2/15/12

An October snow...


Thanks to my oldest daughter, I have this picture of October snow in central New Jersey, 2010.  Getting snow before Halloween is a rare thing, but it does happen.  I know it has happened before, but it is so long ago that I can't even remember.  You just never know what can happen next.  Life is full of surprises, so its good to do what you can do to be prepared for anything.  Which reminds me of the words of Jesus...

WEB: Matthew Chapter 24

[37] “As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. [38] For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship, [39] and they didn’t know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. [40] Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; [41] two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. [42] Watch therefore, for you don’t know in what hour your Lord comes. [43] But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. [44] Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don’t expect, the Son of Man will come.

[45] “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? [46] Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. [47] Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has. [48] But if that evil servant should say in his heart, ‘My lord is delaying his coming,’ [49] and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunkards, [50] the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn’t expect it, and in an hour when he doesn’t know it, [51] and will cut him in pieces, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be."

One of the most misused passages of scripture, this passage refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, not the end of time.  But, aside from that, it teaches a good lesson.  Be ready!!!  Those of us who are Christians know that we must be faithful, those who are not need to think about our spiritual relationship with God before it is too late.  You never know when you might see an unexpected "snow" of judgment.  By the way, I have seen it snow in the middle of July in upstate New York as well.  What next, snow in Florida?....

OT Bible Reading 2/15/12


Feb. 15
Genesis 46

Gen 46:1 Israel traveled with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac.
Gen 46:2 God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob!" He said, "Here I am."
Gen 46:3 He said, "I am God, the God of your father. Don't be afraid to go down into Egypt, for there I will make of you a great nation.
Gen 46:4 I will go down with you into Egypt. I will also surely bring you up again. Joseph will close your eyes."
Gen 46:5 Jacob rose up from Beersheba, and the sons of Israel carried Jacob, their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
Gen 46:6 They took their livestock, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt--Jacob, and all his seed with him,
Gen 46:7 his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and he brought all his seed with him into Egypt.
Gen 46:8 These are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
Gen 46:9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
Gen 46:10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
Gen 46:11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
Gen 46:12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
Gen 46:13 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron.
Gen 46:14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
Gen 46:15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty-three.
Gen 46:16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
Gen 46:17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister. The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
Gen 46:18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah, his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob, even sixteen souls.
Gen 46:19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin.
Gen 46:20 To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
Gen 46:21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
Gen 46:22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.
Gen 46:23 The son of Dan: Hushim.
Gen 46:24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
Gen 46:25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel, his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob: all the souls were seven.
Gen 46:26 All the souls who came with Jacob into Egypt, who were his direct descendants, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were sixty-six.
Gen 46:27 The sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls. All the souls of the house of Jacob, who came into Egypt, were seventy.
Gen 46:28 He sent Judah before him to Joseph, to show the way before him to Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen.
Gen 46:29 Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel, his father, in Goshen. He presented himself to him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
Gen 46:30 Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive."
Gen 46:31 Joseph said to his brothers, and to his father's house, "I will go up, and speak with Pharaoh, and will tell him, 'My brothers, and my father's house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
Gen 46:32 These men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.'
Gen 46:33 It will happen, when Pharaoh summons you, and will say, 'What is your occupation?'
Gen 46:34 that you shall say, 'Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers:' that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."

Prologue - Job is tested (1-2) by Mark Copeland

 "THE BOOK OF JOB"

                     Prologue - Job Is Tested (1-2)

OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS SECTION

1) To see the stage set for the "great controversy" that will occur
   between Job and his friends

2) To consider the challenge that Satan made concerning Job; would God
   have as much confidence in our faithfulness?

3) To appreciate the integrity of Job in the midst of his great
   suffering

SUMMARY

The first two chapters set the stage for the great controversy that
will take place between Job and his friends, which is precipitated by a
controversy between God and Satan.  We are first introduced to Job in
the land of Uz (likely Edom, SE of the Dead Sea, cf. Jer 25:20-21; Lam
4:21).  A man of remarkable character, he was blessed with a large
family and many possessions.  As an example of his piety, mention is
made of his sacrifices in behalf of his children (1:1-5).

We then learn of the controversy between God and Satan concerning Job.
On an occasion when Satan came before the Lord, God asked him whether 
he had considered His faithful servant, Job.  Satan responded with an 
attack on Job's character, that his fear of God was only because God
blessed him.  Satan then said that Job would curse God if everything he
had was taken away.  In response, God put all that Job had in Satan's
power, with the exception of Job himself (1:6-12).

