Tuesday, October 20, 2015

PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE SERIES: THE BOOK OF JOB, Prayer #3

As tedious (after the first chapter) as it may seem to the average person, the Book of Job is one of the most important pieces of factual literature ever produced in the entire history of mankind. Chronologically,  as previously mentioned,  it is the first book ever written and the Hands and Spirit of God are all over it.  As we continue visiting some of the outstanding prayers of this outstanding man, whom God Himself mentioned as one of His three top saints in another Scripture (Ezekiel 14:14 “even though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves….”), 

Job 10:
“My soul loathes my life;
I will give free course to my complaint,
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me;
Show me why You contend with me.
3 Does it seem good to You that You should oppress,
That You should despise the work of Your hands,
And smile on the counsel of the wicked?
4 Do You have eyes of flesh?
Or do You see as man sees?

5 Are Your days like the days of a mortal man?
Are Your years like the days of a mighty man,
6 That You should seek for my iniquity
And search out my sin,
7 Although You know that I am not wicked,
And there is no one who can deliver from Your hand?
8 ‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me,
An intricate unity;
Yet You would destroy me.
9 Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.
And will You turn me into dust again?

Now in the previous prayer (Click here) Job had just finished saying he wished he had someone to "stand in the gap" for him before the Lord (a "mediator"). You and I know we are the most blessed people ever, as Jesus Christ is our High Priest and Intercessor before His Own Father, on our behalf. Job did not have that privilege....so off he goes on a rant which comes close to insulting God....and which the Father responds to in Job 38-39, demanding a reply from Job.

Actually everything which Job lists above points to the human incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ! Job prays to the Lord:  
- "Do You have eyes of flesh or see as a man sees?" (Verse 4)
- "Are Your days like the days of a mortal man?"(Verse 5a)

This is prophetic before he launches into the self-pitying pathetic discourse, asking God to just take his life and get it over with! We do close to the same thing, in essence, because most of the time we are as unaware of the specific plans and purposes of God for the particular trial we experience, as Job was.

Job then goes further and reveals the depth of his knowledge of not just WHO God is but He has done for him (Job). Later on we will see that knowing all these facts about God, and staying faithful to Him to the letter of the Law, is not as complete as a close personal knowledge (YADA) of Him! Job thinks that only God may be able to do this to him, but he obviously does not know that it was the devil - Satan - who was allowed to do some horrid damage to Job (see Job chapter 1).

Here in verses 12-15 (Chapter 10) Job says:
12 You have granted me life and favor,
And Your care has preserved my spirit.
13 ‘And these things You have hidden in Your heart;
I know that this was with You:
14 If I sin, then You mark me,
And will not acquit me of my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me;
Even if I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head.
I am full of disgrace;
See my misery!

Before we get real harsh and self-righteous on old Job here, let's look in the mirror and ask if we had ever done the same and if it all came down to this, would we - even knowing Jesus as Lord and Master - do the same thing?! Sure, some of us may breathe deeply and not complain, but frankly, this is a minority view! At the same time, we can still pray as Paul did when he was in so much pain and affliction at the thorn in his flesh that he asked the Lord to take it away three times. It does appear though that Paul was in this said minority. He mentioned his personal pain only three times, and when God answered "My Grace is sufficient for thee", Paul is recorded as never mentioning it again! In fact, he did his best work under conditions no human could endure.

Moving on to our final portion of this prayer from Chapter 10, Job wraps up this portion of his long-running one way "conversation" (prayer) with God thus:
Chapter 10:18-20....
18 ‘Why then have You brought me out of the womb?
Oh, that I had perished and no eye had seen me!
19 I would have been as though I had not been.
I would have been carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Are not my days few?
Cease! Leave me alone, that I may take a little comfort.

This is a harsh wind-up. If we had not known better, we would think Job was a non-believer and just challenging the Lord to just end it right now because he (Job) has no idea why he was born in the first place! He seeks comfort with a proposed departure from this life, in the quiet darkness of the grave as he sees it. 

So how does all of this navel-gazing apply to us in our own Christian walk? There are a lot of wounded walking in our midst. and not just our Wounded Warriors from the recent wars. There are folks with battle scars from families, churches, friends, jobs, neighbors and just about every where. Some of these battle scars are even self-inflicted. The level of hopelessness is reaching critical mass. Young people see no future for them. Their elders have sold their birth right for a bowl of soup and a seat with the temporarily powerful. Their parents are void of any true scriptural guidance and nothing is in order.

We see legalized potheads clouding over the skies of Colorado and yet football coaches are ordered to not pray with the kids to whom this same coach is the only true male role model they have. The rich, powerful and those in charge mandate ungodly and demonic instructions for the young and helpless to become indoctrinated into, guaranteeing they will wish they had not done so, when they stand before Job's creator. It is an unholy mess and many are saying (or praying) like Job in verse 20...."CEASE! LEAVE ME ALONE, that I may take a little comfort"!

But you know, there is a better way - we will see next in the prayers of Chapter 19! The lesson here is - as bad is it gets...AND IT IS GETTING WORSE...there is a way..there IS THE WAY - THE TRUTH...and the LIFE, and His Name is Jesus. Do you know Him? He is but a breath and a prayer away!
Amen.
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