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GOD IS OUR SOURCE

We are living in questionable times. Many are concerned about their financial future; especially with the GOP’s massive tax overhaul which will reshape our three-decade tax code. However, as the Holy Spirit reminded me this week, I say to you “God is our source.”
We can be like the children of Israel in the land of Goshen; while the Egyptians were bombarded with plagues they did not share those experiences. Instead of worrying we can start praising and thanking God for his continual provisions.
For me, as I rehearse the scriptures I am encouraged and I believe that is why we are to read and give attention to the Word. So, let me share a few scriptures that inspire me:
So, shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:11). Things may fail around me but I have assurance God’s word will not.
God said to Moses, “I am that, I am” which means to me He is able to be whatever I need Him to be in my life (Exodus 3:14).
The scripture says, “God has not given me the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7) Therefore, I am not going to spend wakeless nights concerned about how I am going to make it.
Jesus told the disciples to ask God to give them their daily bread and take no thought of tomorrow (Matthew 6:11, 34). This is telling me to take one day at a time.
And finally a scripture in Philippians 4:19 that most of us love to quote, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Thusly, I know there is no one richer than Him in the universe and He is concerned about my needs.
I close this blog with this declaration, “I don’t have to worry, neither be afraid; all I have to do is sit back and watch God do His thing for He is our source.”

 

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ISRAEL AND ENDTIME EVENTS

President Trump on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announced plans to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since that time the newscasters are saying, “the peace process is dead between the Palestinians and Israel.” They are also reporting that since the announcement that area has become combustible with clashes going on between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops.
In the past studying and teaching Revelation and eschatology has been a great joy to me and realizing the time in which we live made me feel the rapture of the church was close. I also felt that most of the things that needed to be in place and happening prior to the rapture as stated in the scriptures was happening; however, in my mind I forgot to place emphasis on the events occurring in Israel.
After the rapture the period of tribulation ensues and one of the major occurrences during that time is a treaty between the antichrist and the Jews. For the Jews to be willing to come into agreement with the antichrist there must be a cause, and there must be conflict and heightened unrest.
In the past our news channels have not focused on the daily violence that takes place in Israel, so we are not aware of the continued strife going on between these two groups. However, I do believe that with our President’s announcement and plans for the embassy we will be hearing and seeing more and more fighting in Israel and the polarizing effect that nations and their leaders will be voicing against Israel and the United States.
For those of you that need a greater understanding concerning Revelation or eschatology I invite you to read my extensive Revelation blogs which can be found in the archive. Additionally, we may not understand all that is happening but we are instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalms 122:6-7; Isaiah 62).
I conclude with this statement that I have been repeating throughout this year, “President Trump’s behavior on many levels is horrendous; however, God has allowed him to become our president and I believe he is being used to usher us into the end time.”

JOB SERIES:CHAPTER 42 – THE BLESSED LATTER END

In the earlier chapters of the book of Job, Job listened to his friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) and young associate (Elihu) accusations and recommendations for him to repent which he refused to do because he vehemently professes his innocence. However, after hearing from God and recognizing his previous knowledge of God was from hearsay, he humbly acknowledged his errors and repents.
God addresses Eliphaz the Termanite and informs him of His displeasure toward him, Bildad and Zophar because of the misrepresentation and erroneous statements they made concerning Him. He instructed them to have Job offer up a burnt offering which they provided and have Job pray for them for He would only accept Job’s prayer.
This last chapter ends describing Job’s captivity being turn around after he prayed for his friends. God gave Job a double blessing; he had twice as much as he had before. His relationships with his family and countrymen were mended, his livestock was doubled, and he had seven sons and tree beautiful daughters. The last verse fittingly states Job’s end, “So Job died being old and full of days.”
I believe in the bible we not only find the will of God but directions to handle various situations in our lives. I believe this book teaches believers that we must remain faithful to God, continuously worship and praise Him in the midst of our suffering, and to forgive and pray for those friends that make false accusations about us during our time of suffering.
Additionally, I concluded this blog and series with this these reflections:
1. Man often speaks out of ignorance and without knowledge.
2. Admit when you have spoken unadvisedly.
3. Personal experiences are more impactful than the testimony of others.
4. Personal encounters with God are transforming.
5. Suffering brings a revelation about ourselves.
6. Understanding God’s greatness as compared to man results in repentance and submission.
7. When God finish speaking to us we realize our questions don’t matter.
8. It is futile to argue with God.
9. God may never answer your “whys.”
10. Suffering should not hinder servanthood.
11. After repentance and forgiveness comes blessings.
12. Don’t become discourage during the in-between.
13. God will vindicate you.
14. We are to forgive and pray for those that abuse us and say all manner of evil against us.
15. God is a restorer.
16. God will give you double for your trouble.
17. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning

