Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Talk to God

January 31, 2008

Exodus 5:22-23 NET
(22) Moses returned to the LORD, and said, "Lord, why have you caused trouble for this people? Why did you ever send me?
(23) From the time I went to speak to Pharaoh in your name, he has caused trouble for this people, and you have certainly not rescued them!"

Just as God had said, Moses was going to ask to set his people free, Pharaoh would deny it. There was one other unfortunate thing though. Pharaoh made things worse for the people. And Moses got upset about it. He talked to God about it. The words in Exodus 5:22-23 are not some high flowing words about how great and mysterious God is and how He acts in unknown ways. No, it was a get in your face type pf prayer.

That is how God wants us to talk to him. Talk to him like he is your best friend sitting there beside you. Tell Him your hopes and dreams. Tell Him your failures. Ask Him what He would do.

God wants a personal relationship with us. Moses, one of the great leaders of the Old Testament had it. Do you?

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year
Exodus 4:1-6:30
Exodus 7:1-9:35

Promise and Problems

January 30, 2008

Exodus 3:16-20 ESV

(16) Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt,

(17) and I promise that I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land flowing with milk and honey."'

(18) And they will listen to your voice, and you and the elders of Israel shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us; and now, please let us go a three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'

(19) But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless compelled by a mighty hand.

(20) So I will stretch out my hand and strike Egypt with all the wonders that I will do in it; after that he will let you go.

With every promise that God gives us, there is a problem that must be solved. In this case, Moses has been told to go to the people so that they can be set free from the Egyptians. Call them together and tell them we will go to the land of our ancestors.

The only problem here is that Pharaoh will not let them go and give them a set of problems to overcome. God knows this and knows the solution. In fact He tells the Israelites that they will not only leave, but they will be able to go with the blessings of the Egyptian people.

God knows what ever problem you have in your life. He knows how to help you overcome it if you will let Him do it. Too often we want to take control and do it ourselves. While there are things that you will do to resolve a problem, do not get in God's way when the miracle occurs. If you need more pay than you are making now, apply for other jobs, but do not limit God to just your job as your source of income. He may get you a raise, you might get blessings from other places, any number of things.

Watch what God can do for you, but do something while you are waiting.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year

Exodus 1:1-3:22

Exodus 4:1-6:30

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


January 29, 2008

As we wrap up the end of Genesis, Jacob has passed away, but what legacy has he passed on to his children?

If you remember when Jacob returned to Esau, the brother whom he had tricked, he send the woman and children out before him as a message to his brother that all is well, here is a present. Now, Jacob has passed and his sons are afraid that Joseph will pay them back for selling him into slavery. So what do they do?

Genesis 50:15-16 JPS
(15) And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said: 'It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him.'
(16) And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying: 'Thy father did command before he died, saying:

They sent a messenger. They did not go themselves. Their father had taught them well. Send someone else to do your work for you. Avoid the conflict at all cost.

And like Esau, Joseph did not need to concern himself with the messenger. He had given forgiveness even though they did not ask for it.

We who are parents are living examples to our children of what we should be. What example do we give to them.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 48:1-50:26
Exodus 1:1-3:22

If I may add a personal note here: 28 years ago today I was there for the birth of my first son. Today he is serving the Lord in Indonesia. I ask that you keep him in your prayers. God will protect him I know but a father asks for prayers for his son, especially in the spiritual environment he is in.

Monday, January 28, 2008


January 28, 2008

As we have been reading through he Bible, we have followed Jacob as he lost his son Joseph and now finds him and goes to live with him. As he is leaving, God speaks to him one more time. He tells him to go to Egypt, all will be well and the nation that will come from him will grow there. As Jacob goes and does as he is told, he now takes the name given to him when he wrestled with God, Israel. Israel and his sons go to Joseph and he tells them exactly what to do when they talk to Pharaoh.

That must have seemed hard, even though he was the man in charge. His own dad had to put him self under the authority of the son. He had to do not only what God told him to do but what his son told him to do. There are times in your life when God is going to put you under the authority of someone else. They may be older and more wiser than you are, or they may be younger. No matter what, if God put you there, there is a reason. Do what is asked of you and great things will happen.

Genesis 47:27 BBE
(27) And so Israel was living among the Egyptians in the land of Goshen; and they got property there, and became very great in numbers and in wealth.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 46:1-47:31
Genesis 48:1-50:26

Sunday, January 27, 2008


January 27, 2008

Genesis 45:24 LITV
(24) And he sent his brothers away; and they went. And he said to them, Do not quarrel along the way.

Joseph has been reunited with his brothers. He has revealed himself to them and he is sending them back to get dad and come back. What does he say to them as they leave? 'Don't fight!'

Even though he saw how they had changed, he knew their nature, he knew that they would pick at each other on the way home. Maybe something like, 'if you had not come up with the idea to sell him maybe this famine would not have happened.' What ever it was, it was their nature. Joseph had had the advantage of trusting God all along, they had not.