In one day, then, Job lost all his material possessions through various
calamities.  His sons and daughters, also, were killed when a great
tornado destroyed the house in which they were partying.  Though deeply
grieved, Job worships God and does not charge Him with wrong (1:13-22).

When Satan appeared before God again, the Lord asked whether he had
considered how Job had remained faithful despite his losses.  Satan
then made another challenge, saying that Job would curse God if he
himself were harmed.  God then allowed Satan power over Job, but only
up to the point of actually taking his life.  With such power, Satan
strikes Job with painful boils (cf. 2:7-8; 7:5; 30:30) over his entire
body.  Job's wife lost what faith she might have had, and told him to
curse God and die.  Job, however, refuses to sin with his lips
(2:1-10).

At this point, three of Job's friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar)
come to mourn and try to comfort him.  However, they are shocked when
they see Job (whom they did not recognize because of the boils), and
sit dumbfounded for seven days and nights without a word in reaction to
the magnitude of his grief (2:11-13).

OUTLINE

I. THE PERSON AND CHARACTER OF JOB (1:1-5)
 
   A. HE LIVED IN THE LAND OF UZ...
      1. Somewhere in the East (cf. 1:3)
      2. Near a desert (1:19)
      3. Likely the land of Edom, SE of the Dead Sea (Jer 25:20-21;
         Lam 4:21)

   B. A MAN OF REMARKABLE CHARACTER...
      1. Blameless and upright
      2. Feared God
      3. Shunned evil
      -- "There is none like him on the earth." (1:8)

   C. A MAN GREATLY BLESSED...
      1. With a family of seven sons and three daughters
      2. With 7000 sheep, 3000 camel, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female 
         donkeys
      3. With a large household
      -- "this man was the greatest of all the people of the East"

   D. THE SPIRITUAL LEADER OF HIS FAMILY...
      1. His sons liked to "party"
      2. Yet Job sought to sanctify them and offer burnt sacrifices

II. SATAN ATTACKS JOB'S CHARACTER (1:6-12)

   A. SATAN APPEARS BEFORE GOD...
      1. When the "sons of God" (angels?) came before God
      2. After Satan had been "going to and fro on the earth" (cf. 1 Pe
         5:8)

   B. GOD ASKS SATAN ABOUT JOB...
      1. "Have you considered my servant Job?"
      2. A man of remarkable character

   C. SATAN'S ACCUSATION CONCERNING JOB...
      1. "Does Job fear God for nothing?"
         a. Does Job fear God selflessly?
         b. Does he not do it because of what he gets out of it?
            1) I.e., Job is simply self-centered
            2) By implication, God is not worthy to be praised on His 
               merits alone
         c. Stop blessing Job, and he will curse God!
      2. By such a test, Satan seeks to prove:
         a. There is no such thing as unselfish piety
         b. Men do right only when it is profitable to do so
         c. God is not worthy of service on the basis of His nature 
            alone
      -- Therefore Satan is not only accusing Job, but God as well!

   D. GOD ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE...
      1. He allows Job to be severely tried, but Satan cannot harm his
         person
      2. What God is trying to prove:
         a. There is such a thing as "noncovetous righteousness"
         b. There are people with a true devotion to God Almighty
            1) For Who He is
            2) Not for what they can get out of it

III. THE FIRST SERIES OF JOB'S MISFORTUNES (1:13-22)

   A. JOB'S LOSSES IN ONE DAY...
      1. His oxen, donkeys, and their servants to Sabean raiders
      2. His sheep and their servants to "fire from God from heaven"
      3. His camel and their servants to Chaldean raiders
      4. His sons and daughters are killed in a tornado

   B. JOB'S REACTION TO THESE LOSSES...
      1. He mourns, of course
         a. Tears his robe
         b. Shaves his head
         c. Falls to the ground
      2. But then he worships!
         a. In grief, he still praises God
         b. Even though he considers God as the One who has done all 
            these things
            1) He blesses the name of the Lord
            2) He does not charge God with wrong

IV. SATAN ATTACKS JOB'S CHARACTER A SECOND TIME (2:1-6)

   A. SATAN APPEARS BEFORE GOD AGAIN...
      1. The Lord asked Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job...?"
      2. Despite punished without cause, "He still holds fast to his
         integrity"

