Daily Encouragement

September 5 – The student who died from over-studying.

September 5
Ecclesiastes 10:1-12:14
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Psalm 49:1-20
Proverbs 22:20-21

Ecclesiastes 10:1 – If you read about marketing, you’ll read about “Brand consistency.” What’s always amazed me about “business books” – most of the time it’s principles that are based in Solomon’s words with illustrations from the author’s life.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17 – In other words, elections matter!

Ecclesiastes 10:20 – Ever wonder where the expression “A little bird told me” came from?

Ecclesiastes 11:5 – Just within the last few decades we’ve been able to map the progress of the growth of the bones in the womb, but we’re still amazed by how God has it all coded in DNA. The 3.1 billion base pairs that make up the human chromosomes is truly amazing.

Ecclesiastes 11:9 – Solomon keeps bringing the point back to this – yes you can enjoy life, but remember God will bring thee into judgment! So – Remember thy Creator! (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Ecclesiastes 12:6 –  StackExchange seems to like Adam Clarke’s analysis:

The context is aging, approaching death, and the call to remember the creator acknowledged in your youth. Verses 3 – 6 compare the aging body to a house where the keepers are the hands that become paralytic and shaky; the strong men are legs that begin to bow and no longer hold up the body; the grinders are teeth that have decayed with age, and can no longer chew strong meat; the windows are the eyes that dim and can no longer see well; the doors being shut in the streets are the lips and mouth which can no longer swallow; and the sound of grinding low is the lost teeth, and inability to chew properly; rising up at the sound of a bird is the inability to sleep soundly being disturbed at the least sound; the daughters of music being brought low is the weak and feeble voice of old age.

The silver cord is the nervous system breaking; the golden bowl breaking representing the brain and loss of memory; the pitcher broken at the fountain and the wheel broken at the cistern is the heart slowing and failing to pump; which then results in the death of the body.

Ecclesiastes 12:12 – There are approximately 130 million books in the world as of 2010, and over 2 million new titles every year are published. Solomon was right! And much studying can be fatal. While I was in law school, this news clipping from the New York Times was passed around:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Yes, what is the conclusion of the matter? Fear God and obey him!

Ecclesiastes 12:14 –  Because one day God will bring every secret thing into the open!

2 Corinthians 8:5 – Vic Eliason shared with me the story a pastor told him. Elvis Presley was religious – he recorded religious songs, attended church, and even gave generously into the offering. But while he gave of his money, he didn’t give his heart. The pastor told Elvis – God doesn’t want your money – He wants your heart! Yes, it is good to give – but unless you have given your heart to the LORD, giving all of your goods profiteth nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).

2 Corinthians 8:14 – God did not give you an abundance to be hoarded, but so you could give to help others!

Psalm 49:6 – Speaking of money… you can’t buy salvation with it (Psalm 49:7). Souls are precious (Psalm 49:8). Use your earthly resources to lay up treasure in heaven! (Matthew 6:19-21).

Psalm 49:16-17 – You can’t take it with you (1 Timothy 6:7) – this may be the only picture ever taken of a hearse with a U-Haul on it.

Proverbs 22:21 – How can you know the truth? Read God’s Word!

 

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Daily Encouragement

September 4 – The Poor, Wise Man

September 4
Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Psalm 48:1-14
Proverbs 22:17-19

Ecclesiastes 7:15 – You can almost hear Job saying these words!

Ecclesiastes 7:20 – This theme echoes throughout the Bible.

  • Genesis 6:11 – The earth also was corrupt before God
  • 1 Kings 8:46 – there is no man that sinneth not
  • Psalm 14:1 – there is none that doeth good
  • Psalm 14:3 – there is none that doeth good, no, not one
  • Psalm 53:1 – there is none that doeth good
  • Psalm 53:3 – there is none that doeth good, no, not one
  • Psalm 143:2 – in thy sight shall no man living be justified
  • Romans 3:9 – both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin
  • Romans 3:10 – there is none righteous, no not one
  • Romans 3:23 – all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
  • Galatians 3:22 – But the scripture hath concluded all under sin

Ecclesiastes 7:21 – Solomon is considering the words of his father in 2 Samuel 16:10

Ecclesiastes 7:26 – Solomon has an extended discussion of this woman in Proverbs 7 (especially Proverbs 7:10-12).

