Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts
Showing posts with label suffering. Show all posts

05 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 4

B1 Job wanted to meet God face to face, and so they do.
B2 This is the pre-incarnation Son of God, Jesus Christ.
B3 God speaks to Job with a series of questions. God always speaks in wisdom, truth, and justice. He does not lie, deceive, or speak in symbolic language unless it is understood so in the context.
B4 Most of the questions deal with wisdom. Wisdom in creating, running the universe, and maintaining it.
B5 God’s knowledge is always complete.
B6 An important question. God asks Job
C1 Job 38:2
D1 Job 38:2 NLT Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? 
D2 Job 38:2 GNB Who are you to question my wisdom with your ignorant, empty words? 
C2 Comments
D1 The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: who is this that darkeneth counsel] lit. who then is darkening counsel? The word then merely adds the emphasis of impatience or astonishment to the question, who …? The expression counsel suggests that the Lord had a plan or meaning in Job’s afflictions, which the perverse and ignorant construction put on them by Job obscured. The word might have a wider sense and refer to sound wisdom in general in reference to man’s life, which Job, by his particular utterances on God’s providence, only darkened.
D2 F. B. Meyer: A sublime series of questions is now addressed to him, not by a God of judgment and wrath, but by a Father arguing and pleading with His child and pointing out two things: first, the inability of mortal man to understand the ways of God; and second, the minuteness and tenderness of God’s providence. Job had thought of Him as remote, but He is near and is ordering all things wisely and lovingly. Can He forget His child? 
D3 The Pulpit Commentary: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? It is very noticeable that God entirely ignores the reasonings of Elihu, and addresses himself, in the first instance, wholly to Job, with whom he begins by remonstrating. Job has not been without fault. He has spoken many "words without knowledge" or with insufficient knowledge, and has thus trenched on irreverence, and given the enemies of God occasion to blaspheme. Moreover, he has "darkened counsel." Instead of making the ways of God clear to his friends and companions, he has east doubts upon God's moral government, (Job 21:7-26) upon his mercy and loving-kindness, (Job 16:7-14) almost upon his justice. (Job 19:7 Job 31:1-35) He is thus open to censure, and receives censure, and owns himself "vile", (Job 40:4) before peace and reconciliation can be established.
C4 Job needed correction. He was wrong about many things. Now, God as loving father wishes to instruct Job and correct his wrong ideas. We are the same today. Consider all the wisdom and teaching in the Scriptures. Note Job’s willing humility and acknowledgment of his foolishness: Job 40:3-5 GNB (3-4) I spoke foolishly, LORD. What can I answer? I will not try to say anything else. 5 I have already said more than I should.
C5 Some things about humility
D1 To understand humility we should contrast it with arrogance. One promotes its wisdom, opinion, abilities, traits, record, etc, while the other does not.
D2 Humility is based on truth, that is, reality. It expresses itself by not promoting one’s self.
D3 The ultimate example is the Lord Jesus, God the Son. Philippians 2:4-8 GNB And look out for one another's interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: 6 He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. 7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. 8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—his death on the cross.
D4 The end results of both pride and humility are very different: Proverbs 11:2 NLT Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
D5 The fruit of humility: Proverbs 15:33 NLT Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.
D6 It is a required character trait of a Christian: Colossians 3:12 NLT Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
D7 It is to be towards all people: Titus 3:2 NLT They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
D8 God’s wisdom teaches us humility: James 3:13 NLT If you are wise and understand God's ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.
D9 Serving and helping each other in humility: 1 Peter 5:5 NLT In the same way, you younger men must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for "God opposes the proud but favors the humble.
B7 In Job 40-41, two creatures are mentioned which appears that Job would have been acquainted with. It seems most likely they existed in Job’s lifetime. This article might help: Were behemoth and leviathan real animals? 
B8 The intelligence and power to design the universe is beyond comprehension. Articles from Discovery Institute (Intelligent Design), Creation Ministries International, and Institute for Creation Research show this to be most reasonable compared to Darwinism, Neo-Darwinism, etc.
B9 Job’s response to God’s correction: Job 42:1-6 NLT  Then Job replied to the LORD: "I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?' It is I--and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, 'Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.' I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.
C1 We learn
C2 We observe
D1 In Job
E1 Confession of sin
E2 Repentance (a 180 degree turn of thoughts, desires, words, and deeds)
D2 In his friends
E1 Job praying for them
E2 Job offering a sacrifice
C3 We note God’s blessings (spiritual, emotional, and physical). This is descriptive, not prescriptive, that is, this is what happened to Job, but it doesn’t guarantee it will happen for us.
May God give all of us this grace:

Habakkuk 3:17-19 GW Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yield no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle- 18 even then, I will be happy with the LORD. I will truly find joy in God, who saves me. 19 The LORD Almighty is my strength. He makes my feet like those of a deer. He makes me walk on the mountains. For the choir director; on stringed instruments.

04 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 3 + 21 Tips on Finding Good Advice

B1 F. B. Meyer summarizes Elihu well:
The controversy between Job and his counselors is now at an end. They have failed in making out their case; but before God Himself takes up the argument there is another side of the case to be presented by the fervid life of a younger generation. The name Elihu means, “My God is He.” He had preserved a respectful silence while his elders were speaking; but he was so conscious of the uprising of the divine that he could refrain no longer.
Elihu was greatly indignant, first with Job for not justifying God, Job 32:2; and then with his friends for their inability to cope with him, Job 32:5. But in addition to these criticisms, he has some positive contribution to make to the debate, and must needs make it. Silence is golden, but there is a time to speak. Be sure in inbreathe the Spirit of God as one long imprisoned in a close chamber inhales the breath of the salt sea. Do not speak, as John Woolman says, beyond the divine openings.
B2 Job’s errors, according to Elihu, are assuming that God is doing this, He is your enemy, and you are without sin. Job 33:9-11 NLT You said, 'I am pure; I am without sin; I am innocent; I have no guilt. God is picking a quarrel with me, and he considers me his enemy. He puts my feet in the stocks and watches my every move.
C1 This is descriptive, not prescriptive. This is applied to Job and the situation he is experiencing. It is not meant for all people who suffer.
C2 Truth is important. Job and the 3 friends also missed that fact.
C3 When horrible things happen, we need to ask why. Seriously, we will ask why, but we need to ask why. It seems (I’m probably wrong) there are 3 possibilities.
D1 I made a bad decision, and the consequences were not good. Perhaps, I text while driving, have an accident, and my family and I are injured. I can’t blame God for my own poor choice.
D2 Someone else made a bad choice, and the consequences were not good. Perhaps, someone else is texting while driving, has an accident, and my family and I are injured. I can’t blame God for someone else’s poor choice. There are those who blame God, though, by claiming that He could have prevented it, but God is not a micromanager. He gives us choice. In our history of Job, God allows us to see behind the scenes. There, we see satan making a poor decision, and as a result many suffered. Satan did not have to do this evil; he chose to.
D3 It is the result of living in a cursed world.
C4 Applying the 3 possibilities to Job’s situation:
D1 Did Job made a bad choice? If so, there is nothing to indicate this, yet his 3 friends(?) thought he had. Maybe we should say assumed that Job made a bad decision (did evil).
D2 Did someone else make a bad choice? This is the most reasonable, because all the tragedies happened in a very short time.
D3 Regarding the third choice, it is difficult to find this reasonable, since all the tragedies happened in a short time. Job 1:13 (one day) and Job 2:1 (one day).
C5 A few verses on making decisions (judgment) and truth
D1 The advice of the Lord Jesus, so this is a rule for us today: John 7:24 GW Stop judging by outward appearance! Instead, judge correctly.
D2 A principle, but not an interpretation of this passage, is to be looking for for the reason. We don’t need details other than what is offered and to clarify what is said. 1 Samuel 16:7 GW But the LORD told Samuel, "Don't look at his appearance or how tall he is, because I have rejected him. God does not see as humans see. Humans look at outward appearances, but the LORD looks into the heart.
E1 Job’s outward situation was considered by the friends, but not Job’s attitudes or motives. These three friends(?) had nothing reasonable to base their decision.
E2 Appearances can be deceptive.
E3 The example of good decisions and judgment is found in Messiah Jesus: Isaiah 11:2-5 GW The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD.  3  He will gladly bear the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear.  4  He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips.  5  Justice will be the belt around his waist. Faithfulness will be the belt around his hips.
C6 This is something for us to remember in difficult times: Job 34:12 NLT Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice.
C7 Elihu points out an wrong attitude in Job. We must learn, for we tend to have this very same attitude: Job 34:37 NLT For you have added rebellion to your sin; you show no respect, and you speak many angry words against God.
C8 All of God’s decisions are based on truth, wisdom, and love. He does not make decisions to gain something or to prove His sovereignty and great power (He is King of the Universe).
C9 When faced with horrible situations, we must rest in God, confide to true friends, and seek counsel from those Christians who are wise.
C10 Some tips for seeking wise advice:
D1 Many will claim to be wise or be promoted to be wise, but are they?
D2 What has been the results of their advice?
D3 How has their decision helped the victim spiritually, emotionally, and physically?
D4 How have others been helped by this person’s advice?
D5 Do they practice what they preach?
D6 Avoid those seeking to sell something or to influence one to buy anything.
D7 Do they give advice based on truth, wisdom, and love?
D8 Do they belittle, scoff, not listen, seek intimate details? If so avoid them.
D9 Do they truly understand?
D10 Have they experienced anything similar?
D11 Do they seek to overpower you or control you? If so, avoid them.
D12 Do they admit they are not perfect, that they have made mistakes? Or, to they put on an air that they would never do something like that?
D13 Don’t just seek advice from one age group. Ask someone older or younger. You might be surprised at what they can offer.
D14 Don’t assume that an “expert” is the best counselor. As a nurse, I learned from aides, patients, patient’s family, visitors, etc. even though supposedly, I was the expert.
D15 Sometimes we do need professional help. This is especially true for any type of emotional, spiritual, or other type trauma.
D16 Are they telling you what your decision must be? If so, avoid them. A advice counselor is to help someone make a better and informed decision.
D17 Just because someone is a pastor or religious leader doesn’t guarantee that the advice is the best.
D18 Are they pressuring you to make a decision right now? Avoid those people.
D19 Do they offer a starting step? Good counselors will offer some steps leading to a better decision.
D20 Do they clarify what you are saying? You need to make sure they understand you.
D21 Seek multiple trusted people for advice, not just your friends.

