A Faint Word

A Faint Word033

“Behold, these are the fringes of His ways;

And how faint a word we hear of Him!

But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

Job 26:14, NASB

In this twenty-sixth chapter, Job sits blanketed with ashes and his body covered in boils. The loss of his family, servants, and possessions followed by the harassment of his poor counselors remain open wounds. Yet, a beautiful poem showers the name of the Lord with power, wisdom, and wonder. In conclusion, Job comments—

 “And how faint a word we hear of Him!”

God revealed himself to Job through creation. Job expresses this thought several times throughout his suffering. Yet, he concludes the understanding of the Almighty to be faint, but enough to produce a great faith.

Throughout the Old Testament we see this theme replayed and expanded upon, as the voice of the Lord slowly opens the heavens to allow us to see him.

“Many, O LORD my God,

are the wonders which Thou hast done,

And Thy thoughts toward us;

There is none to compare with Thee;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They would be too numerous to count …

In the year of King Uzziah’s death,

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted,

with the train of His robe filling the temple.

Seraphim …called out to another and said,

“Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts,

The whole earth is full of His glory.”

Psalm 40:5;Isaiah 6:1,3, NASB

Hundreds of years pass and the Lord’s voice grows louder.

“And after being baptized,

Jesus went up immediately from the water;

and behold, the heavens were opened,

and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove,

and coming upon Him,

and behold, a voice out of the heavens saying,

“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 3:16-17, NASB

Jesus, as the living Word of God, gave further revelation of the Father. He told Philip—

“Have I been so long with you,

and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?

He who has seen Me has seen the Father—

  • He is the radiance of His glory
  • and the exact representation of His nature,
  • and upholds all things by the word of His power.
  • When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;” John 14:9; Hebrews 1:3, NASB

The Lord gave John the rumblings of thunder to leave us with until the final revelation comes to pass.

“But His mighty thunder, who can understand?”

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ,

which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants,

the things which must shortly take place;

and He sent and communicated it by His angel

to His bondservant John,

who bore witness to the word of God

and to the testimony of Jesus Christ

even to all that he saw.

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear

the words of the prophecy,

and heed the things which are written in it;

for the time is near …

And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God,

all you His bond-servants,

you who fear Him,

the small and the great.”

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude

and as the sound of many waters

and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah!

For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”

Revelation 1:1-3; 19:5-6, NASB

The Almighty has taken us, along with Job, from a “faint word” to “His mighty thunder.”  And one day there will be no more questions. We will see the Lord as He is, in the radiance of His glory. We are without excuse.

“And he said to me,

“These words are faithful and true …

And behold, I am coming quickly.

Blessed is he

who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Revelation 22:6a,7, NASB

The next time the thunder rumbles—think on these things, look to the sky, our redemption may be very near.

A Fainting Heart

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“My flesh and my heart faileth:

but God is the strength of my heart,

and my portion for ever.”

Psalm 73:26, KJV

He sat covered in dust and ashes scraping the oozing sores spread across his body. He no longer had strength to swat at the swarming flies or the gnats eating from his abscessed putrid skin. The drone of his useless comforters irritated his ears worse than the insects.

Job’s mind replayed the first day of his suffering. The loss of his possessions and his position among his friends meant little. But the pain of losing his ten children shredded his heart. Only the thread of hope for God’s vindication would hold the pieces together. This Job held onto tenaciously.

“And as for me,

I now that my Redeemer lives,

And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.

Even after my skin is destroyed,

Yet from my flesh I shall see God;

Whom I myself shall behold,

And whom my eyes shall see and not another.

My heart faints within me.”

Job 19:25-27, NASB

We get a midnight call—there’s been an accident.

We listen to the doctor give a daunting diagnosis.

We lose a loved one.

A friend betrays us.

We walk a painful journey day after day that promises only one end.

Any one of these situations lends to a weariness of mind, heart, and strength. Job faced them all within a short time frame. Yet, he found strength in the knowledge of his Redeemer.