Ecclesiastes 8:12 – In the midst of his depressed rant, he utters the truth of Job’s tale. It’s better to suffer for doing right, than be rewarded for doing wrong.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 – Do the dead still exist? The Jehovah’s Witnesses say “Therefore, when we die, we cease to exist. The dead can’t think, act, or feel anything.” The technical term for this is “annihilationism.” But what does the rest of Scripture say about the dead? GotQuestions discusses several problems including:

“Second, Ecclesiastes 9:5 cannot contradict Ecclesiastes 4:2. There, Solomon states that the dead are “happier than the living.” However, when a person is dead, the opportunities to enjoy things on earth no longer exist.

4Witness discusses:

Solomon, being a worldly person at this point in time, is speaking from his worldview which was limited to that of the present moment of his existence.  This is opposed to a Christian outlook concerning life and death that gives one a proper perspective on how to understand the passage.

Secondly, Solomon is not talking about the afterlife or an annihilation but is speaking about the physical corpses of those who have died and are “in the grave” (see Eccl. 9:10). Thus, contextually speaking, Dr. Norman Geisler remarks,

“The passages that say there is no knowledge or remembrance after death, are speaking of no memory in this world, not of no memory of this world.”—When Critics Ask, p.259

IsAnnihilationTrue compares this phrasing to Potiphar:

We read in verse 6 that “he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand”. Potiphar entrusted everything that he had to Joseph because whatever Joseph did, the LORD blessed it. Then we read about Potiphar, “he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat”. Does this mean that Potiphar did not know anything about what he had except for the bread that he ate?… Rather, the phrase “he knew not ought he had” means that Potiphar did not pay any attention to what he had, except that which he did eat. Joseph was doing such a good job in managing Potiphar’s possessions that Potiphar did not need to pay any attention to them.

John 5:9 identifies the dangers of those who die in sins, and await the resurrection of damnation.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 – I am enjoying doing this with the wife that the LORD hath given me!

Ecclesiastes 9:10Work for the night is coming!

Ecclesiastes 9:12 – Man knoweth not his time – don’t put off to tomorrow talking to the person God has laid on your heart.

Ecclesiastes 9:15 – The poor wise man – necessary, successful, unrewarded. Many have preached on this over the years. John Gill identifies this man with Christ:

Christ, who is man, though not a mere man, but God as well as man; who was so in purpose, covenant, and promise, before his incarnation, since truly and really so; and “poor”, as it was foretold he should be, and who became so for the sake of his church and people, ( Zechariah 9:9 ) ( 2 Corinthians 8:9 ) ; yet “wise”, even as man, being filled with wisdom, in which he increased, and gave such evident proofs of; on whom the spirit of wisdom rested, and in whom the treasures of it were hid, ( Luke 2:40 Luke 2:46 Luke 2:47 Luke 2:52 ) ( Isaiah 11:2 ) ( Colossians 2:3 ) ; he was found here by God his Father, who exalted one chosen out of the people, and made him Head over the church, who is the firstborn among many brethren, ( Psalms 89:19 Psalms 89:20 ) ; Or “and”, or “but he found in it” F9; that is, Satan, the great king, found him here, contrary to his expectation, and to his great regret

2 Corinthians 7:10 – There is “sorry, I got caught”, and godly sorrow that leads to repentance that leads to salvation!

Psalm 48:1-2, 11-12, 14 – Sing along (Psalms were meant to be sung!) – Great is the LORD!

Proverbs 22:17 – Another double dose of Solomon. Wisdom is trusting in the LORD!

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Daily Encouragement

September 3 – What victimizes the poor to the tune of $70 billion annually?

September 3
Ecclesiastes 4:1-6:12
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:7
Psalm 47:1-9
Proverbs 22:16

Ecclesiastes 4:2 – What does thinking this is all there is in life lead to? Suicidal or even genocidal tendencies. If life has no meaning for humans, then perhaps humans are just keeping some other organism that has meaning from the earth.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 – Solomon shares some more of his advice encouraging marriage. Life is suffering / vanity / emptiness / a breath, but it’s better to be together than alone (excepting the examples Solomon shows us in Proverbs where in some cases it is better to dwell alone in the corner of a roof – Proverbs 21:9).

Ecclesiastes 4:13 – It’s never to late to teach an old dog new tricks, we may say.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 –  Note the back and forth between Solomon and Job. Solomon gives Job advice, albeit after the fact, and Job gives wisdom that develops into the Proverbs.

