Job 13 & 14
Job 13 & 14:
In chapter 13, after strongly rebuking his friends, Job turns his attention directly to God. He is at a loss to understand why all this calamity has come on him. In chapter 14 he talks to God about the frailness of humanity and seems to prepare himself to die, perhaps even yearning for it.
Be sure to read MacArthur’s notes for today’s readings. He jumps ahead to some of the later chapters as he explains that Job’s problem was not the belief that he was righteous, as his friends thought, but his over-familiarity in demanding an answer to why he was suffering such hardship.
We, too, can be tempted to demand answers to our “whys.” While I don’t believe God is put-off by sincere questions from his hurting children, we need to remember that He is God and we are not! Isaiah 55.8-9:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
In chapter 40 we’ll see Job’s reaction after God responded to all his why’s. He said, “I lay my hand over my mouth” (v.4).
So what should we ask when going through a test or trial?
First, we should ask God to help us examine our own lives for reasons.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139.23-24).
Is there some area of unconfessed sin?
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy (Prov. 28.13).
We can ask Him to help us grow in our trial.
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (Jas. 1.2-4).
We should ask for His wisdom to respond righteously to our trial.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (Jas. 1.5-8).
Tests and trials come for many reasons, some because of our own actions and others as a result of living in a sin cursed world. But nothing can happen in our lives that is not first filtered through God’s loving hands. Even when He allows a hardship for his holy purposes, He always mixes it will His blessings and His grace … if we will but look for them.
He promises that those trials will not be more than we can handle if we stay connected to Him and rely on His strength (1 Cor. 10.13). And we can trust His promise to use our trials for good and to help us become more like His Son (Rom. 8.28-29).
Finally, when we think about asking “why,” let’s also ask, “Why His blessings and favor?” and, especially, “Why would His die for us when we were still His enemies?”
He will not cast us off
In verse 14 God promises that He will not cast off His people. Even though this psalm is talking about the Jewish people, in particular, He has made the same promise to us, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13.5b).
Co-signing for loans
These two verses warn us not to take on someone else’s debts—not to co-sign for loans, etc. Instead, if someone is in need we should help them when biblically appropriate and our circumstances allow—give them food and other necessities, or money without expecting to be repaid.
Often, someone we love and care about will ask us to co-sign for them and it seems unloving to refuse. This can be especially difficult when it’s our grown children or others close to us. But often, their situation is the result of bad choices and we can get in the way and short circuit God’s work in their lives. At other times, it’s simply not wisdom for them to take on a debt. We need to trust God’s sovereignty in their lives and His wisdom in ours.
God’s covenant people Israel
Paul reminds us here in our New Testament reading that God has not cast aside His covenant people, the Jews. He has promised there will always be a remnant of faithful Jews.
He has promised He will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her (Gen. 12.3). All of this plays into what is happening in the Middle East today. They are God’s people. We are to pray for Israel as Paul did (Rom. 10.1) and, as a nation, stand with her.
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