When we, like Job, come to the end of our strength, when our heart just can’t take anymore, we have a Redeemer. Jesus has taken our suffering on his shoulders and shared his strength with us. He is our strength and our portion, our inheritance. With Christ we can do this.

“For which cause we faint not;

but though our outward man perish,

yet the inward man is renewed day be day.

For our light affliction,

which is but for a moment,

worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-17, KJV

Job received his reward and we will too. Suffering has its, end, purpose, and its reward.

Suffering’s End:

It came in a moment and suffering’s end is a moment away. And the Lord is faithful to keep us until that moment comes.

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation

ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice,

though now for a season, if need be,

ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations;”

1 Peter 1:5,6, KJV

Trials come with this world—it’s broken. But for the child of God our trials serve a purpose.

“Knowing this,

  • that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
  • But let patience have her perfect work,
  • that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing …
  • though it be tried with fire,

might be found unto praise and honour and glory

at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

James 1:3-4; 1 Peter 1:7b, KJV

Suffering’s reward: Our pain is temporal, even when the end stretches out before us on a seemingly endless road. Like Job we want it to stop for our pain masks the reward—the revelation of Jesus in us to others, that gives them hope, while still walking in this world.

“But we all,

with open face beholding as in a glass

the glory of the Lord,

are changed into the same image

from glory to glory,

even as by the Spirit of the Lord …

Always bearing about in the body

the dying of the Lord Jesus,

that the life also of Jesus

might be made manifest in our body.”

2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:10, KJV

Faithfully enduring the suffering of this world reaps reward now and for all eternity.

‘But as it is written,

EYE HATH NOT SEEN,

NOR EAR HEARD,

NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN,

THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED

FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM.

But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10, KJV

When the end of your trial has wearied your heart, remember

  • Christ in you is your strength.
  • Suffering has its end, a moment in time,
  • a purpose, refining the image of Christ in you,
  • and a reward—Christ himself being your portion, your reward.

“I will not leave you comfortless:

I will come to you.”

John 14:18

Living in Hope

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We know what we know, but our journey with the Lord takes us step by step into the unknown, where He faithfully reveals more of himself to those who seek him. This knowledge is not for us to gain vast volumes of facts about our God or be able to quote numerous scripture verses. Our Lord gives knowledge to draw us closer to himself, transform us into the image of Christ, and make him known to others. Some will hear, others will not, and still others, like Job’s friends, think they already have all the answers. With true knowledge comes hope.

Job stated what he knew. His mind and his heart stood totally convinced, when he said—

“And as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives …

Job didn’t have the New Testament to show him Jesus. He may not have had any written word at all. He did have creation and it’s probable, the spoken testimony of Adam and Eve passed down to the generations after them.

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman,

and between thy seed and her seed;

it shall bruise thy head,

and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Genesis 3:15, KJV

Or in his times of worship and seeking the Lord, God revealed himself and his plan little by little to Job. Whatever the case, Job saw, by eyes of faith, his Redeemer living. He was before Job and with Job.

“In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him;

and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life:

and the life was the light of men …

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”

John 1:1-3;Hebrews 13:8, KJV

Like Job, we see our living Redeemer with eyes of faith. A dead redeemer can only save for a moment in time. In the grave he can no longer speak on another’s behalf. He would return to dust, and we would be left without hope.

  • “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain;
  • ye are yet in your sins.
  • Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
  • if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” 1 Corinthians 15: 17-19, KJV

Our Redeemer lives!

“BUT(my capitalization) now is Christ risen from the dead …

thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ …

Fear not:

I am the first and the last:

I am he that liveth, and was dead;

and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen …

”1 Corinthians 15:57; Revelation 1:17b-18a, KJV

Because Jesus Christ is the living Son of God, our blessed Redeemer, we know with Job—

“at the last He will take His stand on the earth …

“Behold, he cometh with clouds;

and every eye shall see him,

and they also which pierced him:

and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.

Even so, Amen.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending

saith the Lord,

which is, and which was, and which is to come,

the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:7-8, KJV

Job sees his Redeemer as he declared.