Ecclesiastes 5:15 – Here’s another example, expounding on Job 1:21

Ecclesiastes 5:18 – Is Solomon teaching epicureanism? No, this isn’t hedonism being advocated, but rather a foreshadow of 1 Corinthians 10:31

2 Corinthians 6:14-7 – Many people today value unity at any cost. But Paul goes into an extended comparison that you cannot be unequally yoked with unbelievers. Speaking of the offerings to idols – he again brings up that you can’t belong to God’s temple and the idol’s temple at the same time. As my friend says – if you work for Coke, you can’t drink Pepsi! Yes separation is painful, but its mandated. As John MacArthur says:

Not to be bound together with unbelievers is our greatest challenge.  To live a separated life is a tremendous challenge,particularly in a culture which is bombarding us with all of the elements of paganism.  It is not only our greatest challenge.  It is our greatest source of joy and usefulness when we obey that command. 

The pure and the polluted share nothing in common ultimately.  And the people of God cannot form intimate relationships with those who don’t belong to God.  All relationships like that are superficial.  You cannot make a meaningful relationship with an enemy of the gospel.

2 Corinthians 6:18 – Why is separation important? Because if we abandoned those who would be our father who are wholly inadequate, the LORD Almighty will be our Father. We’re not primarily separating from unbelievers, we’re separating to the LORD.

Psalm 47:2 – The KJV uses the word terrible. Unfortunately today we’ve corrupted English to where we use terrible as a hyperbole for bad. But as we rewind the English language we can see from Webster’s 1828:

2. Adapted to impress dread, terror or solemn awe and reverence.

The Lord thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible Deuteronomy 7:21.

Let them praise thy great and terrible name, for it is holy. Psalms 99:3.

He hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 10:17.

The LORD works terrors that should create a response of the fear of the LORD. He is not some lowly bureaucrat that we have to endure, He is a Great King over all the earth!

Proverbs 22:16 – What is a system today that oppresses the poor, takes money from those who have little, offering but empty dreams in return, and in many places subsidizes the rich? The lottery. $70 billion will be spent this year on the lottery. And it is the poor disproportionately who are the victims. Journal of Gambling Studies:

Those in the lowest fifth in terms of socioeconomic status (SES) had the “highest rate of lottery gambling (61%) and the highest mean level of days gambled in the past year (26.1 days).” Moreover, there were “very few observed differences in lottery gambling for those in the three upper SES groups — 42–43% gambled on the lottery and the three upper groups averaged about 10 days of gambling on the lottery in the past year.”

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Daily Encouragement

September 2 – What’s the purpose of Ecclesiastes?

September 2
Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
Psalm 46:1-11
Proverbs 22:15

Ecclesiastes 1:1 – Welcome to a new book in the wisdom genre! Today we’ll be getting a double dose of Solomon (Ecclesiastes as well as Proverbs)! What does the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 4:30) want to tell us about life? From Bob Utley:

“Its main purpose was to show the futility of human existence apart from God. It is a tract to convert self-sufficient materialists or intellectuals.”

Let’s look at the futility of human existence apart from God.

Ecclesiastes 1:4 – Generations come and go, the sun goes up and goes down (Ecclesiastes 1:5). Interestingly Abraham Lincoln quoted this verse in his second inaugural address.

Ecclesiastes 1:6-7From ICRwhirleth about continually. This is a remarkable anticipation of the modern discovery of the world’s great wind circuits, in the global circulation of the atmosphere. And Creation.com talks about the hydrological cycle of v.7.

Ecclesiastes 2:1 – What did Solomon try for contentment? Pleasure (Ecclesiastes 2:1), wine (Ecclesiastes 2:3), building projects (Ecclesiastes 2:4-6), servants and possessions (Ecclesiastes 2:7), and silver and gold (Ecclesiastes 2:8).

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – The 1965 secular song from the Byrds “Turn, Turn, Turn” was based on this passage.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “In His Time“, a gospel chorus, is based on this verse. Interesting that this verse talks about the capacity God has built within us.

Ecclesiastes 3:13-14 – Some call this book secular wisdom. But we know that God intends for us to enjoy His creation, and that His doings are far greater than our doings.

Ecclesiastes 3:17 – God shall judge – there is a time we must give account.

Ecclesiastes 3:21Mark Lowry has emphasized Psalm 36:6 as saying that dogs are going to heaven. Unfortunately his exegesis has skipped Ecclesiastes 3:21.