Do not expect people to change overnight when they become Christians. It just does not happen. There is too much of the former nature in them. But gentle nudge them along as they go.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 43:1-45:28
Genesis 46:1-47:31

Saturday, January 26, 2008


January 26, 2008

In the list of people that had a reason to blow their own horn to be noticed that run through the pages of the Bible, Joseph is most likely at the top. Sold by his brothers into slavery and while in that slavery falsely accused of rape. The into prison. In each situation he rose above the problems and was soon running things.

Now he stands before Pharaoh, telling him what the dreams that he had meant. Pharaoh is impressed, asked Joseph what he should do.

Genesis 41:33-37 KJV
(33) Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.
(34) Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.
(35) And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
(36) And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.
(37) And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

Notice what Joseph does not tell Pharaoh. Joseph does not say, 'I am the man you need to do this job, pick me.' He tells Pharaoh what to look for and let's him decide. Years ago I used to run sound in the churches that I attended. I have never had any formal training on doing that, but God does not use ability but availability. At one church I was eventually put in charge of the sound for the services and over the volunteers. One Sunday I had a man tell me how great he was, how he had been trained in sound. I got the feeling he was bucking for my job and would of let him have it. I put him in a few services and went to sit and enjoy them for a change. Not very far into the service, I got a tap on my shoulder from an usher asking me when I was going to go fix the sound problems. I said when he asks for help. A few minutes later I got a tap again. I was in the booth in seconds.
By the way, Joseph got the big job.

You see, trying to promote yourself when doing God's work is never a good idea. God promotes you Himself. You need to just make yourself available.

Read through the Bible in Historical order in one year:
Genesis 41:1-42:38
Genesis 43:1-45:28

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dysfunction junction, what's your function

Janjuary 25, 2007

As I noted yesterday, Genesis is a book full of people who are dysfunctional at best. Today we look at one of the sons of Jacob, Judah. If you have been reading along in the daily plan, you know that Joseph has been sold into slavery. You would expect the story to continue and it does. Before it continues we take aside trip into Judah's family. Judah left his father to some degree and seems to go off on his own marrying a local woman. From her he had three children. Two of them were older and the third much younger. The oldest marries a woman named Tamar. God considers him to be evil so he dies before having any children. As tradition dictated, the next brother was to marry the widow to give her a child that would carry on the older brothers name. Judah gives his second son to her but he refuses to get her pregnant so he dies as well. Judah tells her to go home and stay in her father's house till his youngest gets old enough to marry. He really had no intention of doing so.

A few years later Judah's wife dies. After the time of mourning is over he goes with a friend to do some sheep shearing. On the way he sees a prostitute that he likes and propositions her. He has no money but he offers to give a lamb to her. She takes his walking stick and his ring, used to seal important documents as a security. They have sex and he tries to send the payment to her but she seems to disappear.

A few months later, Judah finds out Tamar is with child and calls for her to be stoned.

Genesis 38:24-26 GNB
(24) About three months later someone told Judah, "Your daughter-in-law Tamar has been acting like a whore, and now she is pregnant." Judah ordered, "Take her out and burn her to death."
(25) As she was being taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law: "I am pregnant by the man who owns these things. Look at them and see whose they are---this seal with its cord and this walking stick."
(26) Judah recognized them and said, "She is in the right. I have failed in my obligation to her---I should have given her to my son Shelah in marriage." And Judah never had intercourse with her again.

Judah had gotten his own daughter in law pregnant. Talk about your dysfunctional families!

So what can we learn from all this? Do you know that God has a plan for your life? And no matter what, God will get it taken care of. God's plan was for Tamar to have a child. How do I know?

Matthew 1:2-3 GW
(2) Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
(3) Judah and Tamar were the father and mother of Perez and Zerah. Perez was the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,

From Matthew chapter 1 we get the family tree of Jesus. Did you notice who is in that family tree in verse three? Judah and Tamar. I am not convinced it was Judah's job to get her pregnant. I think it may have been the job of his sons. But Tamar took it into her own hands when Judah would not do the honorable thing. Was she right? I do not know. I do know from my own life that if you do not do what God tells you to do, it will be done by someone else. God always has a plan B in mind.

I do not want my life to be me passing plan A on to other people to do Plan B. I want my life to be a Plan A. How about you?

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 38:1-40:23
Genesis 41:1-42:38

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whose to blame?

January 24, 2008

If anyone wants an example of dis-functional families, all they have to do is look at the book of Genesis. It starts off with Adam and Eve and Cain and Able, goes on to Noah and his family, then Abraham, Issac and Jacob and their families. The worse being Jacob and sons. Like his dad, Jacob, later known as Israel, had his favorite child and gave him more than the others. And when this child, Joseph, put himself above the others, dad did not do anything about it. In the end, the brothers tried to damage their brother.

Genesis 37:26-30 BBE
(26) And Judah said to his brothers, What profit is there in putting our brother to death and covering up his blood?
(27) Let us give him to these Ishmaelites for a price, and let us not put violent hands on him, for he is our brother, our flesh. And his brothers gave ear to him.
(28) And some traders from Midian went by; so pulling Joseph up out of the hole, they gave him to the Ishmaelites for twenty bits of silver, and they took him to Egypt.
(29) Now when Reuben came back to the hole, Joseph was not there; and giving signs of grief,
(30) He went back to his brothers, and said, The child is gone; what am I to do?