JOB SERIES: CHAPTERS 38-41 – AND GOD SAID

Everyone has spoken: Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu. Everyone has voiced their theories and opinions on God and Job’s calamities. During these conversations God remained silent and though Job beseeches Him to speak and tell him and his friends the reason he was attacked God said nothing. However, the moment has arrived and God responded to Job but he did not answer Job’s primary question.

Chapter 38 reveals that God answered Job out of a whirlwind and declared His omnipotence, His majesty, His wisdom and His creative work. He questioned Job on his knowledge of astronomy, geography, meteorology, oceanography, the animal kingdom and his impact in the earth. He showed Job in comparison to Him he was insignificant, inefficient, unqualified, powerless and finite. Additionally, in the middle of His discourse God asked Job for answers for the questions he posed to him and Job realizing his foolishness confessed his vileness and said nothing else. Finally, God closes this dialogue describing two remarkable creations: the behemoth and the leviathan and challenges Job’s ability to control these creatures which he could not do.

I concluded this blog with these reflections

  1. God responds to man in His time.
  2. God does not have to answer to anyone concerning what He does.
  3. God is not obligated to answer your questions or concerns.
  4. God is benevolent and He is in control of this world.
  5. You may never know why you suffered.
  6. Through suffering God leads man into a deeper understanding of His greatness.
  7. But for the mercies of God we are not consumed.
  8. Humanity must humble themselves before divinity.
  9. There is only one supreme being and He is not man.

 

JOB SERIES: CHAPTERS 32- 37 – SPEECHES OF ELIHU

In chapters 4-31 Job and his three friends engaged in three cycles of debatable speeches and now chapters 32 introduces Elihu the Buzite a young man who apparently has been waiting on the sidelines to join in the conversation. The bible nor commentaries give much background information on this young man; however, most agree he is overconfident in his own wisdom, arrogant in his presentation, angry with Job’s critics for failing to answer him satisfactorily, and disturbed that Job questioned the justice of God’s actions.

Elihu declared himself to be a neutral bystander that wanted Job and his friends to listen to what he had to say. Elihu shared his belief that God uses dreams, visions, secret inspirations, messengers, and suffering for instructional purposes to bring sinners to Him; rather than punishment. Also he continued with the theme that Job had sinned and needed to repent; thusly, restoring his physical health and reuniting him spiritually to God. Furthermore, throughout his speech he extols the sovereignty, omniscience and brilliance of God while telling Job that he is nothing and God who is just will judge him in His time.

I conclude this blog with these reflections:

  1. You would be surprise who is listening to you.
  2. People will standby and listen to your conversation; waiting for an opportunity to interject their opinions/thoughts.
  3. Words are powerful, be careful of what comes out of your mouth.
  4. Young people want to share their knowledge.
  5. It is respectful for young individuals to give their seniors an opportunity to speak first.
  6. When addressing people be mindful of your tone.
  7. Everyone has an opinion whether expressed or not.
  8. Suffering is not just retributive.
  9. Verbosity is a turn off.
  10. There is a lesson to be learned from all experiences.
  11. Repentance when needed is always in order.

JOB SERIES: CHAPTERS 22-31 – THIRD CYCLE OF DEBATABLE SPEECHES

In this third and final cycle of debatable speeches only two of Job’s friends speak and in return as previously seen Job gives a rebuttal speech to each of them.