2 Corinthians 6:2 – There is no reason to delay salvation – Now is the accepted time!

2 Corinthians 6:5 – A sobering video features martyrs from church history quoting motivational tweets from some modern pastors. Unfortunately life is not all health, wealth, and prosperity.

Psalm 46:3 – Did Shakespeare leave a mark of his involvement with the King James Version? Kyle Butt says yes!

Proverbs 22:15 – Proverbs has much wisdom on child training. The point is not abuse, but removing foolishness.

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Daily Encouragement

September 1 – Your arm’s too short to box with God!

September 1
Job 40:1-42:17
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
Psalm 45:1-17
Proverbs 22:14

Job 40:4 – Job has an Isaiah-like experience (Isaiah 6:5). He no longer wishes to take his case to the LORD. He wants to close his mouth and take back the foolish words he has said.

Job 40:9 – James Weldon Johnson communicated this verse by applying it to today’s society: Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God!

Job 40:15 – What is behemoth? From Journal of Creation:

Two great creatures, behemoth and leviathan, are described by God in Job. Some commentators have suggested behemoth was an elephant or hippo but the description simply doesn’t match (e.g. behemoth “moves his “tail like a cedar”). It’s appears God is describing a sauropod dinosaur and a fearsome now-extinct sea creature.

Job 41:1 – Leviathan is not referring to Thomas Hobbe’s work on government. Rather Creation.com goes in depth and disproves the “alligator theory”:

Behemoth and leviathan may well be now extinct species that were still living in Job’s day. While what is known about several species of dinosaurs may appear to fit some aspects of God’s description of behemoth and leviathan, the most we can say with confidence is that the descriptions do not match any known living species today. At the same time, to call them ‘mythological’ creatures is to do violence to the text and context of Job; therefore, we affirm that these were actual creatures of which Job had knowledge (although we cannot state whether Job had direct or indirect knowledge of them). They symbolize the power of evil, connected with Satan, who is mentioned in the first chapters of the book. The words of God humbled Job and showed him that God is above all powers in this world.

Job 42:2 – Job responds admitting the LORD’s omnipotence and omniscience. He then declares his insufficiency (Job 42:3), and repents (Job 42:6).
Job 42:9 – God forgives Job and continues to accept him! What a merciful God we have!
Job 42:10 – If God gave Job twice what he had before – the sheep were doubled, the camels were doubled, the oxen were doubled, and the she asses were doubled. But notice that Job’s children were replaced not doubled (Job 42:13). Job’s children did not succumb to nihilism and vanquish – no God had taken them. Job’s children had doubled as well – half were on earth with him and half were with the LORD.
Job 42:17 – Job died – not having cursed God, but having been full of days. A Godly legacy!
2 Corinthians 5:11 – Terror – Not in the sense of irrational fear that we’ve emotionally charged this word with connotations today, but in the historic sense of “calculated to impress fear” (Webster’s 1848).

2 Corinthians 5:14 – What was the irresistible power behind Paul? The love of Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Has there been a great change since you’ve been born again?

2 Corinthians 5:18 –  God hath reconciled us to himself! This is the first use in Paul’s Epistles of the word reconcile (Ellicott). Are we reconciled to God or is God reconciled to us? The hymn “Arise my soul, arise!” contains the line “My God is reconciled” but some versions disagreed with the claim and so they change it to “To God I’m reconciled” (see J Preston Eby). MacArthur says it’s both:

So man has to be dramatically, transformed, but God also has to have His attitude dealt with because God cannot look upon iniquity and iniquity is going to have to be dealt with, right? Something has got to modify God’s wrath. Something’s got to deal with God’s attitude.

However you take it – it’s not the direction of reconciliation but the causer of reconciliation. As Oswald Chambers summarizes it:

Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be. And now anyone can experience that reconciliation, being brought into oneness with God, on the basis of what our Lord has done on the cross. A man cannot redeem himself— redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete.

How was the reconciliation accomplished? Because of the substitutionary, vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ that allowed God’s imputed righteousness to be deposited in our account (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Psalm 45:6 – Our God shall reign forever!

Proverbs 22:14 – A choice of companions can affect your life. And when your greatest companion is your lifelong spouse – it is important that you choose not the strange woman but the woman that feareth the LORD! (Proverbs 31:30).

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Daily Encouragement

August 31 – Are unicorns real?