Someone in the group of 10 brothers wanted to try to break the mold. He was going to rescue Joseph, but he was too late, the other nine had sold him to slavery. Reuben wanted to stop the dis-function in his family.

Now the question is who is to blame? Reuben did not rescue him in time. The brothers tried to kill him. The dad had a favorite. His mom and dad had favorites in their family. And Abraham lied a lot to save his hide. The whole clan was messed up. Who is to blame?

The one to blame is yourself. The brothers had the choice to not do it. In fact they wanted to be free of the blood on their hands if they killed him. They had the choice. They can say they came from a family that was all messed up.

In our lives, we can choose to do what is right and wrong. We must take responsibility for our actions. They chose what was wrong. God used it for the best, but we still have to be responsible.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


January 23, 2007

Genesis 32:25-29 GNB
(25) When the man saw that he was not winning the struggle, he hit Jacob on the hip, and it was thrown out of joint.
(26) The man said, "Let me go; daylight is coming." "I won't, unless you bless me," Jacob answered.
(27) "What is your name?" the man asked. "Jacob," he answered.
(28) The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have struggled with God and with men, and you have won; so your name will be Israel."
(29) Jacob said, "Now tell me your name." But he answered, "Why do you want to know my name?" Then he blessed Jacob.

I said the other day that I thought Jacob was a man who knew what he wanted and went for it. I say it again today. This was no trickster trying to get something for nothing. Someone like that will give up before things even get going. He wanted something from this being. If nothing else he wanted to win.

Live your life like you want to win, the saints of old did.

Read through the Bible in Historical order in one year:

Genesis 32:1-34:31
Genesis 35:1-37:36

Monday, January 21, 2008


January 22, 2008

I am sure that you have seen them if you have ever been in a Christian gift shop. The Mizpah coins. They usually have a break in them, one for the girl and one for the guy. When put together they have a quote from the Bible, 'May the Lord watch over us while we are apart.' While it is a wonderful thought, the verse is out of context.

Genesis 31:45-52 KJV
(45) And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar.
(46) And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap.
(47) And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed.
(48) And Laban said, This heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed;
(49) And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
(50) If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.
(51) And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee;
(52) This heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm.

Jacob had been running from his father-in-law, wanting to get away while he had the chance. He had not stolen anything as Laban suggested, but Labanchased after him. Once it was shown that Jacob did not have anything, Jacob decided to build a monument there. He called the place Mizpah , as if to say, God will get you Laban if you try anything against me. And Laban said, if you go past this to hurt me, or I to you, then God will get the one that did wrong.

You know, like Jacob who worked for Laban, you worked for the devil one time. When you got saved, you tried to get away as fast as you could. Satanpursued you and said, you have all this stuff that I gave you. You may have listened to him, you may have said I am a new person, it does not matter. He will try to get to you every time. It is time for you to lay a spiritual set of stones up and say 'Mizpah, Satan, you can come this far and not further. You will not come past here to harm me. I will not allow it. And God is keeping his eye on you also. He will see when you try to do wrong.'

It is time to build a Mizpah stone heap. Are you ready?

Read through the Bible in historical order:
Genesis 30:1-31:55
Genesis 32:1-34:31

Bargaining with God

January 21, 2007

Have you ever felt like trying to make a deal with God? God if you will do X, Y and Z, then I will do A, B and C and follow you forever. Most of us who are Christian do not try to do that if we are in a healthy state of mind. Generally when we are trying to make deals with God is when we are going through some sort of grief and we want to say 'God, I never wanted this to happen, fix it and I will serve you.'

Generally when people read the story of Jacob they see him as trying to bargain with God. God had told him that God would provide for him just as he did for his grandfather and father. Yet Jacob still tries to bargain with him.

Genesis 28:20-22 MKJV
(20) And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to put on,
(21) and I come again to my father's house in peace, then shall Jehovah be my God.
(22) And this stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house. And of all that You shall give me, I will surely give the tenth to You.

Remember that I talked about normal people do not bargain with God, only those who are going through grief. Jacob was going through grief here. I can hear you say "What? The man just stole his brothers blessing and is running away so he does not get his butt kicked!" If you remember Esau had sold the birthright to his brother, the blessing should have gone with the birthright.

Jacob is now alone, with no family or friends. He knows he may never see his mother and father alive again, and he is running for his life. The loss of his parents and brother (even though they did not get along) has probably put him on the edge of grief if not smack dab in the middle of it. So he does what we all do as one of the steps of grief. We tell God what we want to happen and then try to cut a deal with Him.

Years later, when Jacob comes back to his home country, he will come back to this place and will remember his deal with God. He will then begin to honor his part of it.

Have you made any deals that you need to honor with God?

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 27:1-29:35
Genesis 30:1-31:55

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Go for it

January 20, 2008

Genesis 25:26 Webster
(26) And after that his brother was born, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

I have always seen people talk about how sneaky and conniving that Jacob was. He stole his brothers birthright and then stole the blessing as well. In reading their story today I have seen something a little bit different.

