June 9, 2007
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- Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
- Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
- When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
- As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
- When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
- When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
- When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
- The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
- The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
- The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
- When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
- Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
- The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
- I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
- I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
- I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
- And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
- Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
- My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
- My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
- Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
- After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
- And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
- If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
- I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.
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- But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
- Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
- For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
- Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
- They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
- To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
- Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
- They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
- And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
- They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
- Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
- Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
- They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
- They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
- Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
- And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
- My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
- By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
- He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
- I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
- Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
- Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
- For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
- Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
- Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
- When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
- My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
- I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
- I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
- My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
- My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
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- I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
- For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
- Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?
- Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?
- If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
- Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.
- If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;
- Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
- If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;
- Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.
- For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.
- For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
- If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;
- What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?
- Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
- If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;
- Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof;
- (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and I have guided her from my mother's womb;)
- If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;
- If his loins have not blessed me, and if he were not warmed with the fleece of my sheep;
- If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:
- Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade, and mine arm be broken from the bone.
- For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
- If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;
- If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
- If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness;
- And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
- This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
- If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
- Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
- If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.
- The stranger did not lodge in the street: but I opened my doors to the traveller.
- If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
- Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?
- Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.
- Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.
- I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
- If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
- If I have eaten the fruits thereof without money, or have caused the owners thereof to lose their life:
- Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley. The words of Job are ended.
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Thought for the day:
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We live in a era when moral impurity is all around us. Unwed mothers, unfaithful spouses, and unmarried "partners" are rapidly becoming the norm in our society. There was a time when immorality was viewed as being shameful, even by the unsaved. However, those days are long gone, as the pregnancies of unmarried women are celebrated and the sexual exploits of single men are applauded.
Job understood the sinfulness of this behavior even though he had never seen a copy of the Mosaic law. In this portion of Scripture he discusses his desire to be morally pure. In Job 31:9-12 he proclaims that he has been faithful to his wife. He states,
"If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door; Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges. For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase."
Note a couple of the comments he makes. First, he declares that a man who commits fornication or adultery has been deceived. Solomon mentions several times in the book of Proverbs that the "strange woman" is noted for her flattering lips and smooth speech (Prov. 2:16, 5:3, 6:24). A woman who wants a man to be immoral with her does not truly love that man, for true love "doth not behave itself unseemly", and "rejoiceth not in iniquity" (I Cor. 13:5-6). A man who allows himself to be deceived in this fashion is a fool (Prov. 7:22). Job next states that sexual sin is a "heinous crime" that is deserving of punishment. I Corinthians 6:18 tells us to
"Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."
Apparently there is something uniquely sinful about sexual sin which makes it different from all other types of sin. In verse 15, Paul makes this observation:
"Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid."
When a Christian is involved in immorality, he is taking what belongs to the Lord and giving it to a harlot. How vile! This is why Paul warns the believers to flee from it. Job calls it a "fire that consumeth to destruction." Proverbs 6:27-29 speaks of it this way:
"Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent."
If that weren't enough, in Hebrews 13:4 it is written,
"whoremongers and adulterers God will judge".
It appears that Job's assessment of fornication and adultery was completely correct.
In addition to showing the sinfulness of fornication and adultery, Job also gives a means by which to avoid falling into that snare. In verse 1 of the chapter 31 he writes,
"I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?".
In this simply sentence he covers the two areas that lead to sexual sin: what a man looks at and what he thinks about. We must be very careful about what we allow ourselves to see. Paul told Timothy to flee from youthful lusts (II Tim 2:22). The problem with many Christians is that they want to look at that which is inappropriate, but assume that they will not allow it to influence them. This is playing with fire. That which an individual sees goes into his mind, and from there it becomes something that he is able to think about and dwell on. James tells us that a man's sin problem stems from being "drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." The end result is that
"when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14-15).
We can not always help what we see in passing, but we can choose what we will gaze upon, and what we will put ourselves in a position to see. Having seen something improper, we also have the choice as to whether or not we will play it over and over in our minds, or whether we will do our best to push it from our thoughts.
The Devil wants to get Christians, as well as the unsaved, involved in immorality. Don't allow yourself to look at things, or think about things, that will lead you to fall into his trap.
Pastor Dr. Mark J Montgomery