“Even after my skin is destroyed,

Yet from my flesh,

I shall see God;

Whom I myself shall behold,

And whom my eyes shall see and not another …”

Job 19:26-27aNASB

And so shall we.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God,

and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:

but we know that, when he shall appear,

we shall be like him;

for we shall see him as he is.”

1 John 3:2, KJV

  • Because our Redeemer lives we have no fear in judgement.
  • We are not left alone.
  • We live in hope even when the world seems hopeless.
  • He will one day stand on the earth and reign in righteousness.
  • Until then we live in hope, for our Redeemer is—

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”


When hope seems lost—look up—your Redeemer draws near.

I Know

I KnowDSCF0089

“For I know

that my redeemer liveth,

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”

Job 19:25, KJV

Supposedly, an eleven-year-old science prodigy, a college graduate, has discovered a theory that proves God does exist. To listen to him talk, I realize I know very little when it comes to science.

I may not be able to offer logical proof of God’s existence, but my lack of scientific knowledge does not change what I know about God—nor did Job’s lack of scientific knowledge, or his friends abusive words, change what Job knew. What Job knew we all can know.

Believing God to be the creator of all things, including science, I know science cannot disprove God’s existence. The revelation of God for Job, for me, and most comes through the written word of God, the living Word of God, and the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

For I know …

“ye have known him that is from the beginning … 

for by him were all things created,

that are in heaven, and that are in earth,

visible and invisible,

whether they  be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:

all things were created by him, and for him …

 Because that which may be known of God

is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him

from the creation of the world are clearly seen,

being understood by the things that are made,

even his eternal power and Godhead;

so that they are without excuse.”

(1 John 2:13b;Colossians 1:16; Romans 1:20, KJV)

The science of creation testifies to the power and wisdom of God. Look around and see the beauty of God mirrored the soft gentle beauty of a flower, the power of God revealed in a volcano’s eruption, a hurricanes wrath, or at the makeup of a person and see the image of our triune God.

For I know …

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us …

‘For God so loved the world,

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,

but have everlasting life …

But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”

John 3:16;Romans 5:8,

For I know …

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,

because he hath given us of his Spirit.

And we have seen and do testify

that the Father sent the Son

to be the Saviour of the world.

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God.

God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

God is love;

and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God,

and God in him.”

1John 4:13-16, KJV

For I know …

  • Our God is one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
  • Our God is from before the beginning and created the beginning
  • Our God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent
  • Our God is love and loves us with an everlasting love
  • Our God gave his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, so we could dwell with him.

For I know …

  • “that the Son of God is come,
  • And hath given us an understanding, that
  • We may know him that is true,
  • And we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ.

This is the true God, and eternal life.

Job knew his redeemer lives. We will look at that more next time. What do you know?

In His Hands

In His Hands

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“So the LORD said to Satan,

“Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”

Job 2:6

What keeps a person hoping when trials are heaped against him like one stone on top of another—until the only place to look is up?

After chapter two of Job one character is conspicuously absent from every conversation. His handiwork casts Job into a pit he cannot understand. He feels God’s hand is against him as an enemy. His friends berate him without mercy, blaming him for the mess he is in. Not once does Job blame Satan for the troubles that have come to him. The closest he comes to recognizing another hand involved with God is when, in desperation, Job cries out,

The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;

He covers the faces of its judges.

If it is not He, then who is it?”

Job 9:24

But as the words come from his mouth, Job rhetorically states someone had to give the earth into wicked hands. His conclusion—it had to be God.

Truth is if it is not God, we are all in big trouble. We would be left on our own or at the whims of Satan. But, ultimately, God is sovereign, ruling over all, setting boundaries for nature, man, and the devil.

When we don’t understand, any better than Job, why God allows some severe trials and others relative ease, nor why wickedness prospers for a time, or why suffering comes to the righteous, we can say with the psalmist David,
“Incline Thine ear to me, rescue me quickly.

Be Thou to me a rock of strength,

A stronghold to save me …

Into Thy hand I commit my spirit;

Thou has ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth.”

