Tag Archives: testing

Job 8-10; Bildad

Now Job hears from another friend whose intent is to help Job through this difficult time. Eliphaz had talked to Job about sin. Bildad’s theme is more about God’s justice.

Bildad’s argument includes examples from nature about God’s order. Cause and effect. God, who created an orderly world, is right in his dealing with men. Sin=Punishment. Sinlessness=Blessing.

Job’s reply? You’re right, Bildad. “But how can a mortal man be righteous before God?” (9:2) The best, the smartest of us have no defense before a Holy God. None of us is innocent.

The Creator has no equal. His holiness renders us defenseless. And our finite minds will never understand Him.

Job, in his despair, is ready to give up trying.

Bildad tells Job to buck up, put on a smile, things will get better. Job tells him that putting a smile on his face would make him a hypocrite. His grief is real and unrelenting.

Some of you have been there, may be at that point now. I don’t want you to miss the precious truth found in 9:29-35. Job longs for a helper, someone who can bridge the gap between God and himself. He knows he can’t do it. He might not be the worst guy on the planet, but Job knew he could not approach Holy, Righteous, Creator God.

If only…

Friend, we have that One who touches God and touches us. One who can remove God’s “rod” from us. His Name is Jesus!

If we truly saw ourselves as Job saw himself, as helpless, hopeless sinners accountable to the God of Creation, we’d feel exactly like Job felt. You have no standing before God. I certainly don’t. You deserve hell. And so do I.

But Jesus.

Job longed for the One who is standing next to you, arms opened wide, ready to accept you as you surrender to Him.

Do it!

Can You Hear Me? Can You Hear Me Now?

I thought that ad for a cellular company several years ago was a clever one. That phrase was everywhere for a while.

Who of us has never picked up a microphone and said, “Testing. Testing”?

The Bible speaks a lot about testing. Joseph tested his brothers before revealing himself to them in Egypt. (Gen 43-45) Jesus told Peter to get out of the boat and walk to him, testing Peter’s faith. (Matt 14) Psalm 11 tells us God’s “eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous…”

Why so much testing? (I sound like an Ohio public school teacher… and I was) Does God depend on the results of his tests to know where we stand with him?

That’s ridiculous. God already knows our hearts.

Testing, for us, has become about the test-giver. Results tell the DMV who is ready to drive a car. A math test is given so the teacher can assign a grade. But more than that, testing reveals to the test-taker what they know and how much more they can learn.

When God tests the righteous, it’s so we can know where we stand, we can identify our weaknesses, go to him and confess sin.

Do you feel you are undergoing a test from God himself? Maybe God is showing you a strength you didn’t know you had, or a weakness he’s able to strengthen, or a sin you need to confess. Maybe he wants you to know that you really do have faith in him, that you can do all things through Jesus, that you are more than a conqueror, that his promises are true.

No testing is pleasant. But the results can be life changing. Joseph discovered his brothers had truly changed in the years since they sold him into slavery. His brothers learned that they really could be faithful to their father. All of Jacob’s family learned that God can bring about good from anything Satan tries to use for evil. Peter learned he did have faith in Jesus and could walk on water in a storm. He also learned his faith wasn’t perfect.

So, what have you learned through your own times of testing?

Father, I hate tests. I hated taking tests and, as the person in charge of state testing in the middle school where I worked, I hated giving tests. So it feels kind of weird to thank you for the tests you throw my way. May I accept each test as a gift from you to encourage me, to prompt me to action, to learn more about you and walk closer to you. And, yes, may I thank you for testing me so I can know where I stand. May I use the results of those test to allow you to mold me into the woman you would have me be.

January 11

Job 22-26

Job is very confident in God. He doesn’t understand God and questions why these things are happening to him. He longs to speak to God face to face to present his case but realizes that is not possible.

Then he says…But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.

That’s what God wanted Job to learn about himself. God doesn’t “test” us to learn something about us he doesn’t know. He knows everything about me including the number of hairs on my head. God allows things to happen in our lives so we can test ourselves.

2012 taught me that yes, I DO believe God is able to get us through the hard times. Yes, my faith in God doesn’t depend on easy living. Yes, God works through the hardest of times and reveals his great love. It taught me that God is trustworthy, loving, and does all things well. It taught me that it’s ok to question God but in the end, I can lay it all at his feet and rest in his care.

Job trusted God so much that, even  in the midst of suffering, he knew he would be ok in the end. Better than ok. He would be like gold.

Thank you,God for teaching me about you… and about me. Help me to learn the lessons you have for me today. Thank you for knowing the way I take and for the assurance that you are with me every step.