Eliphaz begins this cycle continuing his argument that Job sinned; however, this time he makes innumerable charges on how Job sinned by mistreating those that were poor and defenseless. He ends his argument by exhorting Job to get in right relationship with God which would cause God’s favor to return to him.

Job shares his thoughts that God’s presence has been absent from his life, that he desires to find Him and present his case to Him, that he does not comprehend how God works for life is not fair and he further asserts that the wicked who appear to flourish though their deeds are evil will ultimately receive their due.

Bildad answers Job in this cycle with a short speech which highlights the power, majesty and wisdom of God and he suggested in God’s sight no man is perfect.

In Job’s final reply to his friends he maintains his innocence, reveals his desire for wisdom on how God operates, and makes this profound statement in Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding.” Also, he reflects on the time he was prospering, laments on his present state and he concludes with a list of his favorable acts which display his positive ethical behavior.

I conclude this blog with these reflections:

  1. As I said in my previous blog people will wrongly judge you and accuse you of things that you have not done.
  2. When people have their mind made up concerning something it is hard to convince them otherwise.
  3. Don’t waste your time trying to convince people who you are, just be yourself.
  4. God may not respond to your turmoil; he may not answer your pleas to be heard when you want him too; instead God will speak in His time.
  5. The key to wisdom is fearing/reverancing God.
  6. Despite all that you may be experience, don’t stop pursuing God.
  7. God is merciful and long suffering in his dealing with man; He does not mete out judgement swiftly.
  8. In comparison to the majesty and awesomeness of God man is nothing.
  9. When administered correctly your words can bring help, healing, and hope.
  10. Suffering can make you bitter or better.

JOB SERIES: CHAPTERS 15-21 – SECOND CYCLE OF DEBATABLE SPEECHES

In the previous chapters Job’s friends gave him their unsolicited opinions concerning his sufferings and in response Job maintaining his innocence expressed his hurt and displeasure of their words. Not to be deterred in their attack of his character Job’s friends continue defending their position with more accusations and verbal abuse.

Still believing Job’s suffering was the result of sin Eliphaz the Temanite begins the second cycle of debatable speeches. He questions Job’s wisdom and accuses him of haughtiness and heresy.

Job addresses his unsympathetic friends by telling them he would be a better comforter to them if they were in his position than they are to him. He shares with them his physical pain and what he feels God is doing to him. He ends with a plea for an intercessor on his behalf.

Then Bildad the Shuhite accuses Job of insulting their intelligence and thinking they were ignorant. He compares Job’s downfall to a beast that is hunted and caught in a trap and further states that because of his wickedness he will not be remembered in the earth.

The opinion voiced by his friends that he was a sinner frustrated Job and he tells them they have no proof of this claim and their friendship is questionable. He also shares with them his loneliness for his brethren, kinfolk, and friends who are no longer present in his life and the actions of his household members who no longer treat him with respect. Despite all the opposition and emotional turmoil that Job felt he was able to declared this hope, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25-26).

Not to be stopped from speaking his thoughts Zophar the Naamathite rehashes the fate of the wicked, their short period of happiness, the dooming results of sin and the violent end of the sinner.

In his last reply in this second cycle of debatable speeches, Job unwilling to accept the fate predicted to sinners as stated by his friends declares his belief that the wicked spend their days in wealth and die peacefully. Job is bewildered about his condition, in continuous physical pain and wants things to end.

I conclude these chapters with these reflections:

  1. Many believe the wicked are punished and the righteous are blessed.
  2. People can misjudge you and falsely accuse you.
  3. Treat people like how you want to be treated.
  4. Under pressure you may experience jumble thoughts and fluctuating emotions.
  5. Don’t be hasty to jump to conclusions based on opinions rather than facts.
  6. During your time of suffering people may turn their back on you.
  7. Don’t place your confidence in flesh.
  8. In life everyone needs someone to intercede on their behalf.
  9. Sometime silence is golden.
  10. It is not necessary to respond to everything people say to you.