Psalm 31:2,3,5, NASB

Of course, the quick rescue rarely comes fast enough for our impatient spirit, but when we place our spirit in God’s hands, we are assured by his truth, he will save us, even as he did Job, David, and Jesus.

As Jesus hung on the cross, he felt in his humanness as if God had abandoned him.

“And Jesus, crying out with a  loud voice, said,

“Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” 

And having said this, He breathed His last.”

Luke 23:46, NASB

The Father heard Jesus’s cry and delivered him—into death—to deliver him, and all who believe, out of death.

We have a choice, commit our spirit into God’s hands or the hands of the wicked one. When we place our lives in God’s hands we are promised—

“My Father, who has given them to Me,

is greater than all;

  • and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand …
  • The LORD will protect you from all evil;
  • He will keep your soul.
  • The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in
  • From this time forth and forever …
  • So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked,
  • And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”

John 10:28; Psalm 121:7-8; Jeremiah 15:21 NASB

When we commit our spirit into the hands of the wicked one, we may enjoy the season of sin for awhile but know, “the wages of sin is death.”

May we choose wisely to—

“present our bodies

a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God,

which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Romans 12: 1b, NASB

A sacrifice of praise:

“Blessed art Thou,

O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness and the power

and the glory and the victory and the majesty,

indeed everything, that is in the heavens, and the earth;

Thine is the dominion, O LORD,

and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all.

Both riches and honor come from thee,

and Thou dost rule over all,

and in Thy hand is power and might

and it lies in Thy hand

to make great, and to strengthen everyone.

Now therefore, our God,

we thank thee, and praise Thy glorious name.”

1 Chronicles 29:10b-13, NASB

Job continued to commit his spirit to the Lord through all he suffered. David facing his many enemies committed his spirit into God’s hands. The Lord Jesus, knowing he walked in the Father’s will, committed his spirit to his Father. May we do the same knowing—

“You are from God, little children,

and have overcome them;

because greater is He who is in you

than he who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4, NASB

This is what keeps hope alive when the trials of life surround us. Look up. Your redemption draws near.


What scripture do you look to when needing a fresh dose of hope?

Eyes of Flesh

Eyes of flesh

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“Hast Thou eyes of flesh?

Or dost Thou see as a man sees?”

Job 10:4, NASB

Job’s three friends had some of their theology concerning God correct, but lost out in the application of it. They applied their knowledge to what they saw before them—a man ravaged by tragedies. We can all agree, God will and does punish sin. Job’s friends failed to remember the man before tragedy struck and—that God sees beneath the surface and into the heart.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him;

for God sees not as man sees,

for man looks at the outward appearance,

but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1Samuel 16:7

Now, the words of Job’s friends made him wonder if, in fact, God did see him as his friends saw him. Their words added to Job’s pain. But when Job asked,

“Hast Thou eyes of flesh?

Or dost Thou see as a man sees?

Are Thy days as the days of a mortal,

Or Thy years as man’s years,

That Thou shouldst seek for my guilt, and search after my sin?”

Job 10:4-6, NASB

As Job spoke these questions, not knowing whether God was even listening, I imagine the proverbial light beginning to brighten in his mind with the answer—of course, God doesn’t see things as mere humans see them. That is why Job could assert with confidence,

“According to Thy knowledge I am indeed not guilty …”

Even in his assertion, Job didn’t understand why deliverance hadn’t come, but he did stand fast in what he knew. He had done nothing that resulted in his calamity. He wasn’t guilty. He just wanted to know why deliverance hadn’t come.

Jesus must have felt much the same way when He hung on the cross and cried out, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?” Mark15:34b, NASB

Personal sin had not caused Job’s or Jesus’s suffering. Both cried out for and both received deliverance.

