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Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
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Reading for Today:

  • Job 9:1–10:22
  • Psalm 93:1-5
  • Proverbs 22:22-23
  • Romans 9:16-33

Notes:

Job 9:15, 20 though I were righteous. He means here, not sinless, but having spiritual integrity, i.e., a pure heart to love, serve, and obey God. He was affirming again that his suffering was not due to sins he was not willing to confess. Even at that, God found something to condemn him for, he felt, making it hopeless, then, to contend with God.

Job 9:32 that we should go to court together. Job acknowledged that, as a mere man, he had no right to call on God to declare his innocence or to contend with God over his innocence. Job was not arguing that he was sinless, but he didn’t believe he had sinned to the extent that he deserved his severe suffering. Job held on to the same simplistic system of retribution as that of his accusers, which said that suffering was always caused by sin. And he knew he was not sinless, but he couldn’t identify any unconfessed or unrepented sins. “Where is mercy?” he wondered.

Job 9:33–35 any mediator between us. A court official who sees both sides clearly, as well as the source of disagreement, so as to bring resolution was not found. Where was an advocate, an arbitrator, an umpire, or a referee? Was there no one to remove God’s rod and call for justice?

Romans 9:20, 21 Using the familiar Old Testament analogy of the potter (Is. 64:6–8; Jer. 18:3–16), Paul argues that it is as irrational, and far more arrogant, for men to question God’s choice of certain sinners for salvation as for a piece of pottery to question the purposes of the potter.

Romans 9:22, 23 These verses are not intended to identify the origin of evil or explain fully why God has allowed it, but they do provide 3 reasons He has permitted its presence and contamination: 1) to demonstrate His wrath; 2) to make His power known; and 3) to put the riches of His glorious mercy on display. No one is treated unfairly: Some receive the justice they earn and deserve (6:23); others graciously receive mercy.


DAY 9: Why do righteous and innocent people suffer?

Of course, no human being is truly righteous or innocent. The Bible clearly states that all have sinned (Rom. 3:23). And all sinners deserve to be punished, eternally. That’s what makes God’s grace so amazing!

In understanding that truth, however, it must be admitted that on a relative human scale, righteous and innocent people exist. That is, some people are more moral and virtuous than others and some are more innocent. Consider, for example, a person who strives to live out the Golden Rule, or another who gives generously to the poor. And certainly most consider small children to have a naive innocence. So this question could be rephrased: “Why do little children and people who live exemplary lives suffer?”

This question reveals the assumption that there is a direct connection between righteousness and innocence on the one hand and pain-free living on the other. There may be a connection, but it is not direct. Indeed, sin eventually does lead to suffering, but suffering is not an infallible indicator of sin. Job’s friends could not see beyond this point. For them, a person’s suffering was always an effect whose only cause could be that person’s sin.

The righteous and the innocent do indeed suffer for a variety of reasons: 1) Sometimes righteous actions in a sinful world involve suffering—as when a righteous person sacrifices his or her life for another; 2) Sometimes the sins of others involve the righteous in suffering—a child may be deeply hurt as a result of his or her parent’s actions; 3) The righteous and innocent are not exempt from the painful situations which arise in life in an imperfect and sinful world—like toothaches and smashed fingers; and 4) People sometimes suffer for no specific reason that can be clarified. Job is a perfect illustration of this last experience.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Job 7:1–8:22
  • Psalm 92:8-15
  • Proverbs 22:17-21
  • Romans 9:1-15

Notes:

Job 7:19 till I swallow my saliva. This strange statement was an Arabic proverb, indicating a brief moment. Job was asking for a moment “to catch his breath,” or in the case of the proverb, “swallow his saliva.”

Job 8:3 Almighty pervert justice. Bildad took Job’s claims for innocence and applied them to his simplistic notion of retribution. He concluded that Job was accusing God of injustice when God must be meting out justice to Job. Job tried to avoid outright accusations of this sort, but the evidence led Bildad to this conclusion because he had no knowledge of the heavenly facts.

Psalm 92:10 my horn…anointed with fresh oil. This figure is based on a practice of making an animal’s horns gleam by rubbing oil on them. Thus God, in effect, had invigorated the psalmist (Pss. 23:5; 133:2).

