We are all sinners, we must treat everyone the same way, and not be critical of them, even if they do have sin in their lives. Being righteous has nothing to do with knowing every sin written in the Bible or following every law, it is about living our lives in a way that reflects Christ. Now, Jesus is the one person who never sinned, and yet He never boasted about this or treated anyone with disrespect because they had sin in their lives. Of course, He told them not to sin, but He never condemned them, [John 8:10-11  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  11  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.]

Jesus Christ Magnified: [Job 6:10  Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.]

Today’s Prayer: God, I know how blessed I am and how much You have done for me since I put my faith and trust in Your Son as my Saviour. Yes, I have my ups and downs as I still navigate through the life I once lived, as You work in me day by day. When I am being afflicted, I start to question my credibility, but often You are using these things to grow my faith, and keep me faithful. Lord, You are my hope, and You are my strength, to endure every pain, trusting in Your promises. When I see others afflicted, let me not falsely accuse or judge them, rather be a comfort, and a guide to them through their distress. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,


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