August 31
Job 37:1-39:30
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10
Psalm 44:9-26
Proverbs 22:13

Job 37:5How great is our God?

Job 37:14 – Stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God. I’ve seen the Planetarium Show at the Creation Museum many times but it is still amazing!

Job 37:23 – The technical term is “inscrutable.” Elihu is right, we will not be able to unscrute the inscrutable.

Job 38:3 – God speaks to Job – not explaining to him why he went thru the tragedies, but asking Job questions. Notice the questions God asks man? He asks Adam to explain his behavior (Genesis 3:9). Israel Wayne recently exposited the Questions God Asks.

Job 38:23 – God used hail as a weapon in the Exodus and in the Conquest of Canaan (Exodus 9:13-18, Joshua 10:10-11).

Job 38:37 – Clouds – the harmless puffs of water vapor – are one of the main reasons your favorite meteorologist can’t predict Friday’s weather. “Clouds and precipitation are among the more challenging weather parameters to forecast accurately.”

Job 39:9-10 – But I thought unicorns weren’t real? The problem isn’t Scripture, but the gradual deterioration of the English language. Eric Hovind points out that it is a transliteration from the Latin, but also originally (per Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) referring to animals such as the rhinoceros.

2 Corinthians 4:14 – We’ve just read in Job about our God’s amazing power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise us up from the dead as well!

2 Corinthians 5:10 – The most sobering doctrine in the Bible is the Bema Seat. We aren’t just on a 80-some year cruise boat voyage to do our own pleasures. We are working towards a reviewal of our performance. Chuck Missler dispels some myths about the Bema.

This judgment is often taught as simply an awards ceremony, but that is not entirely correct. It was the tribunal seat, the judicial bench, the judgment seat, or throne of the one in charge. Herod Agrippa I addressed the people of Tyre and Sidon from his Bema seat.[3] Jesus was brought before Pilate[4] and his Bema seat. Paul was accused before Proconsul Gallio;[5] and brought before Festus at Caesarea[6] facing a Bema seat. (A relic of one was found among the ruins in Corinth.)

Psalm 44:9 – The Psalmist must borrow from Job?

Psalm 44:23 – The proper response is not to dispute with God, but to continue to call upon the name of the LORD!

Proverbs 22:13 – When you need an excuse, any excuse will do!

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Daily Encouragement

August 30 – Elihu continues his discourse

August 30
Job 34:1-36:33
2 Corinthians 4:1-12
Psalm 44:1-8
Proverbs 22:10-12

Job 34:18 – Elihu tells Job – you wouldn’t accuse a king or a prince of being evil, but you’re accusing God who is far more just than any human king?

Job 35:2 – “The Book of Job does not answer the question ‘Why does God allow the righteous to suffer?’ but rather answers the question, ‘How should the righteous suffer?'” (Blue Letter Bible). You may be hurting, but don’t ever think you are more righteous than God. That is the pathway to atheism.

Job 36:3 – Elihu is continually begging permission to speak (Job 36:2), with a purpose not of attacking Job, or defending Job, but glorifying God.

Job 36:26 – While God does act in certain ways (Job 36:15), he is great and unsearchable.

2 Corinthians 4:1 – What is this ministry? Attacking the conscience (2 Corinthians 4:2) because the god of this world is blinding people to the light of the gospel! (2 Corinthians 4:4).

2 Corinthians 4:8-12 – Suffering for Jesus? Join the club that Paul was a charter member of!

Psalm 44:3 – Remember our discussion of Ezra? He was afraid the people would fall back into trusting swords, armies, and bows (Psalm 44:6). Thou hast saved us from our enemies! (Psalm 44:7).

Proverbs 22:10 – The Christian School principal’s go-to verse. Yes there are the students that you want to reach, but to keep the simple from following the scorner, you must separate the two, and that by removing the scorner from your classroom. It is not out of malice for the scorner, but out of love for the others.

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Daily Encouragement

August 29 – Elihu reminds Job how he was saved

August 29
Job 31:1-33:33
2 Corinthians 3:1-18
Psalm 43:1-5
Proverbs 22:8-9

Job 31:1 – Job outlines the disciplines of a godly man. While we may want to dismiss it as just the posturing of a hurting individual, we must remember that this is the testimony of one who is perfect and upright, fearing God and eschewing evil. He’s worth imitating in my humble opinion.

