July 3

Pastor’s Note

Job reaches an appropriate place of considering the transcendence of God in the inscrutable nature of his wisdom. Especially when things don’t seem to add up, let us all recognize that due to our limited perspective, we can be sure that we are missing the whole picture of what God is doing in the world and in our lives. I pray the recap and report of Peter in Acts 11 is a helpful motivation for us to advance the gospel in our generation.

— Pastor Mike

Job 26-28

Job Replies: God’s Majesty Is Unsearchable

26:1 Then Job answered and said:

“How you have helped him who has no power!
How you have saved the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled him who has no wisdom,
and plentifully declared sound knowledge!
With whose help have you uttered words,
and whose breath has come out from you?
The dead tremble
under the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God, [1]
and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out the north over the void
and hangs the earth on nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
and the cloud is not split open under them.
He covers the face of the full moon [2]
and spreads over it his cloud.
10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters
at the boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble
and are astounded at his rebuke.
12 By his power he stilled the sea;
by his understanding he shattered Rahab.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair;
his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
14 Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27:1 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
as long as my breath is in me,
and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
my lips will not speak falsehood,
and my tongue will not utter deceit.
Far be it from me to say that you are right;
till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.

“Let my enemy be as the wicked,
and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off,
when God takes away his life?
Will God hear his cry
when distress comes upon him?
10 Will he take delight in the Almighty?
Will he call upon God at all times?
11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
why then have you become altogether vain?

13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword,
and his descendants have not enough bread.
15 Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
and his widows do not weep.
16 Though he heap up silver like dust,
and pile up clothing like clay,
17 he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
and the innocent will divide the silver.
18 He builds his house like a moth’s,
like a booth that a watchman makes.
19 He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;
he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
21 The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It [3] hurls at him without pity;
he flees from its [4] power in headlong flight.
23 It claps its hands at him
and hisses at him from its place.

Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

28:1 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
and a place for gold that they refine.
Iron is taken out of the earth,
and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness
and searches out to the farthest limit
the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
they are forgotten by travelers;
they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
Its stones are the place of sapphires, [5]
and it has dust of gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,
and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.
The proud beasts have not trodden it;
the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks,
and his eye sees every precious thing.
11 He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.

12 “But where shall wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its worth,
and it is not found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be bought for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.

20 “From where, then, does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of all living
and concealed from the birds of the air.
22 Abaddon and Death say,
‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’

23 “God understands the way to it,
and he knows its place.
24 For he looks to the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he gave to the wind its weight
and apportioned the waters by measure,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27 then he saw it and declared it;
he established it, and searched it out.
28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Acts 11

Peter Reports to the Church

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers [6] who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” But Peter began and explained it to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said,‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists [7] also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers [8] living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul. (ESV)

Footnotes

[1] 26:6 Hebrew him
[2] 26:9 Or his throne
[3] 27:22 Or He (that is, God); also verse 23
[4] 27:22 Or his; also verse 23
[5] 28:6 Or lapis lazuli; also verse 16
[6] 11:1 Or brothers and sisters
[7] 11:20 Or Greeks (that is, Greek-speaking non-Jews)
[8] 11:29 Or brothers and sisters

  • Anne Ventura

    Job 28:28

    28 And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is
    wisdom,
and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

    Lord, I can learn your wisdom through obedience to your revealed will, obeying when this world denies you.

    6 Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’Deut. 4:6

    Acts 11:29

    So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

    Lord, may I always live and serve lovingly to those who may show disdain , reflecting your love with a pure heart.

    • CheriClark

      Yes- may we be wise and obey our Lord.

    • Debbie Maxwell

      How funny that the first four comments this a.m. was based on the same scripture :)

  • CheriClark

    OT

    Job 28:28 28 And he said to man,‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

    Then: Job answers his own question about where can wisdom be found. He states that wisdom is found in the Lord. God is the One who controls the rain and the thunder- He is wisdom.

    Always: The fear of the Lord is wisdom.

    Now: The fear of the Lord – the reverence and awe that belongs to God – that is wisdom. Knowing who God is and having a high view of Him is wisdom. Turning away from evil and obeying God implies an understanding of the Creator of the universe and our place in relationship to Him. May we bow in adoration and worship before Him who is wisdom. May we worship and praise the One who gives to us so generously. May we show our love to Him by obeying His commandments.

    NT

    Acts 11: 23-24 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.

    Then: The church in Antioch is growing and Barnabas is sent to check it out. He is glad for the work that is being done there. Barnabas is described as a good man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.

    Always: May we as believers rejoice when the work of God is increased.

    Now: Two things struck me in this passage. Barnabas is glad when he sees what God has done in Antioch. There is no jealousy or rivalry because it was not ‘his ministry’. He rejoices because the Kingdom of God is advancing. How many times in the church are petty jealousies evident? May we rejoice when the Kingdom of God is growing and not have any sense of jealousy because it did not involve us. The second thing I noticed was the description of Barnabas. He is described as a good man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. That is how he is known. How neat would it be if that was how we were known in our church and community. Barnabas was obviously active in proclaiming the Gospel and in his obedience to God’s Word. May we be known in the same manner.

    • Debbie Maxwell

      same page Cheri!

  • NonieS

    Job 28

    28 And he said to man,
    ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

    Where is wisdom? Job tells us that it is the fear of the Lord! So many want to be wise in their own eyes. Let us remember the word’s of Job and fear the Lord and turn from evil.

    Acts 11

    25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

    It was in Antioch that the disciples were first called Christians. Because they continued to disciple people, there are now Christians all over the world. But the work is not finished! We must all continue to disciple others until the Lord returns. Maranatha!

    • CheriClark

      Yes- that Job passage seemed to resonate this morning!

    • Debbie Maxwell

      Same page Nonie!

  • Debbie Maxwell

    Job 28:12 “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?

    23 “God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. 24 For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.

    28 And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

    So very grateful to be reminded of the greatness and sovereignty of God… What an amazing and mighty God we serve.

    I am also reminded that whenever I meditate, or “speak” about our Father in heaven, that it is always with ascribing the glory due His name, and not based on my circumstances at the time.

    Deut. 10:17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.

    Jere. 32;17 ‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

    Dan. 4:3 How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

  • Beth Metcalf

    “But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? “And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” Job 28:12-28 ” For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; Prov.2:6 (Lord I desire your wisdom…your Word!)

  • Sam Funk

    Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off,
    when God takes away his life?

    I can remember being without hope, without God to call on. It is lonesome, isolated and weak – for me especially concerning health, wealth and relationships. Thankful to Lord for his majesty, holiness, justice, love and power!

    Job 28:28 And he said to man,
    ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

    One of the most important declarations of God’s word is also one of the oldest, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

    Acts 11:18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

    The Gospel is for everyone not just a certain group or nation. May the good news of Jesus be heard all around the world!