Romans 9:4 Israelites. The descendants of Abraham through Jacob, whose name God changed to Israel (Gen. 32:28). adoption. Not in the sense of providing salvation to every person born a Jew (8:15–23; 9:6), but sovereignly selecting an entire nation to receive His special calling, covenant, and blessing and to serve as His witness nation (Ex. 4:22; 19:6; Hos. 11:1; Is. 46:3, 4). glory. The glory cloud (Shekinah) that pictured God’s presence in the Old Testament (Ex. 16:10; 24:16, 17; 29:42, 43; Lev. 9:23). His glory was supremely present in the Holy of Holies in both the tabernacle and the temple, which served as the throne room of Yahweh, Israel’s King (Ex. 25:22; 40:34; 1 Kin. 8:11). covenants. A covenant is a legally binding promise, agreement, or contract. Three times in the New Testament the word “covenants” is used in the plural (Gal. 4:24; Eph. 2:12). All but one of God’s covenants with man are eternal and unilateral—that is, God promised to accomplish something based on His own character and not on the response or actions of the promised beneficiary. The 6 biblical covenants include: 1) the covenant with Noah (Gen. 9:8–17); 2) the covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3); 3) the covenant of law given through Moses at Sinai (Ex. 19–31; Deut. 29; 30); 4) the priestly covenant (Num.25:10–13); 5) the covenant of an eternal kingdom through David’s greatest Son (2 Sam. 7:8–16); and 6) the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31–34; Ezek. 37:26; Heb. 8:6–13). All but the Mosaic Covenant are eternal and unilateral. It is neither, since Israel’s sin abrogated it and it has been replaced by the New Covenant (Heb. 8:7–13).


DAY 8: Describe what Job was going through?

In Job 7:1, he said, “Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?” He felt like a slave under tyranny of his master, longing for relief and reward (vv. 1, 2); he was sleepless (v. 3, 4); he was loathsome because of worms and scabs, dried filth and new running sores (v. 5); he was like a weaver’s shuttle, tossed back and forth (v. 6); he was like a breath or cloud that comes and goes on its way to death (vv. 7–10). In this discourse, Job attempted to reconcile in his own mind what God was doing.

Job’s Living Death

1. Painful boils from head to toe (2:7,13; 30:17)

2. Severe itching/irritation (2:7,8)

3. Great grief (2:13)

4. Lost appetite (3:24; 6:6,7)

5. Agonizing discomfort (3:24)

6. Insomnia (7:4)

7. Worm- and dust-infested flesh (7:5)

8. Continual oozing of boils (7:5)

9. Hallucinations (7:14)

10. Decaying skin (13:28)

11. Shriveled up (16:8; 17:7; 19:20)

12. Severe halitosis (19:17)

13. Teeth fell out (19:20)

14. Relentless pain (30:17)

15. Skin turned black (30:30)

16. Raging fever (30:30)

17. Dramatic weight loss (33:21)



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Job 5:1–6:30
  • Psalm 92:1-7
  • Proverbs 22:16
  • Romans 8:22-39

Notes:

Job 5:17 happy is the man whom God corrects. Eliphaz put a positive spin on his advice by telling Job that enviable or desirable is the situation of the one God cares enough to chasten. “If only Job admitted his sin, he could be happy again” was the advice.

Job 6:10 the words of the Holy One. Job had not been avoiding the revelation of God that he had received. The commands of the Holy One were precious to him and he had lived by them. This was confusing to him, as he couldn’t find any sinful source for his suffering. He would rejoice in his pain if he knew it would soon lead to death, but he couldn’t see any hope for death or deliverance in himself (vv. 11–13).

Proverbs 22:16 These two vices reflect the same selfish attitude: withholding from the poor to keep what one has and giving to the rich to induce them to give one more. Both are unacceptable to God and incur punishment.

Romans 8:35–39 This list of experiences and persons that can’t separate the believer from God’s love in Christ was not just theory to Paul. It was rather a personal testimony from one who had personally survived assaults from these entities and emerged triumphant.

Romans 8:35 the love of Christ. Not our love for Christ, but His love for us (John 13:1), specifically here as He demonstrated it in salvation (1 John 4:9, 10). tribulation. Here the word probably refers to the kind of adversity common to all men. distress. This refers to being strictly confined in a narrow, difficult place or being helplessly hemmed in by one’s circumstances. persecution. Suffering inflicted on us by men because of our relationship with Christ (Matt. 5:10–12).


DAY 7: Explain the process Paul refers to in Romans 8:28–30 and 9:6–29.

With these words, God reveals in human terms His divine role in the process of salvation. Paul’s description offends the human spirit because it minimizes our role. Yet only those who see their own helplessness in the face of sin can come to see how gracious God has been in acting and choosing ahead of time. We never surprise God; He always anticipates us! “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

The term “foreknew” (8:29) does not simply refer to God’s omniscience—that in eternity past He knew who would come to Christ. Rather, it speaks of a predetermined choice by God to set His love on us and establish an intimate relationship. The term “election” (9:11) refers to the same action on God’s part (1 Pet. 1:1, 2, 20). Salvation is not initiated by human choice. Even faith is a gift of God (Rom. 1:16; John 6:37; Eph. 2:8, 9).