   B. SATAN CLAIMS THE TEST HAS NOT BEEN SEVERE ENOUGH...
      1. "...touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to 
         Your face!"
      2. God accepts the challenge, allowing Satan to do anything but
         take Job's life

V. THE SECOND SERIES OF JOB'S MISFORTUNES (2:7-10)

   A. JOB IS AFFLICTED WITH A TERRIBLE DISEASE...
      1. Possibilities:  elephantiasis, leprosy, or a leukemia of the 
         skin
      2. Characterized by:
         a. Boils (2:7)
         b. Itching (2:8)
         c. Drastic change of appearance (2:12)
         d. Worms and running sores (7:5)
         e. Corroding bones and gnawing pain (30:17)
         f. Blackened skin and fever (30:30)
      3. The indication is that this horrible condition continued for 
         months (7:3; 29:2)

   B. JOB'S WIFE LOSES FAITH...
      1. She calls upon him to "curse God and die"
      2. Several conclusions might be drawn:
         a. Job's wife was not of the same spiritual caliber as Job
         b. To a degree, she endorsed Satan's accusation that God is 
            not worthy of service when things are bad
         c. She labored under the delusion that death ended it all
      3. Job's response to his wife further illustrates his faith in 
         God

VI. THE ARRIVAL OF JOB'S FRIENDS (2:11-13)

   A. ELIPHAZ THE TEMANITE...
      1. Perhaps the oldest, certainly the most prominent of the three
      2. His name is of Edomite origin
         a. One of Esau's sons was named Eliphaz (Gen 36:15)
         b. From Teman, a city of Edom, known for its wise men (Jer 
            49:7; Ob 8,9)

   B. BILDAD THE SHUHITE...
      1. Not much know about him
      2. May have been a descendent of Shuah, son of Abraham and 
         Keturah, who lived in the "east" (Gen 25:2,6)

   C. ZOPHAR THE NAAMATHITE...
      1. Little is known of him
      2. May have been from Naamah, a city "toward the border of Edom
         in the South" (Josh 15:21,41)

   D. THEIR ARRIVAL...
      1. They came to mourn with him, and to comfort him
      2. At first they did not recognize Job
      3. So overwhelmed at the sight of Job and his grief...
         a. They cried out and tore their robes
         b. They sprinkled ashes on their heads
         c. They say down and remained speechless for seven days and 
            nights

REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THIS SECTION

1) Where did Job live?  What country might that have been? (1:1)
   - Uz; the land of Edom

2) How is Job described regarding his character? (1:1)
   - Blameless and upright, one who feared God and shunned evil

3) How many children did he have? (1:2)
   - Seven sons and three daughters

4) What were his possessions? (1:3)
   - 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, a 
     very large household

5) What did Job do whenever his sons would throw a party? (1:4-5)
   - Sanctify them and offer burnt offerings

6) What was Satan's accusation to God concerning Job? (1:9)
   - Does Job fear God for nothing?

7) What was Satan's initial challenge to God concerning Job? (1:11)
   - Destroy what Job has, and he will curse God to His face

8) What did God allow Satan to do? (1:12)
   - Destroy all that Job had, but not lay a hand on his person

9) What did Job lose in one day? (1:13-19)
   - All his possessions, and his sons and daughters

10) What was Job's reaction to this great lose? (1:20-21)
   - Tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped
     God
   - "Naked came I from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return 
     there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the
     name of the Lord."

11) What was Satan's second challenge to God concerning Job? (2:5)
   - Touch his bone and flesh, and Job will curse God to His face

12) What did God allow Satan to do? (2:6)
   - Whatever he wanted, up to the point of killing Job

13) With what did Satan afflict Job? (2:7)
   - Painful boils from head to toe

14) What did Job's wife want him to do? (2:9)
   - To curse God and die

15) What did Job ask his wife? (2:10)
   - "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept
     adversity?"

16) What three friends came to mourn with him, and to comfort him?
    (2:11)
   - Eliphaz the Temanite
   - Bildad the Shuhite
   - Zophar the Naamathite

17) How did they react when they saw Job? (2:12-13)
   - Lifted their voices and wept, tore their robes, sprinkled dust on
     their heads
   - Sat with him speechless for seven days and nights

18) What summary statements are made of Job in response to his
    suffering? (1:22; 2:10)
   - In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong
   - In all this Job did not sin with his lips