 

JOB SERIES: CHAPTERS 4-14 – FIRST CYCLE OF DEBATABLE SPEECHES

As I said in my previous blog Satan is no longer in the picture. Job is now in the hands of his dear friends who sat with him for seven days without uttering a word; however, since he voiced his sentiments (Job 3) his friends feel at liberty to speak.

As it is in all our lives when we experience problems we question “why” and we try to determine what happened in our lives to bring about the problems. We not only do this to ourselves but to others that we see are experienced hardship. Job’s friends will now begin to express their feelings on why Job is in this predicament.

Job chapter four through thirty-one shares three cycles of debatable speeches that take place between Job and his three friends, and for the next several weeks I will share a synopsis of each one of these cycles starting with the first cycle which is found in chapters four through fourteen. In these debates each one of Job’s friends expresses their opinion of Job’s suffering with Job responding to what he heard.

Eliphaz the Temanite who is believed to be the eldest of Job’s friends addressed Job first by reminding him that when others were in trouble Job would give them council and now it was his turn to receive it and to apply the council he had given to others to himself. Eliphaz suggested since the innocent did not suffer Job must be guilty; therefore, he recommends Job to repent of his sins so that God would restore him. Also, he supports his opinion with a fearful vision that he previously experienced about God’s supremacy over man.

Job believed Eliphaz was condemning him because of the sentiments he voiced and he expresses his disappointment in his friends’ inability to emphasize with him. Again he declares his innocence and ends his response talking about the physical pain he is experiencing, his wish to die and asking God to reveal to him his sins.

Next to speak was Bildad the Shuhite who implied Job’s children died because of their sins; however, if Job was righteous his suffering would soon end for God does not pervert justice. He recommended Job seek God who embraces the guiltless and rewards them accordingly.

Job responded to Bildad by acknowledging God’s justice and man’s sinfulness and states his belief that God destroys both the wicked and the innocent. Job ends his response to Bildad maintaining his innocence while further appealing to God for mercy, lamenting over being born and welcoming death.

Finally, Zophar the Naamathite who was the youngest of the friends severely reproves Job by telling him the suffering he experienced should have been greater for the sins he committed and he encourages Job to repent which will cause God to forgive, restore and banish his fears and sufferings.

Job ends this cycle of debate telling his friend their words were not comforting and they were forgers of lies, physicians with no value, and deceitful defenders of God. Then Job addresses God emphasizing his mortality and weakness and request God not to leave him. He makes a declaration that all of us need to adhere to in chapter 13:15a, “Thou He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Additionally, he makes I believe two crucial statements in chapter fourteen. The first speaks to the life of every individual born on this earth, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble” (14:1) and the second is wise council “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (14:14).

I conclude this blog with these reflections:

  1. Our conclusions to “why” is often wrong.
  2. Friends are not always comforting.
  3. Don’t despair and lose faith in God.
  4. Humans are frail beings.
  5. Left to our own thoughts and devises we will go astray.
  6. When we are in trouble we want to hear from God.
  7. Though God may be silent, he is still present.
  8. God does not necessarily respond to us during our time of suffering.
  9. Suffering and righteous exist simultaneously.
  10. Desolation can be magnified over time.
  11. Trouble will come into everyone’s life.
  12. Don’t give up but patiently wait for change to come.

JOB SERIES: CHAPTER 3 – CONCEPTION WISH

In life we often credit Satan for any problems that we may be experiencing but as I examined the Word I have come to realize that many of our problems are not orchestrated by Satan but by us human beings with our sinful natures. In chapters one and two of Job God gives Satan permission to afflict Job with various calamities and suffering and if you read my blog for those chapters you will understand how Satan meant to destroy Job through the spirit of oppression, for he plied the problems on deliberately and methodically.