Jacob knew what he wanted. He knew what he wanted right from birth and he was active in getting it. There was no waiting around for mom to push him out into the world, he was going to work to get his way out. All the other incidents of his life show something similar to me. When his brother came in hungry and not realizing what his birthright meant, he made a deal to get it. When dad wanted his last meal, he made arrangements to get it.

I am not saying all his dealings were honest. Tricking dad for the blessing was not. I would personally stop looking at Jacob as a thief and start looking at him as a businessman. He knew what he wanted and he grabbed for it with every once of gusto that he had. He lived life not as a passive sneak but knowing what he wanted and going for it.

Isn't that the way God wants us to live?

Through the Bible in historical order in one year
Genesis 25:1-26:35
Genesis 27:1-29:35

Saturday, January 19, 2008


January 19, 2008

Abraham is listed in the book of Hebrews as a hero if the faith. He was in it because it says that he had faith that he believed the son of promise would come. But there are so many more examples that we never really think about. Such is the one in the verse I want to look at today:

Genesis 22:5 NET
(5) So he said to his servants, "You two stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go up there. We will worship and then return to you."

Think about what has happened here. Abraham has been called by God to sacrifice the son, that which Abraham had waited so long for. The son that Abraham had even tried to help God for. And now God was saying, give him to me.

I have a daughter that I waited a long time for. I believed in faith for her. When I was told that my wife was pregnant, I spoke daughter over her. I have a feeling that if God had told me that I would have to sacrifice her to Him, I would have started looking for another religion. I am not sure that I would have had the faith that Abraham had. But here is Abraham saying that he was going on with the boy and that they would return. Not that Abraham himself would return but they would return.

That took a tremendous amount of faith. It is easy to see why he was included in the hall of faith.

Could you ever have that much faith?

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 22:1-24:67
Genesis 25:1-26:35

Friday, January 18, 2008

Looking Back

January 18, 2008

Genesis 19:17 KJV
(17) And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
Genesis 19:26 KJV
(26) But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

A fear years ago I was visiting a small church. In the back of the church was a clock so when the Pastor was preaching he could keep track of the time. Around the edge of the clock was the words, 'remember what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back.' A silly thing to do, maybe. But does God want us to look back. What is so important during a service where we have come to worship the Lord that we have to look back to look at a clock. Aren't we suppose to be
worshiping the Lord and learning His word?

Why did Lot's wife look back? What was there that caused her to look back. She knew all was to be destroyed and was told not to look back. Lot had made a bad choice to live there in the first place, taking the easy country and leaving Abraham the hill country. He then moved
into the city with the bad life style that it had. So now he is on the run. Why did she look back. Maybe she wanted one last look at what she was loosing. Maybe she was going to miss the friends and clubs she had. I do not know.

Like the people looking at the clock in the back of the church, she was not looking forward. She was not worshiping the God who gave her freedom from death any more that we do when we clock watch in church.

God has something for us to do and we can not do it if we look back, only if we look forward. That is not to say that we can not take congratulations for what we have accomplished, just that we do not live in it. Life is moving forward and we must do so also.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 19:1-21:34
Genesis 22:1-24:67

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Intercessory Prayer

January 17, 2007

Genesis 18
30 Then Abraham said, "O may the Lord not be angry, and I will speak.
What if only thirty are found there?" The Lord said, "I will not do it
if I find thirty there."
31 Abraham said, "Now see, I have taken upon myself to speak to the
Lord. What if twenty are found there?" The Lord said, "I will not
destroy it because of the twenty."
32 Then Abraham said, "O may the Lord not be angry. And I may speak
once more. What if ten are found there?" The Lord said, "I will not
destroy it because of the ten."
33 Then the Lord went on His way when He finished speaking with
Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

I often wonder why Abraham stopped at 10. He must have had a fairly
good idea that the only people that were righteous were Lot, Lot's
wife and their children, that is only four people. So why stop at 10,
why not get them all rescued. Then they could be saved later. But he
stopped at 10. Maybe God just turned away and said that's it no more.
All we have record of is that they both just went on their way.

I see Abraham's prayer here as a sort of Intercessory prayer. I have
been told that you pray for people till the burden is lifted. Did
Abraham start out to get Lot saved and stopped when he got the burden
lifted and that is why Lot went free? Or did God plan it all in
advance. Was He testing Abraham as He later did when Issac was born?

Pray for others. It is important, especially if God puts it on your
heart to. I woke up in the middle of the night almost 30 years ago
with a burden to pray for a man that I knew was 1/2 way around the
world on a short missions trip. When he got home a few months later we
compared notes when he came to speak at my church. Found out with the
time change and all, that the day and hours that I was praying for
him, he was sick and the doctors thought he would die. When my burden
lifted was about the time the sickness changed for the better. Now I
do not tell you this to glorify myself. I show that their is power in
your prayer. If I had said a few quick prayers and rolled over and
went back to bed, what would have happened to him?

