You have an adversary

Job Sees The Light - Second in a series

Job 1:2-3 Hover over this Bible passage to read how blessed Job was.

Job 1:4-5 Job saw himself as righteous— He stood before the Lord in the place of his children to make atonement for them.

Job 1:6-7 The Lord knew that Satan, his son who turned from righteousness, had been surveying Job and his possessions, and begrudging him for his privileges. Perhaps Job reminded the Adversary of the riches and honor he had enjoyed before his fall.

Job 1:8 The Lord saw Job as perfect and upright, as one who feared God and turned from evil. But Job was blind to God’s immense glory and did not fathom the depth of his wisdom, mercy, power, love and sovereignty. We discover this in the book’s final chapter as Job confesses:

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:6)

Mission accomplished! As we will see in this blog series, the Lord, by taking his son, Job, through a severe and inscrutable trial, brought him to a new birth. And since the journey began when Job was self-deceived, it was an especially laborious and painful task. The self-assured man is practically unbendable.

We can only hope the Lord will do the same for us, realizing it is the nature of man to be foolish, self-absorbed, prideful, short-sighted, and never aware of the magnitude of distance between the creature and the Creator.

The Trial Begins

Job 1:9-11 The Accuser challenges the Lord of Hosts. He would like for Job to be tested. Much could be written about this passage and the prospect of Satan demanding to sift God’s children, but for now we will only point out that God is not the accuser. Though He sees all our shortcomings, he never accuses us about them, but only gently brings them to our minds.

Job 1:12 God grants permission to Satan to decimate Job.

Job 1:13 Satan chose the birthday of the oldest son to begin his rampage (Job 1:4). "That son is the first sign of his father's strength." (Deut 21:17) That day symbolized Job's blessedness and hope for the future. One of Satan's goals in attacking us as well, is to make us feel cut off from our future hope and doubtful about our claim to it.

Job 1:14-15 His destruction of Job’s possessions and family begins with the creatures that help to manage his ranch and their overseers. Satan uses neighboring tribes to do his work. This deflects the blame from himself and his minions.

Job 1:16-17 Next the sheep so needed for food and raiment and the camels for their services in travel and their overseers are killed. "Fire from heaven" is blamed. Satan wants man to blame the Lord for his losses.

Job 1:18-19 Finally, Job’s children are destroyed by a tornado or twister, on the day of the oldest son’s birthday. Satan can control the weather if the Lord allows.

Job 1:20-22 Despite everything, Job does not question nor blame the Lord.

The holiday that helps

Thanksgivings on Special Occasions - Fourth in a series

Continuing now in an exploration of Thanksgivings on Special Occasions, a “protestant permission” (see related post), we come to the days leading to Easter.

Any Christian holiday should magnify Jesus Christ. If it turns the spotlight from the Lord to any other thing, it is not a holy day. A minister has the work of helping the flock to renew their inner selves to love Christ more. How might that be done?

Here is a list that amplifies the ways that Jesus humbled himself, as Paul writes in Philippians, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:8) Reading this list helped me to renew my mind and heart to worship God. It is taken from Pastor David Guzik’s commentary on the Philippians verse.

  • He was humble in that he took the form of a man, and not a more glorious creature like an angel.
  • He was humble in that He was born into an obscure, oppressed place.
  • He was humble in that He was born into poverty among a despised people.
  • He was humble in that He was born as a child instead of appearing as a man.
  • He was humble in submitting to the obedience appropriate to a child in a household.
  • He was humble in learning and practicing a trade – and a humble trade of a builder.
  • He was humble in the long wait until He launched out into public ministry.
  • He was humble in the companions and disciples He chose.
  • He was humble in the audience He appealed to and the way He taught.
  • He was humble in the temptations He allowed and endured.
  • He was humble in the weakness, hunger, thirst, and tiredness He endured.
  • He was humble in His total obedience to His Heavenly Father.
  • He was humble in His submission to the Holy Spirit.
  • He was humble in choosing and submitting to the death of the cross.
  • He was humble in the agony of His death.
  • He was humble in the shame, mocking, and public humiliation of His death.
  • He was humble in enduring the spiritual agony of His sacrifice on the cross.

Jesus Christ is worthy of our highest praise. If you are one who celebrates Lent or Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, did—or would— this list assist you to renew your adoration of Him? It was helpful to me in writing this post. We don’t need to wait for a holy day for a revived heart of praise for the Lord. Yet life becomes routine, and holidays help to refresh our spirits— when renewal in Christ is realized.

Consoled by Praise

The consolations of God - Thirteenth in a series

When Leah gave birth to her fourth son, she was thankful and named him Praised, or Judah. (Gen 29:35) Thus, the branch that grew from Jesse, The Lord, (Isa 11:1), was prophesied in his name as a Word of Praise. Israel's consolation (Luk 2:25) is the perfect Word.

Perhaps when we feel in need of being consoled, praising God does not occur to us. We want him to stoop to our need as he characteristically does. (Phil 2:6-8) Yet, praise is a great consolation: It fills us with truth, we are uplifted and our hearts are settled. So, at those times when we feel a deep need for God's succoring, seeking it through praise is wise.

First, that is the way of obedience. Paul reminds us to think on what is praiseworthy. (Phil 4:8) In Hebrews, we are encouraged to praise continually. (Heb 13:15)

Next, we know that disappointments and trials are temporary: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God. (Ps 43:5) Let's not "take up housekeeping" in the valley.

Also, it is a beautiful thing to do: Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: [for] praise is comely for the upright. (Ps 33:1) Comely means beautiful.

And, it's good and pleasant to praise God. We then feel better. (Ps 135:3)

God comes to our rescue as we praise: Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth [his] conversation [aright] will I shew the salvation of God. (Ps 50:23)

We know we can trust that his works are wonderful (Ps 107:8, 15, 21, 31) and all things work together for good for those who love the Lord. (Rom 8:28)

If he answers before we call (Isa 65:24), why should we not praise before we groan?

Why let rocks take our place? "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:37-40)

Jesus was sent… to give us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness so that we may be known as God's own, to glorify him. (Isa 61:1-3)

Praise the Lord!

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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