KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Sunday, January 06, 2019
Chapters: Job 8-12
Message: Contending With God
Hello My Friend,
Yesterday was the worst day of the year so far, ironically, people making false judgments about me. I became irritable, dysfunctional, not over that, but the whole day was a mess. Then in the middle of the afternoon I decided to spend the rest of it with God, literally pulled out my prayer book, and of all things learned about a thing called a Scripture cake, in which the ingredients in the cake are within Scripture, and to find them you look up a passage. I even told the devil to get lost, that he is the reason for all this because he’s mad at my exposing him. You know, my day got much better, in fact, I feel better too. And as I was reading the chapters for this morning it got me thinking of how much Jesus contends for me, not in a sense that I fight Him on everything, but that Jesus strives to preserve me. In fact, Jesus contends with all on some level, whether it is we defend or oppose Him. One thing is sure, I rather have Jesus contending for than against me. “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” – II Timothy 2:11-13.
Contend; 1. To strive or debate. 2. To use earnest efforts to obtain, or to defend and preserve. 3. To struggle in opposition. As Christians, we contend with the world every day, while we are not always in heated debates, we face opposition every day, even among each other. So, here is Job, having lost everything he possessed, even his children, laying there covered in boils, wrapped in cloth, and unable to move. They probably watched him, shook their head as he lay there, wondering what he could have done so bad that God struck him so hard. Job finally spoke up, he did not want sympathy or handouts, he wanted some answers, what he got was judgment. And all it took was for one person to contend with Job for others to start contending with him. Bildad speaks in response to Job’s response to Eliphaz, who accused him of being a hypocrite for proclaiming his innocence.
“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:” – Job 8:1-6,20.
“surely now he would awake for thee,” People somehow think of God as this genie in a lamp, He sits there asleep until you rub Him and then He comes out and grants wishes. God does not work that way, He is the one and only living God that knows and sees all. Does He watch every move we make? No. But He does know every move we make, especially if we are His. I am doing these pages on history of churches, and let me tell you, every one of them have issues, people believe and hear what they want. Job was not saying he was perfect, he knew that he was not by far, he just wanted to know why he could not see or hear God in all of this. He responds to Bildad.
“Then Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God? Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not: he passeth on also, but I perceive him not. Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou? If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him. How much less shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.” – Job 9:1-2,11-16.
“yet would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.” How often does God speak to us and we do not hear it? More than we think. Sometimes it seems as though God does nor hear us, but let me tell you, if we are asking Him for something that goes against His will for us, there will be some contending, and He will not listen to that request. He answers us more than we think, it is just that sometimes the answer is no, and whether we oppose what He is doing or even debate Him on matters that we do not agree on, we are contending with God. “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” – I John 5:14.
Job continues, wondering how he would even question God let alone plead his case before Him, if he only had someone who could. “If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead? If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life. This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.” – Job 9:19-22,32-35.
“Neither is there any daysman betwixt us,” We do have a daysman between us, and that is Jesus. He is our contender, our middleman, the one that stands between us and God, He pleads our case, defending us on our behalf for our faith in Him, and it is only through Him that we can even stand before God and speak to Him one on one. “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Romans 8:27.
“according to the will of God.” There is that phrase again. There are times when we do not understand why God does or allows certain things in our lives, we are allowed to talk to Him about it, to ask Him questions, what He does not want us to do is question Him. It is like when we a parent tells a child they cannot do something and the child asks why, then the parent says, “Because I said so.” Sometimes we content with God because our human reasoning cannot always grasp His reasoning, and if we think about it, God contends with us through trials, using them to defend and preserve us. This time Job does speak to God, but not directly.
“My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee. If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction; Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;” – Job 10:1-2,12-15,20-21.
“shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.” Job wants to know why God is fighting him. How do we contend with God? Fears, doubts, hindrances, it does not have to be sin that we contend with Him. But think about what Job is asking, he is confused and wants Him to show him what he did that is causing all this. It is often when people start contending with us that we start to question that maybe God is judging us for something. Job was not being conceded when he said he was perfect, as though he thought he never sinned, even God said he was perfect and upright, but he was perfect in how he lived a moral, godly life. In reality, the only one contending with us is Satan, and since he will do anything to get us to contend with God he will use fear, and doubt, and hindrances. Now, here comes Zophar responding to Job, he is down right appalled at what Job was saying.
“Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him; If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear:” – Job 11:1-6,13-15.
“God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.” This man is telling Job that God is being easy on him, that he is not even getting what he deserves. And this is why Jesus tells us to only judge by righteous judgment, none of us are without sin, and none of us get what we really deserve, if we are honest with ourselves, but that is what grace is for. At this point Job was beside himself, these men were not better than him, who were they to question his morals and falsely accuse him.
“And Job answered and said, No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these? I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening. Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth. With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.” – Job 12:1-4,9-10,13-16.
“the deceived and the deceiver are his.” This sounds familiar, “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” – Romans 9:21. Job had no idea what was going on, but knew God’s hand was in it. He is the Creator of both, those who love and hate Him, and He will use each and every one of us in some way. Let me tell you, I much rather have God use me to contend with the opposition than with me. I imagine if Job simply prayed to God to begin with instead of arguing his case to his friends that he would have found some comfort. God will not contend for us if we do not speak to Him directly. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” – James 4:2-3,8-10.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.” – Job 12:4.
Today’s Prayer: God, It is not always easy dealing with the situations that bring suffering, and people contending with us do not help either. I thank You for watching over me and protecting me, even when am not in Your will, and I thank You for loving me and not giving up on me. Your hand never lets go of me, You are my only peace and comfort when nothing makes sense, the one who fights for me when I am in the boxing ring. Lord, lead me and guide me, let me live a life that is pleasing to You and be the example so many need to find Your Son. When others contend with my faith, give me the strength to stand my ground. As I endure my affliction with You, keep reminding me of the blessings that come as You fight to defend and preserve me. I love You and ask these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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