The term “predestined” (8:29) literally means “to mark out, appoint, or determine beforehand.” Those God chooses, He destines for His chosen end—that is, likeness to His Son (Eph. 1:4, 5, 11). The goal of God’s predestined purpose for His own is that they would be made like Jesus Christ.

The reality and security of our standing with God rests ultimately in His character and decision, not ours. Paul summarized his teaching about the believer’s security in Christ with a thundering litany of questions and answers that haunt believers. They reach their peak with “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (8:35). Paul’s answer is an almost poetic expression of praise for God’s grace in bringing salvation to completion for all who are chosen and believe—it is a hymn of security.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Job 3:1–4:21
  • Psalm 91:14-16
  • Proverbs 22:15
  • Romans 8:1-21

Notes:

Job 3:25,26 the thing I greatly feared. Not a particular thing but a generic classification of suffering. The very worst fear that anyone could have was coming to pass in Job’s life, and he is experiencing severe anxiety, fearing more.

Job 4:7 who ever perished being innocent? Eliphaz, recognizing Job’s “reverence” and “integrity” (v. 6), was likely encouraging Job at the outset by saying he wouldn’t die because he was innocent of any deadly iniquity, but must be guilty of some serious sin because he was reaping such anger from God. This was a moral universe and moral order was at work, he thought. He had oversimplified God’s pattern of retribution. This simple axiom, “the righteous will prosper and the wicked will suffer,” does not always hold up in human experience. It is true that plowing and sowing iniquity reaps judgment, so Eliphaz was partially right (Gal. 6:7–9; 1 Pet. 3:12), but not everything we reap in life is the result of something we have sown (2 Cor. 12:7–10). Eliphaz was replacing theology with simplistic logic. To say that wherever there is suffering, it is the result of sowing sin is wrong (Ex. 4:11; John 9:1–3).

Psalm 91:14 set his love upon Me. God Himself is the speaker in this section (vv. 14–16), and He describes the blessing He gives to those who know and love Him. The word for “love” means a “deep longing” for God or a “clinging” to God.

Romans 8:1 therefore. The result or consequence of the truth just taught. Normally it marks the conclusion of the verses immediately preceding it. But here it introduces the staggering results of Paul’s teaching in the first 7 chapters: that justification is by faith alone on the basis of God’s overwhelming grace. no condemnation. Occurring only 3 times in the New Testament, all in Romans (5:16, 18), “condemnation” is used exclusively in judicial settings as the opposite of justification. It refers to a verdict of guilty and the penalty that verdict demands. No sin a believer can commit—past, present, or future—can be held against him, since the penalty was paid by Christ and righteousness was imputed to the believer. And no sin will ever reverse this divine legal decision. those…in Christ Jesus. I.e., every true Christian; to be in Christ means to be united with Him.

Romans 8:15 spirit of bondage…to fear. Because of their life of sin, unregenerate people are slaves to their fear of death (Heb. 2:14, 15) and to their fear of final punishment (1 John 4:18). Spirit of adoption. Not primarily a reference to the transaction by which God adopts us (Eph. 1:5; Gal. 4:5–7), but to a Spirit-produced awareness of the rich reality that God has made us His children, and, therefore, that we can come before Him without fear or hesitation as our beloved Father. It includes the confidence that we are truly sons of God. Abba. An informal, Aramaic term for Father that conveys a sense of intimacy. Like the English terms “Daddy” or “Papa,” it connotes tenderness, dependence, and a relationship free of fear or anxiety (Mark 14:36).


DAY 6: What kind of relationship does Satan have with God in the Book of Job?

Satan may be God’s sworn enemy, but they are not equals. Satan is a creature; God is the Creator. Satan was an angel unwilling to serve in his exalted role, and he rebelled against God.

The continual conflict between Satan and God is illustrated when Satan states that righteous people remain faithful to God only because of what they get. They trust in God only as long as God is nice to them. Satan challenged God’s claims of Job’s righteousness by calling it untested, if not questionable. Apparently Satan was convinced that he could destroy Job’s faith in God by inflicting suffering on him.

Satan suffered another defeat as God demonstrated through Job’s life that saving faith can’t be destroyed no matter how much trouble the believer suffers or how incomprehensible and undeserved the suffering seems.

After failing to destroy Job, Satan disappears from the story. He remains God’s defeated enemy, still raging against God’s inevitable triumph.



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

Reading for Today:

  • Job 1:1–2:13
  • Psalm 91:7-13
  • Proverbs 22:13-14
  • Romans 7:1-25

Notes:

Job 1:1–2:13 This section identifies the main persons and sets the stage for the drama to follow. Uz. Job’s home was a walled city with gates (29:7, 8), where he held a position of great respect. The city was in the land of Uz in northern Arabia, adjacent to Midian, where Moses lived for 40 years (Ex. 2:15). Job. The story begins on earth with Job as the central figure. He was a rich man with 7 sons and 3 daughters, in his middle years with a grown family. He was good, a family man, rich, and widely known. blameless…upright,…feared God… shunned evil. 1:8. Job was not perfect or without sin (6:24; 7:21; 9:20). However, it appears from the language that he had put his trust in God for redemption and faithfully lived a God-honoring, sincere life of integrity and consistency personally, maritally (2:10), and parentally (1:4, 5).