Living on this side of the cross, we, as children of God, can know that when suffering comes to us, whether from personal sin or sin’s presence in this world,

  • it is not to destroy our faith but increase it.
  • We are not at the mercy of the tempter, who has no mercy,
  • nor at the strength of our flesh which is weak.
  • We are in the hands of our loving, gracious, heavenly Father who understands what we are experiencing,
  • because, yes, through Jesus Christ, he experienced being a man and being judged  by eyes of flesh.
  • Yes, he understands what it is to live and die as a mortal. He understands because,

“He had to be made like His brethren in all things,

that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest

in things pertaining to God,

to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

For since He Himself was tempted

in that which He has suffered,

He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

Hebrews 2:17,18, NASB

As surely as Job received deliverance, deliverance has come to us through Jesus, for God—

“delivered us from the domain of darkness,

and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:13-14; NASB 

And we can state with the confidence of Job—

“According to Thy knowledge I am indeed not guilty …”

 and with the faith of the apostle Paul—

“The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed,

and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom;

to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

2 Timothy 4:18, NASB

In one moment suffering struck Job. In one moment, he was delivered—better off, both spiritually, and materially, than when he began.


What do you learn from Job? From Job’s friends?

In the Morning

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The accepted belief in the days of Job sounds like the belief expounded in our culture. People’s abundance and well-being indicated their personal integrity and God’s favor on their lives. If trouble came, you were sick, or facing any number of other adversities, sin dwelt on your doorstep.

Job’s friends proved to add more trouble to a man whose life had crashed down on him in one day. Yet, Job held to his relationship with the Lord.

“I have not denied the words of the Holy One.”

Job 6:10b, NASB

Job’s life gave witness to his testimony. His well-meaning but wrong friends, would not change Job’s confidence. He didn’t know why these things came upon him, but time, patience, and the words of God would prove Job’s integrity before the Lord.

Job’s knowledge of God, after adversity, gave him a more personal relationship with the Lord. Job testified, before being restored—

  • “I know that Thou canst do all things …
  • I have declared that which I did not understand,
  • Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know …
  • instruct me.
  • I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear;

But now my eye sees Thee. I retract, I repent.”

(From Job 42:2-6, NASB)

We are told the Lord accepted Job and restored him. Now Job could give witness with the Psalmist.

“O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me …

thou hast brought up my soul from the grave:

thou hast kept me alive,

that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his,

and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

For his anger endureth but a moment;

in his favour is life:

weeping may endure for a night,

but joy cometh in the morning …

  • But I will sing of thy power;
  • yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning:
  • for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
  • Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing:
  • for God is my defence, and
  • the God of my mercy.”(Psalm 30:2-5; Psalm 59:16,17, KJV)

Job had heard and believed in the LORD, but now he had personally experienced  the wonders of this omnipotent, omniscient God, who delivered him and graced his life with so much favor.

As a result of Job’s experience, we know the Lord will do the same for us. I am not speaking of the increase of material wealth as some preach today, although He may. I am speaking of a greater measure of the spiritual riches of the Lord.

After walking with Mom through dementia, hearing her cries for deliverance, sitting with her in prayer, and reading the scriptures, I know the Lord brought me a greater understanding of his love, his mercy, and his faithfulness. I don’t ever wish to go through those times again, but I am thankful the Lord took us through them. He strengthened me, and answered our cries. He gave Mom joy in the morning.

Job and Mom are now among the great cloud of witnesses encouraging us, in the long, hard trials of life, to keep—

“Looking unto Jesus

the author and finisher of our faith:

who for the joy that was set before

him endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2, KJV

And as we look to Jesus and are strengthened, may we remember,

“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.

Wherefore

lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;

And make straight paths for your feet,

lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;

but let it rather be healed.”

Hebrews 12:11-13,KJV

Who will the Lord put in your path to lift up? Helping another strengthens both the recipient, and the giver.

 

Like A Roaring Lion

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A rainbow glowing with the brightness of an emerald encased the throne of the LORD. A brilliant white light like a rare diamond and a magnificent luminous red sardius shone forth the glory of the LORD himself—the One who sat upon the throne.

By ranks and troops his angels presented themselves before him, kneeling and crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy, the LORD of hosts ...” All kneeled and cried out—all but one.

‘“And the LORD said to Satan,

“Where have you come from?”

Then Satan answered the LORD and said,

“From roaming about on the earth, and walking around on it.”

And the LORD said to Satan,

“Have you considered My servant Job?