God gives you someone to pray for, pray till the burden is lifted.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 16:1-18:33
Genesis 19:1-21:34

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Somebody Believed

January 16, 2007

Genesis 15:6 (The Message)

The Message (MSG)

6 And he believed! Believed God! God declared him "Set-Right-with-God."

The simple act of believing is both easy and complex. To one point, I want to be able to trust you (or someone else) so I believe that you will not hurt me. On the other hand, if I have had experience with you that may temper how much I can believe you. For example, a boss giving a job to a worker. By nature the boss would want to believe the worker can do it right, but based on previous experience with him or with other workers he has had, he may not believe that is possible.

What would you do if you were presented with someone that you could not see but had made you promises? You have no previous experience with this being, and for all you know you could be making him up. Do you trust in him or do you say forget it.

Abram had this problem. He had been told that he was going to have to believe God, a being that he had not seen but tried to follow. When he did, God declared Abram righteous, set right with God. Did Abram have to build a fire, prepare a sacrifice or anything else. While he did do those things, that is not what set him right with God, it was the fact that he believed.

Today you will have people who want you to believe in them, that they can do the job, that they will not hurt you, that you will do what you have promised. You only have to believe one thing in all your life. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. All those other things that you believe in others or that others believe in you will not matter in eternity. While they are important in the here and now, the life you spend in eternity with Jesus will not be changed by them.

Take time, like Abram, to trust God at His word. Be declared 'set-right-with-God!'

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Genesis 12:1-15:21
Genesis 16:1-18:33

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Your image of God

January 15, 2008

Years ago, when my son who turns 28 at the end of this month, was a a freshman in high school, I had to go pick him up sick at the school. As I left, I forgot I was in a school zone and picked up my speed a little bit and as I did, the friendly blue light of the police man reminded me just where I was. He went through the usually bit, checked my DriversLicence against the known criminals list and then came back to my car. We talked a bit, he appreciated that I was a father taking care of his son and reminded me to teach him how to drive properly by example. He said I would write you a ticket, but I will give you a warning.

He had one set of rules that he should have followed, the city that we lived in, but he chose to follow a different set of rules. God is like that you know. He has one set of rules that He judges us by, but He could judge us by many sets of rules, as many as there are people.

Job 42:8 VW
(8) Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job will pray for you; for I accept him; lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.

I am sure that Job's friends were glad that God chose His way rather than their way of judging things. They had been vindictive, telling Job just how wrong he was and he had to confess his sin to God. But Job had not sinned like they said he had. They painted a really bleak picture of God, one that Job could have accepted and been indespair.

My councilor and friend had me read a book several years ago called the Father Heart of God. The author tries to tell us to picture God as a loving father. He then tells us that it sometimes can be a hard thing for many to do. I am one of them. I had a hard time getting my mind on straight (and still do somewhat to this very day) on this, because I had a less than ideal example of a father, one who hit first and ask questions later, who got drunk a lot. We do these things as well. We paint an image of God that may not be right just like Job's friends did.

It is time to read the Word and see what it says God is like.

Read though the Bible in Historical order in one year:
Job 40:1-42:17
Genesis 12:1-15:21

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Questions from God

January 14, 2008

Job 38:2-3 BBE
(2) Who is this who makes the purpose of God dark by words without knowledge?
(3) Get your strength together like a man of war; I will put questions to you, and you will give me the answers.

As we have been reading through the Bible, we seem to have been parked here in Job for a while. As we have seen, Job and his friends have had their say and no one is any wiser for it. His friends have blamed him for what has gone wrong to him (some friends) and Job has demanded that God explain why God is picking on him. Needless to say, we are getting to the end of the book, everyone has shut up and now God gets to talk.

And does he talk? Does He explain things to Job, does he tell Job's friends that they have it wrong? No. He asks a bunch of questions to Job. Sometimes they are a bit sarcastic, but for the most part, he is trying to get Job to understand one thing. God is God. He does not have to answer to us. He is the one that made things and He has to answer to no one if we do not like it.

In our day so many churches are trying to show that God is our friend. While it is true that Abraham was a friend of God and I can be also, God is not necessarily our friend as we think of friend. He is our God. He has the right to say things to us that hurt because he is our friend. He does not have to get along with us when we sin, though He loves us.

God was there from time's beginning. We do not fully understand all that happens to us, I know that I do not. Next time you want to question God about what is going on, look at chapter 28 and 29 in Job. When you can answer God's questions, then you can question God.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Job 38:1-39:30
Job 40:1-42:17

What about them?

January 13, 2008

So many times I have tried to tell people about Jesus and they stop me. They try to say, 'what about the people in a third world country that have never heard about Jesus?' Now Eliahu speaking to Job had some wise advice, probably the only wise thing he had to say:

Job 36:17 NET
(17) But now you are preoccupied with the judgment due the wicked,
judgment and justice take hold of you.

When people bring up that question if you witness to them, you have an answer now.

It can also apply to our day to day life. Have you ever got in to an argument with someone and said, God, why are you blessing them after what they did to me, how they sinned against me? Well, you too are preoccupied with the wicked. Get your eyes off of that relationship and get your eyes on God. What God does with someone else is his business not yours. How he deals with you if your business.