Job 1:6 sons of God. Job’s life is about to be caught up in heavenly strategies as the scene moves from earth to heaven where God is holding council with His heavenly court. Neither Job nor his friends ever knew about this. The angelic host (38:7; Pss. 29:1; 89:7; Dan. 3:25) came to God’s throne to render account of their ministry throughout the earth and heaven (1 Kin. 22:19–22). Like a Judas among the apostles, Satan was with the angels. Satan. Emboldened by the success he had with the unfallen Adam in paradise (Gen. 3:6–12,17–19), he was confident that the fear of God in Job, one of a fallen race, would not stand his tests. And he had fallen himself (see Is. 14:12). As opposed to a personal name, Satan as a title means “adversary,” in either a personal or judicial sense. This demon is the ultimate spiritual adversary of all time and has been accusing the righteous throughout the ages (Rev. 12:10).

Job 2:3 he holds fast to his integrity. God affirmed that Job had won round one. without cause. God uses the same expression the adversary used in Job 1 “for nothing (1:9)…without cause (2:3).” The message behind God’s turn of words is that the adversary is the guilty party in this case, not Job who had suffered all the disaster without any personal cause. He had done nothing to incur the pain and loss, though it was massive. The issue was purely a matter of conflict between God and Satan. This is a crucial statement, because when Job’s friends tried to explain why all the disasters had befallen him, they always put the blame on Job. Grasping this assessment from God—that Job had not been punished for something, but suffered for nothing related to him personally—is a crucial key to the story. Sometimes suffering is caused by divine purposes unknowable to us.

Romans 7:6 delivered from the law. Not freedom to do what God’s law forbids (6:1, 15; 8:4; 3:31), but freedom from the spiritual liabilities and penalties of God’s law. Because we died in Christ when He died, the law with its condemnation and penalties no longer has jurisdiction over us (vv. 1–3). serve. This is the verb form of the word for “bondservant,” but here it is parallel to being slaves of righteousness (6:22), emphasizing that this service is not voluntary. Not only is the believer able to do what is right, he will do what is right. the newness of the Spirit. A new state of mind which the Spirit produces, characterized by a new desire and ability to keep the law of God. oldness of the letter. The external, written law code that produced only hostility and condemnation.


DAY 5: In Romans 7:7–25, is Paul describing his own experience as a believer or unbeliever?

Paul uses the personal pronoun “I” throughout this passage, using his own experience as an example of what is true of unredeemed humanity (7:7–12) and of true Christians (7:13–25). Some interpret this chronicle of Paul’s inner conflict as describing his life before Christ. They point out that Paul describes the person as “sold under sin” (7:14), as having “nothing good” in him (7:18), and as a “wretched man” trapped in a “body of death” (7:24). Those descriptions seem to contradict Paul’s earlier description of the believer (6:2, 6, 7, 11, 17, 18, 22).

It is correct, however, to understand Paul here to be speaking about a believer. This person desires to obey God’s law and hates sin (7:15, 19, 21). He is humble, recognizing that nothing good dwells in his humanness (7:18). He sees sin in himself, but not as all that is there (7:17, 20–22). And he serves Jesus Christ with his mind (7:25). Paul has already established that none of those attitudes ever describe the unsaved (1:18–21, 32; 3:10–20). Paul’s use of the present tense verbs in 7:14–25 strongly supports the idea that he was describing his current experience as a Christian. Even those who agree that Paul was speaking as a genuine believer, however, still find room for disagreement. Some see a carnal, fleshly Christian under the influence of old habits. Others see a legalistic Christian, frustrated by his feeble attempts in his own power to please God by keeping the Mosaic Law. But the personal pronoun “I” refers to the apostle Paul, a standard of spiritual health and maturity. This leads to the conclusion that Paul, in 7:7–25, must be describing all Christians—even the most spiritual and mature—who, when they honestly evaluate themselves against the righteous standard of God’s law, realize how far short they fall. Notice, particularly, Paul’s honesty and transparency in the four laments (7:14–17, 18–20, 21–23, 24–25).



From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources
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Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

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I'll never forget the night my dad died. He left like he had lived. Quietly. Graciously. With dignity. Without demands or harsh words or even a frown, he surrendered himself-a tired, frail, humble gentleman-into the waiting arms of his Savior.
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
Today's 2-minute sound-bite with Pastor Greg Laurie.
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