For there is no one like him on the earth,

a blameless and upright man

fearing God

and turning away from evil.

And he still holds fast his integrity,

although you incited Me against him,

to ruin him without cause.”’

Job 2:2,3, NASB

The war of good and evil began before time, entered the creation made by our Father God, and continues today—even though the outcome was made known before God expelled Adam and Eve from the lush garden he provided for them.

“And the LORD God said to the serpent …

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Genesis, 3:14a, 15, NASB

The battle has always been between God and Satan. I’m not sure of the timeline, but believe the devil our accuser was cast out of heaven after Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. He can no longer accuse God’s chosen ones, for Christ  stands for us as his own, bought and paid for in full by his precious blood.

But in Job’s day the accuser appeared before the LORD to answer for his deed. He roamed the earth seeking worshippers of the LORD with intent to destroy them. His purpose was and is to discredit God’s wisdom and power to keep us. He can only attack God through his people, making us the battleground. Knowing Satan’s strategy, we are to—

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.

Your adversary, the devil,

prowls about like a roaring lion,

seeking someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8, NASB

This pretentious roaring lion seeks to steal our faith, kill our spirit, and destroy the Lord’s character. He still wants the throne.

Job was unaware he was the battleground Satan tried to capture. The devil set out to prove the only reason Job worshipped God hung on the LORD working according to Job’s knowledge and receiving only good. Then God would have been wrong in his judgment of Job, his wisdom brought into question, and his power not enough to keep Job.

Not being God’s equal in any form, Satan underestimated the LORD and him being bound by his own word,

“that God causes all things

to work together for good

to those who love God,

to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28, NASB

The pretentious lion casts his darts at us, but can do no more than our Lion of the tribe of Judah allows—and he will not allow the devil to take us from him.

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer

through Him who loved us.

For I am convinced

that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor any other created thing,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39, NASB

Job teaches us through his adversity, great pain, and loss to—

  • “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might.
  • Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil …
  • in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one.” Ephesians 6:10-11,16,NASB

Job endured several “flaming missiles” but he knew the LORD when the attacks began, and was able to say,

“I have not denied the words of the Holy One.”

All trials last but for a moment in light of eternity. The reward is fully realized when we stand before the One sitting on the throne, and we hear him saying,

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant;

thou hast been faithful  over a few things,

I will make thee ruler over many things:

enter thou into the joy of thy lord…”

Matthew 25:21, KJV

The flaming missiles come as a surprise attack. What is your military strategy?

The Writer’s Heart: Who Is He?

The Writer’s Heart: Who Is He?RGB72_Nazarene'sPrice

“He saith unto them,

But whom say ye that I am?”

Matthew 16:15, KJV

In the last “Writer’s Heart” post, readers received the first look at the cover of my novel, The Nazarene’s Price, and were introduced to the main character. A couple readers, offered name suggestions.

Anneta Pinto-Young, annetapintoyoung.wordpress.com, named the rich young ruler, Pontius—“it seems fitting.” Stop by her site and enjoy a short, thoughtful devotion.

RJ Dawson, rjdawson.com, offered a background suggesting my main character to be from the tribe of Judah—he wasn’t quite ready to offer a name but had logical thoughts concerning his choice of ancestry. You will find more deep thinking if you visit his site.

Gary Fultz, at garyfultz.wordpress.com, went a different direction saying, “In today’s world I would call him, Joe.” Visit his site for some interesting adventures with life lessons.

Thank you—

  • for your suggestions,
  • Lily at, sometimestbl.wordpress.com, and Tonya, at tonyalalonde.wordpress.com who linked to my post,
  • To my faithful readers and occasional drop ins.

Now it’s time to introduce you to my main character by my chosen name for him—Matthias.

  • His name identifies his person but not who he is.
  • Who he is becomes evident through character development by—
  • giving him a past showing why Matthias is the way he is in the present;
  • giving him a present pointing to a future that brings him to his defeat or victory.

To discover who my Matthias is you will need to read, The Nazarene’s Price, and follow his uncertain journey.