Read through the Bible in historical order
Job 35:1-37:24
Job 38:1-39:30

Friday, January 11, 2008

Is it time yet?

January 12, 2007

Can you imagine if we knew when we were going to die and face God for judgement? Would your life be different than it is now. Would you make sure that you let the ones that were around you know that you loved them? Or would you party hardy till just before the end and then ask Jesus to forgive you? Would you spend time in prayer or play? I think that is the reason that God does not tell us. We would sin like crazy and get in to heaven with fire insurance.

Is your life today one that reflects you would die tomorrow? Have you let those around you know that you love them? Act like tomorrow may not come, it is the best way to find happiness with people and with God.

Job 34:23 BBE
(23) For he does not give man a fixed time to come before him to be judged.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year
Job 32:1-34:37
Job 35:1-37:24

Hearing from God

January 11, 2008

I have been through some problems over the years. Not as bad as Job's but I have felt the same way he feels at times:

Job 30:20 MKJV
(20) I cried to You, and You did not hear me; I stood up, and You did not consider me.

If you have been doing the daily readings (or know the book of Job very well), you know that we are getting near the end of the long speeches by Job and his so called friends. In fact this is the last speech before the forth friend shows up. I really do know how Job felt at this point. His friends have all tried to blame him for what happened. Job is calling on God not to free him from the pain but to explain why what is happening is happening. Friends with no comfort and now a God who does not hear him.

Now, if you know the story, how long has Job, or his friends shut up so that God could speak? Quick answer, 0, zip, zilch, nada!! Since Job's first speech, they have not shut up. God if He wanted to could not get a word in edge wise. Well, when God does not speak to me when I talk to Him, is there a similarity here? You could say that. While we may ask God to speak, can we hear him over the TV, radio, or what ever we have playing? The answer is no.

Years ago I divorced my first wife when I was running away from God. I was angry at God and asked Him why all my problems were happening. I did not really want Him to answer. I kept myself busy doing many things. I worked three jobs, spent time on-line, watched a lot of TV. But when the TV was out, the lights were out and I lay on my bed alone, I felt alone. And then, God tried to speak to me because he could get my attention without distraction.

Sometimes I have to remember that when I am so busy, and I ask why all the stuff is happening to me lately. Then I realize, I have not taken time to listen to God in place of just talking to Him?

Take time to talk to God, more importantly, take time to listen.

Read through the Bible in historical order:
Job 29:1-31:40
Job 32:1-34:37

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fear of the Lord

January 10, 2008

Job 28:28 KJV
(28) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

I always cringe a little bit when I see that verse. I need to fear the Lord. He is a big mean God who is going to hit me over the head with a hammer if I do not straighten up. NOT!

You see, fear is not a good word for us to use today. In the King James times it most likely had a different meaning. Strong's gives us a idea what it should mean:

fear (also used as infinitive); morally reverence: - X dreadful, X exceedingly, fear (-fulness).

Did you catch that, along with fear it says morally reverence. In trying to teach my children what the 'fear of the Lord' means, I often use the example of fire. Uncontrolled, a fire can hurt you and you had better get away from it. But when it is under control it can heat my house, bar-b-que my chicken and cook my food. I do not need to run from that. But I still have to respect it. If I put my hand in the hot coals when I am grilling my chicken, I will hurt myself. I call it a healthy respect for the fire. I do not fear the fire, but I respect what it can do and I avoid situations when it can hurt me.

My dad was an alcoholic. I have never taken a drink. Some would say that I fear it. But I have seen how it can destroy a person, so I would say I have a healthy respect for it and do not even want to tempt myself with it.

I personally think that we do not teach that reverence, the healthy respect for God in our churches today. I think that it can be taught from the children on up to the adults. Of course the church I grew up in had strict rules about what you could and could not do in the area where services were, and that has stayed with me for many years.

Take some time to think about how you reverence God today.

Read through the Bible in historical order in one year:
Job 24:1-28:28
Job 29:1-31:40

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Why do the wicked prosper

January 9, 2008

Job 21:7-9 CEV
(7) Why do evil people live so long and gain such power?
(8) Why are they allowed to see their children grow up?
(9) They have no worries at home, and God never punishes them.

Job asks a question that a lot of ask. His friends have been saying that he has done evil and God is punishing him. Job has listened for a while but now he is getting upset. He disputes their facts. Evil people lead good and full lives and God never seems to do anything to stop them. He never seems to punish them at all. Why is this so.

In my own life I have questioned these same things as I am sure many of you readers have. Why do people who do wrong seem to get blessed while I have problems. Last summer I got laid off. People who I know that lead unsaved lives that curse God still work at that company while I took a loss in pay when I finally could find another job. Why?

The only reason I can get from God is BECAUSE. You know, He is God, and that is the only explanation that He has to give me, in fact He does not even owe me that.

I do know one thing. In the end, the evil people will get their reward. As we talked about yesterday, I know my redeemer lives and I will see Him. There will be a better reward for me in the end, something that Job was not able to see.

