Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Job, chapter 33:19-33 comments: listen to the Spirit of God

19 ¶  He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: 20  So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. 21  His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. 22  Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. 23  If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness: 24  Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. 25  His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26  He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27  He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28  He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

Another way that God molds people and tries to divert them from the error of their ways, other than dreams and visions or, as in our case, the Bible speaking to our hearts, is personal distress. God sometimes, Elihu says, places sickness upon His man to convert him, to turn him from the path on which he or she is heading, to cause him to repent, to change his mind.

This person is blessed if someone can express God’s wisdom in this painful time to him.

James 5:13  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 19  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

Beyond the repentance and restoration of an individual to whom God is speaking, there is a prophecy of Christ here. Blessed is the man or woman who has a messenger (same word translated as angel in other places), someone who can relate God’s word to them, an interpreter of it, who will teach that person about salvation. He will have found his ransom from spiritual death.

Exodus 30:12  When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

1Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

From verse 25-28 we see the experience of the resurrection with a redeemed body, transformed by the power of the eternal God.

25  His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: 26  He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness. 27  He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; 28  He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

Romans 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Isaiah 26:19  Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

It can happen in two ways, either the resurrection of the dead as mentioned in the previous verses or think of the change that comes with the translation of the church when it is removed from the earth, popularly called The Rapture.

1 Corinthians 15:51 ¶  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Thessalonians 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

That person who has turned to God will see the light face to face.

1John 3:2  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.

Literally, in this passage, we have God speaking to a man in visions and dreams, then by virtue of sickness and a near death experience, to wake him up, to make him see the light, and be restored to health, brought back from the brink of death itself. In none of this does he condemn Job or imply that Job is wicked as Job’s friends did.

Whether God speaks to you by His word or by the things He permits to happen in your life, are you listening?

    29 ¶  Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, 30  To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living. 31  Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. 32  If thou hast any thing to say, answer me:  speak, for I desire to justify thee. 33  If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom.

God has many ways to deliver man from death and to return and restore him. Elihu lets Job know that there is something to be learned by our troubles, when we haven’t learned by God’s speaking to us through dreams and visions or, I would say, in our day, by His words in His Bible, although I would not dismiss the importance of a dream you can connect to the Bible or an experience that turns you from the direction you are heading.

I guess a question that should be asked is how sensitive are you to the leadings of the Spirit of God in your daily life? Are you process driven, like so many businesses are who are not able to meet the needs or demands of their customers or stay competitive in an ever-changing world? Do you find that your plans and your will speak so loudly that you cannot hear the urgings of the Spirit of God?

Could it be that we are warned and we are told of many things by the God who created us, things of which we choose to remain oblivious to as He speaks to our spiritual hearts. I’m not saying that, in the church age, God speaks in an audible voice or carries on an audible conversation with you. But, how can you know the difference between God’s leading and your own will and carnal desire?

We must always avoid justifying our sin or our twisting of Bible verses out of context for the purpose of justifying our own human desires, our control issues, and our vain imagination, calling what we want something that God has laid on our hearts. On the other hand, we must always be sensitive to the pleadings of the Spirit of God by comparing it to the clear passages, in context, from the Bible (you know, the complete sentences and doctrines, not just random verses yanked out to justify our own convictions and impose them on others as a standard of righteousness).

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