For the remainder of the book of Job Satan is no longer in the picture and Job is now in the hands of his dear friends. Following the customs of the time Job’s three friends sat with him for seven days without uttering a word and waited for Job to speak before they engaged him in conversation. It is in chapter three that Job starts speaking with cursing the day he was conceived and seven times in this chapter he asks the question that most of us ask when there is upheaval in our lives, “why.”

As he laments and voices the sentiments of his heart there appears to be a downward progression of his thoughts starting with a conception wish. All who greatly suffered can attest the fact, experiencing painful events is often times unbearable and leads many to suicidal ideations and/or wishing they were never born. This is the point Job is at, he wishes he was never conceived nor born and that his birth day was taken out of the calendar. However, since he was born why didn’t he die during the delivery due to complications or mishandling? Also, Job felt any happiness about his conception or birth by God or parents should be discarded for these were in essence times of gloominess, darkness and void of light. Plus, to take it a step further he wished the world was not created and then for sure he would not exist.

In his present excruciating painful experiences Job wonders why he hasn’t died for life in pain is not worth living and he believed there was a degree of rest for the deceased; therefore, we welcomed death. Job concludes his lamenting with this revealing statement, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came (Job 3:25-26). Apparently, Job feared something disastrous was going to happen in his life despite his efforts to live a godly life and now his fears had come to fruition.

I conclude this chapter with these reflections:

  1. Create an environment in which people feel safe to express themselves.
  2. Allow grieving and hurting people to voice their pain without criticism or judgement.
  3. Sometimes all you must do is sit and listen.
  4. Guard your heart and mind for the enemy wants to create chaos in them.
  5. When you speak always respect God.
  6. Pain and loss can lead you to despair and a death wish.
  7. Some prefer death to release them from their anguish.
  8. Sometimes we wish we were never born.
  9. Death comes to all; there is no escape from it.
  10. Some believe after death there is no pain.
  11. Fear must be rejected or it will control your life.

Every living person will experience trouble

JOB SERIES: CHAPTER 2 – THE ULTIMATE AFFLICTION

Since God is omniscient He knew how Job would respond to Satan attacks; He knew despite his suffering Job would remain faithful. Satan being limited in his knowledge assumed Job would react negatively and curse God; however, this as he predicted did not happen. In chapter one Satan attempted to oppress and overwhelm Job with a series of calamities which he grieved and then worshipped God.

Chapter two opens with another scene in heaven where once again Satan is present with other angelic beings. God questions Satan concerning his activity and receives the same response as in the previous chapter. Once again God affirms Job’s righteous character and admits He had no cause to harm Job. Wanting to be right in his estimation of man and still not convinced of Job’s integrity Satan said, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face (Job 2:4-5). God grants Satan his desire to afflict Job physically but restrains him from killing him. Consequently, Satan smites Job and loathsome sores cover his whole body causing Job to go and sit near a pile of dung ashes and garbage outside the city.

Instead of offering comfort and encouragement Job’s wife added to his agony by lamenting, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God, and die.” Job rebuked his wife, acknowledged that man can receive both positive and negative things from God, and he remained faithful in not sinning with his lips.

The chapter ends with the visitation of three friends: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. Upon hearing the calamities that Job had experienced his friends traveled from abroad to console and comfort Job. When they saw him they were dismayed; thusly, for seven days which is custom of that day, they sat with Job silently in a sympathetic act of grief.

I conclude this chapter with these reflections:

  1. Satan has access to heaven.
  2. Satan must report his activities to God.
  3. Unbeknownst to mankind God is talking to Satan about him.
  4. Sometimes God allows Satan to attack believers without a just cause and he can only do what God permits.
  5. Sin may not be the reason why you are experiencing suffering.
  6. Satan believes man will willingly sacrifice everything dear to him if it means his life is spared.
  7. Satan believes man can accept various calamities without much complaining but if his body is touched he will react negatively.
  8. Under extreme circumstances the closet person to you may foolishly encourage you to reject God.
  9. No matter what happens steadfastly maintain your integrity.
  10. When comforting and consoling a grieving person, it is good to just sit and not speak.
  11. Sometimes your presence being seen is better than your voice being heard.