Read through the Bible in Historical order
Job 21:1-23:17
Job 24:1-28:28

I know my reederer lives

January 8, 2007

Job 19:25-26 KJV
(25) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
(26) And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

Job has had a tremendous transformation in the time we have been reading him. In earlier chapters he has said that he did not know if there was anything after death. He was thinking that the darkness would swallow him up and he would be gone. Yet here he is saying that he knows that someone will come along to redeem him from his sins. To add to that he says that he knows that he will see God. In just the short time that he has been talking with his 'friends' he has changed a great deal. Why is that? His friends were not comforting him at all. In fact they were telling him that it was all his own fault.

I think that adversity can do one of things. It can destroy us or make us stronger. Someone once said what does not kill you makes you stronger. That is the case here. In trying to tell his friends that he was innocent, he made himself stronger in his own faith that he was.

When we face some of our darkest hours, when it feels like God has abandoned you, know that your redeemer lives, and his name is Jesus. You too shall see God when you die. Keep that faith because He is.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Clean from Unclean

January 17, 2007

Job 14:4 KJV
(4) Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job said some amazing things. As I work through his words, I have to stop to make sure, read it slowly, not because it is boring, but because I want to make sure that I find those nuggets.

Job makes a statement that his friends ignore. And at first glance it looks like most of us would also. I mean, clean out of unclean, what is he talking about here? Obviously water that is unclean can not be clean right. And an unclean animal, one that by God's law could not be eaten. There are two possible things that it could mean. But Job is questioning God here. He is asking God why He istorturing Job. Man will sin. Why? Because he is unclean, and when he joins with an unclean woman, the result will be unclean. Job is saying, look, you made us this way, why the problems.

Now we know that Job was not getting punished by God. But what he had to say is true. And it is the reason that Jesus had to come. Only a clean God could conceive a clean Son. And only that Son could die for us so that our sins would be gone. Job was showing us that Jesus was to come in his own little way.

Read through the Bible in Historical Order
Job 14:1-16:22
Job 17:1-20:29

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Great Council

January 6, 2008

Job 12:13 KJV
(13) With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

Years ago I was seeking council over a problem I was having with another person. The person that I talked to on the phone listened while I said my side of things. Then I added at the end, 'of course you are hearing my side, the other person has a different view and the truth is somewhere in the middle.' He replied with something I had not thought of before. 'You know,' he said, 'that when you have several Christians together, that is where God is.'

I had never thought of that. While I knew that my side or the other person's side would be biased by our filters, it had not been a thought that the truth would be in the middle where God was.

When you get in a conflict with someone, always remember that the truth is there, and seek God for His council in it.

Read through the Bible Historically in a year:
Job 10:1-13:28
Job 14:1-16:22

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why is something wrong?

January 5, 2008

Job 9 (Message)

1 Job continued by saying:

2 "So what's new? I know all this. The question is, 'How can mere mortals get right with God?'

3 If we wanted to bring our case before him, what chance would we have? Not one in a thousand!

Job and his friends, what a team. One of his friends has just told him the reason for all the problems is a sin that he commuted but will not admit to. Now we have an advantage that they did not. The problems, we know from reading chapter 1, were caused by the devil.

To his credit, Job does not deny that it is possible that he sinned, but he has done a morality check on himself and does not see where it is.So he asks the question, how can we know that is right and what is wrong? Think about it for a moment. Is something wrong because God says it is? Or is it already wrong and God tells us it is. If it is the first.God can change His mind, He did it all over the place in Exodus. If He can change his mind, and it is wrong because God says it is, then there is no absolutes. In this case, Job is trying to hit a moving target. God could declare something wrong and Job would not know it. We know that it is wrong and God says it is wrong, not that it is wrong because God says it is wrong. Job did not have that luxury.

So now, we need to find out what is right and what is wrong. That is simple, we love God with our whole heart. If that we can not do wrong. Does that mean we will not have problems. Nope. Job had lots of them and God called him righteous in chapter 1. Let us only hope that we do not have the problems of Job.

Read through the Bible in Historical Order


Job 6:1-9:35


Job 10:1-13:28

Friday, January 4, 2008

Curse God and Die

January 4, 2007

Job 2 (Amplified)
8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and he sat [down] among the ashes.

9 Then his wife said to him, Do you still hold fast your blameless uprightness? Renounce God and die!

What a wonderful piece of work Job's wife was. I am not saying it as a put down of woman, I would say the same if it was a man saying these things, being a woman only made it worse as she was supposed to be his best friend, his help mate. Remember on January 1 I talked about having a person with the same vision as you? Well here is the reason plain as the nose on your face.

Verse 8 tells us just how bad things were for Job, but in our modern day and age we do not realize it. We think that scraping the sores was therecommended practice of the day. It was not. Someone who had some sort of money could invest in a salve that they could put on the sores to relieve the pain. What Job was doing was what a poor man would do. to get relief they would scrape the sores, causing them to burst open,relieving the pain for a short time. Job had hit rock bottom, he was broke and no friends around at the time. The one person that he should have been able to go to for help and guidance, well she gave him the worst advice of all, renounce your belief in this God and then die.