The question Jesus asked at the beginning of my post, “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” is the essence of the question Jesus asks of Matthias when Matthias addresses Jesus as, “Good Master.”

“And Jesus said unto him,

Why callest thou me good?

There is none good but one, that is, God.”

Mark 10:18, KJV

 You see it doesn’t really matter who the rich young ruler was but who he believed Jesus to be. In this, Matthias’ story becomes our story, as it was Peter’s story when posed with Jesus’ question. We know the end of Peter’s story.

“And Simon Peter answered and said,

Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:16, KJV

Scripture doesn’t give us the end of the rich young ruler’s story. We are simply told the end of this encounter with Jesus, where we learn,

“Jesus beholding him loved him …”

And the young man,

“went away grieved …”

This is where a writer is given a good prompt. There has to be more to Matthias than a few verses. I hope you will join me in the journey I’ve created for Matthias in The Nazarene’s Price. But my greatest hope is for your story to end with Peter’s confession as you answer Jesus’ question.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?”

“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

How will your life story end?

The First Commandment: All Your Mind

The First Commandment: All Your Mind

children in halloween costumes in studio
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD: AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND …

(from Mark 12:29,30)KJV

“How dare he!” Haman stomped around his house declaring his disdain for the one man who wouldn’t bow. One man, among the thousands, devoured Haman’s glory. “He will pay.” Haman slammed his fist against the wooden table. An evil glint shone in his eyes revealing the wicked plot in his mind. “Not only will Mordecai pay—but all his people must pay.”

If you don’t know the rest of the story of Haman and Mordecai, check out the ending in the book of Esther found in the Old Testament. I could tell you the end, but what fun would that be?

The point of including this tidbit is to introduce the evil lurking in the unregenerate mind—the mind that chooses to reject truth.

In the beginning Adam discovered the repercussions of trusting his mind over the mind of God, when he chose to defy the Lord’s command and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. All he had ever known was good, until he chose to taste evil. One thought ruled by one desire brought death to all. How dangerous is the mind ruled by self and its insatiable appetite.

As generations passed, the hunger to satisfy the immoral character of the flesh grew into an infectious malignancy that grieved God’s heart.

“And the LORD said,

I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth;

both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air,

for it repenteth me that I have made them …

And God looked upon the earth, and behold,

it was corrupt;

for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.”

Genesis 6: 7, KJV

All but Noah and his family, who found grace in the Lord’s sight. Through Noah, the Lord would fulfill his word to Adam. One would come. He would crush the evil one who ruled in the minds of those—

  • who sought a way other than God’s way,
  • who created their own truth,
  • and brought about their own death.

His creation had chosen a different way, the way of self.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,

but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 14:12, KJV

In his love, the Lord gave his people the Law to show them the way to have a relationship with him and live in peace with others. The Law revealed the truth of who God is and showed people the way to life—a good life in the here and now and life with the Lord forever. The Law was good.

“Wherefore the law is holy,

and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

Romans 7:12, KJV

One problem still remained. People, apart from God, are not holy, just, or good. There is nothing wrong with the Law. The wrong lies in our thinking, our understanding, our knowledge of God.

Hence, God himself, in the person of Jesus Christ came—

  • to be our way to the Father,
  • show us the truth of the Father,
  • and fill us with the life of the Father.

“Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way,

the truth,

and the life:

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”

John 14:6

To love the Lord our God with all our mind—we need a new mind—a new understanding, a new way of thinking. More on this the next time we meet.

Haman had his life figured out in his own way of thinking. Little did he know of his future. The Lord has his own thoughts for his people and a plan for those who continue to let their own minds guide them.

For His Own:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,

thoughts of peace, and not of evil,

to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11, KJV

For the World:

“But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall be also the coming of the Son of man be.

For as in the days that were before the flood

they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,

until the day that Noe entered into the ark …

Whereby the world that then was,

being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now,

by the same word are kept in store reserved unto fire

against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men …

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;

but is longsuffering to us-ward,

not willing that any should perish,

but that all should come to  repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night …”

(Matthew 24: 37,38; 2 Peter 3:6-7, 9, 10a, KJV)

Of which mind are you?