Personal Purity

  • Guarding the eyes (Job 31:1)
  • Guarding the heart (Job 31:9)
  • Guarding the feet (Job 31:9)

Relational Responsibility

  • Relationship with employees (Job 31:13)
  • Relationship with the poor (Job 31:16)
  • Relationship with the widows (Job 31:16)
  • Relationship with the fatherless (Job 31:17)
  • Relationship with the wanters-of-clothing (Job 31:19)
  • Relationship with enemies (Job 31:29-30)
  • Relationship with strangers (Job 31:32)

Spiritual Fidelity

  • Trusting not in wealth (Job 31:24-25)
  • Following no other gods (Job 31:26-28)
  • Hiding not sin from God (Job 31:33)

Job 31:15 – Slavery and abortion are both addressed with one verse. God made both master and slave (or employer and employee) – so how can one of God’s creation mistreat another of God’s creation?

Job 31:26 – Is Job saying we can’t enjoy a sunrise? No – Job is addressing those who worship the sun (Ezekiel 8:16).

Job 32:1 – The Great Debate is over – but not yet. Elihu enters the ring taking on all four debaters (Job 32:2-3).

Job 32:19 – Many a loquacious man has felt like Elihu, but unfortunately few have the wisdom of Elihu.

Job 33:8 – Having begged for the right to be heard, Elihu now seeks to confirm that he heard Job right. He will then go to the cross-examination of Job.

Job 33:12 – Job is not just – not because he has sinned and is being punished, but because he is becoming bitter against God. But God is greater than man, and does not need to give account of himself (Job 33:13).

There is always a reason for every act of grace which God performs for man. He acts sovereignly, and therefore he is not bound to give any reason for his actions; but he always acts wisely, and therefore he has a reason for so acting. Writing to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul says that God “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” – Charles Spurgeon

Job 33:23-24 – The preacher steps forth, not spouting the conventional wisdom, but as one of a thousand, he is charged with a command from the gracious Lord – “Deliver the sinner from the pit – there is a ransom!” Like the ram in the thicket to be offered in the place of Isaac (Genesis 22:13), God has provided a ransom!

This is the only reason why any man shall be delivered from going clown to the pit, because God has found a ransom, There is no way of salvation but by the ransom; all who ever are saved are saved by the ransom; and if you, dear friend, would be saved, it must be by the ransom; and there is but one.
    Observe that the text says, “I have found a ransom.” This ransom is an invention of divine wisdom. I do not think it would ever have occurred to any mind but the mind of God himself to save sinners by the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. The most astonishing novelty under heaven is the old, old story of the cross of Christ. That ever God should take upon himself the sin of his own creatures, that, in order to be able justly to forgive, God himself should bear the punishment which he must inflict for the creatures’ sin, this is something marvellous to the last degree. The rebel sins, and the King himself suffers the penalty for the rebellion. The offender commits the trespass, and the Judge bears the punishment. Such a plan was never heard of in human courts of law; or if it has ever been spoken of there, it was because, first of all, both the ears of him who heard it had been made to tingle while God revealed it out of his own heart. “I have found a ransom.” Nobody would have thought of that way of the deliverance of a sin ner from the pit of hell through a ransom if God had not thought of it. – Charles Spurgeon

Job 33:25 – Salvation transforms the life of one about to perish (Job 33:18). No longer in pain (Job 33:19), unable to enjoy life (Job 33:20), wasting away (Job 33:21), drawing near the grave (Job 33:22). Now his flesh is fresher than a child’s (Job 33:25 – that sounds like Naaman! 2 Kings 5:14), God’s favour is upon him (Job 33:26), and He has given man His righteousness! (Job 33:26).

Job 33:27 – The three friends thought Job wasn’t trying hard enough to be righteous. Job thought he had been trying hard enough to be righteous. Elihu says you forgot how you became righteous.

Job is being reminded of his conversion. Why was Job righteous in the sight of the LORD? Not because he was perfect, but because he admitted he was a sinner,  that is why God delivered him! (Job 33:28). Because Job trusted the Ransom (Job 33:24).

2 Corinthians 3:1 – Like Elihu, Paul begs for a hearing from his audience. But unlike Elihu, Paul is not the younger man here.

2 Corinthians 3:6 – What is the New Testament? The declaration of the ransom! Isn’t it glorious! (2 Corinthians 3:8)

2 Corinthians 3:14 – Yes it is sad that our dear Jewish friends can read the Old Testament (this is the only place in the Bible where this phrase occurs) and not see Jesus. It is amazing that we can see Jesus even in Job!