Why did she marry him in the first place? Was it money? We can see that money can come as quick as it could go. Was it good looks? Well scraping boils off your body shows that looks can fade. Did she love him or the idea of loving him? And that is where the trouble starts. At a time when he needed her the most, she tells him to curse God, and die, and then unspoken request may have been, so I can get on with my life.

Times of trouble will be when the strength of a marriage is truly. A former pastor of mine used to say you do not put a tea bag in hot water and get Coca-Cola, when you are under pressure, what is in you will come out. And the pressure shows here. She wants to be able to move on and cares nothing for Job or his needs.

To be fair, this is not just a problem in marriage of woman to men, but men to woman as well. It goes both ways. The main thing here is that a marriage is only as strong as either person in it. Is it time to work with your spouse and cement your relation or will you wait till they tell you to curse God and die?

Read through the Bible in one year Historical Order.


Job 1:1-5:27


Job 6:1-9:35

Thursday, January 3, 2008


January 3, 2007

Pride is an interesting emotion. It is listed as one of the seven deadly sins, but should it be?

As a husband and father I have a lot of pride in what I do. I am proud of having a job and trying to take care of my family, I take pride in my work that it is well done. As a father of more children than I like to count, I am proud of both the growing and the grown up ones. I am proud I have taught them the ways of God so when they are old they will not depart from it. No, I think pride is a good thing sometimes.

Now if one of my children was to come to me and say, 'dad, you had nothing to do with this, I have done it myself, you were no help to me at all,' Iprobably would cringe a little bit. I would not be proud at that point. And if they were to curse God in the process, well I would be ashamed.

I wonder if that is how God felt when it comes to today's reading.

Genesis 11:(NIV)
3 They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar.
Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building.

6 The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.

7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."

I wonder what God thought about them doing what they were doing. They were trying to reach God. Isn't that something that we each do at least once in our live so that we can become Christians. I think God may have been pleased with them for doing that, if they had the correct motives. I know as a father, when my children do something that brings them closer to me, I smile and have a proud feeling.
But their motives were incorrect. They wanted to make a name for themselves. They did not want this monument to be to God but to themselves. They were saying 'look at me, look at me', like a spoiled brat at the grocery store that did not get the candy he wanted and the parents try to hide their faces. Like the parents will hopefully punish the child, God had to step in and remind the people who was boss. They were not the ones in charge, He was. God was not proud then.
Are our lives something that God can take pride in or are we trying to say look at me, I am in charge and we do things my way? Will we have to have a tower of Babel experience?

Read through the Bible in Historical Order
Genesis 8:1-11:32
Job 1:1-5:27

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


January 2, 2007

Genesis 4:6-7 GNB
(6) Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face?
(7) If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it."

Anger is an emotion as old as the the first family in history. Cain was angry. Was he angry at God for God not being happy with thesacrifice? Or was he mad at Able because the sacrifice of Abel was accepted but his was not? In reality, neither is important, it is the fact that he was angry.

God clearly shows Cain what he can do with the anger. He can learn from it why he is angry and what caused it so that he will not repeat those things, or he can let it rule over him. God told him those were the choices, it was his choice to go down one path or the other. We know from history that Cain made the wrong choice. Able was killed and God punished Cain for it.

Are we any different. When we get angry we can choose which way we go with it. We can go off like a steam kettle whistling and blowing till all around us are hurt. Or we can try to learn from what makes us angry and try not to go there again. We are not perfect, we will fail, but we can learn from those mistakes as well.

As this new year starts, let us try to learn from what makes us angry and not blow a bunch of steam.

Read through the Bible in a year.
Genesis 4:1-7:24
Genesis 8:1-11:32

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


January 1, 2008

Genesis 2:18 NET
(18) The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him."

The King James versions says a help meet. That kind of brings up a negative connotation, doesn't it? God is our helper however. He stands with us and helps us through our difficult times. He does not try to force us to do things His way or to withhold from us if we do not do as He says. The New English Translation seems to have it right here, a companion to corresponds to him.

The man is not to be the head of the woman, and the woman is not to be the head of the man. In the way things are in God's way of doing things, man is the one responsible for how the relationship works out and how the family unit is to survive. It should not be the man's or woman's dreams that drive the things in their relationship, it should be the dream that they both shared when they united as one.

If you are reading this now you fall into one of three categories and my advice is as follows:

1) You are looking to get married, or are single and following God's leading. If this is the case, make sure that you and your future mate have the same dreams for your future. Know what he or she wants and know that it is right for you. If one is expecting to be asuccess in one way and the other has a different image, now is the time to get out before one gets hurt.

2) You are married and finding out that your dreams are compatible or not. If they are, good, go for it. God has that mate that corresponds to you. If not, God had still called you to do what He has asked you to do. You may not do it on the grand scale you had hopped for, but keep at it. You are responsible for the dream that God put into your heart, not your mate.

3) You are in a position to council others who are about to or will get married in the future. Council them to follow their hearts in their dreams but to make sure that their dreams arecompatible. You can not stop them from doing what they will do, but you can give them advice.

Today's read through the Bible:
Genesis 1:1-3:24
Genesis 4:1-7:24