2 Corinthians 3:18 – Speaking of glory – we are being changed into the glory of the LORD by His Spirit!

Psalm 43:3 – May we be led by His truth and light unto His Holy Hill!

Proverbs 22:9 – God blesses those who give to the poor. Note he did not give his stale bread to the poor – today we often believe “Give of your worst to the Master” Any old thing will do!

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Daily Encouragement

August 28 – Wisdom and Understanding

August 28
Job 28:1-30:31
2 Corinthians 2:12-17
Psalm 42:1-11
Proverbs 22:7

Job 28:20-28 – The choral song “Wisdom and Understanding” is based on this passage.

Yes Job has much wisdom (and seems to be an inspiration for Solomon’s Proverbs).

Job 29:8-11 – Job seems to be proud of his former position of esteem. But why was he blessed?

Job 29:12-17 – Job followed God’s commands (Proverbs 21:13, Exodus 22:22-24).

Job 30:1 – Job is a master of wit.

Job 30:21 – Ah, Job’s sorrow is taking a wrong turn. He is accusing God of cruelty.

2 Corinthians 2:14 – Very rarely can we use absolute words like “always.” But God always causeth us to triumph in Christ! Sing along with the WILDS.

Psalm 42:1 – This verse has also been set to music.

Psalm 42:2 – Do we thirst for God? The Psalmist had hope in God (Psalm 42:5), while Job wanted to argue with the Almighty (Job 30:21).

Proverbs 22:7 – Morale of the story – debt is dangerous!

Daily Encouragement

August 27 – Praying with tears

August 27
Job 23:1-27:23
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11
Psalm 41:1-13
Proverbs 22:5-6 

Job 23:1 – The Third Round of the Debate begins to finish – we’ll see Job’s Answer to Eliphaz in Job 23 & 24, Bildad’s Summation in Job 25, and the beginning of Job’s response in Job 26-27.

Job 23:3 – Job acknowledges that he cannot approach God but he still wants to present his case to Him.

Job 23:12 – This seems to echo Psalm 119 – Job was a devout follower of the LORD who esteemed the words of the LORD! Do we? How much time do we spend in His Word?

Job 24:24 – We have read a whole chapter on the nature of evil. Why doesn’t bad things happen to evil people? Because they are exalted just for “a little while.”

Job 25:4 – Bildad recognizes that God is great (Job 25:2), but he doesn’t recognize the possibility of knowing for sure that you can be justified with God. Too many people today believe in God. But they don’t believe that you can know for sure that you can have eternal life. They believe you can work, and get rewarded. Or you can not work, and get punished. But God’s grace is a mysterious thing to many.

Job 26:7 – Did God set the earth on pillars? (I Samuel 2:8). AiG explains

First Samuel 2:8 was spoken during a prayer by Hannah after she dedicated her son Samuel into the Lord’s service. Job spoke the other verse while talking with his friends about man’s weakness in light of God’s majestic power. This sort of poetic imagery (pillars, foundations, etc.) is commonly used in Scripture to describe how God upholds the world.

2 Corinthians 2:4 – Biblical discernment ministries ought to operate with tears, not sarcasm. Tears before the LORD is manly.

  • 2 Kings 20:5 – Hezekiah prayed with tears
  • Job 16:20 – Job prayed with tears
  • Psalm 39:12 – David prayed with tears
  • Jeremiah 31:16 – Jeremiah weeped with tears
  • Acts 20:31 – Paul warned with tears
  • 2 Timothy 1:4 – Timothy had tears

And Psalm 119:136 tells how David declared that “Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.”

Psalm 41:1 – God will deliver not him that hath partiality to the rich, but to the poor! (James 2:1).

Proverbs 22:6 – I’ve been reading Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Living. Dr. Peterson grew up in the “Bible belt” of Canada, admits he turned away from Christianity, but later accepted the philosophy of it without accepting the Jesus of the Bible (pray for him!). Even as a skeptic, he had to admit that the Bible provides the best answers to the challenges of today. He writes an entire chapter of his book defending what God wrote in just one verse, because he says:

I see today’s parents as terrified by their children, not least because they have been deemed the proximal agents of this hypothetical social tyranny, and simultaneously denied credit for their role as benevolent and necessary agents of discipline, order and conventionality.