03 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 2

B1 This long section is the advice(?) of Job’s 3 friends(?) and Job’s replies to them.
B2 Basically, they accuse Job of great sin that has been hidden from everyone except God. God is now punishing Job for his evil. Job needs to confess his sin and get right with God.
C1 The grief and emotional burden of Job: Job 3:24-26 GNB Instead of eating, I mourn, and I can never stop groaning. 25 Everything I fear and dread comes true. 26 I have no peace, no rest, and my troubles never end.
C2 The “abuse the victim” starts with Eliphaz: Job 4:7-11 GNB Think back now. Name a single case where someone righteous met with disaster. 8 I have seen people plow fields of evil and plant wickedness like seed; now they harvest wickedness and evil. 9 Like a storm, God destroys them in his anger. 10 The wicked roar and growl like lions, but God silences them and breaks their teeth. 11 Like lions with nothing to kill and eat, they die, and all their children are scattered.
C3 These friends(?) are victim-shaming. The Lord Jesus addresses this here: Luke 13:1-4 GNB At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God. 2 Jesus answered them, "Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? 3 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did. 4 What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 
D1 Just because bad things happen to good people (this said in human terms, not God’s definition), does not mean that they deserve it, did something that caused it, or God is punishing them.
D2 Good things happen to evil people as well.
D3 A rather long passage, but it explains the feelings of one who is a believer and observe evil people having it good in life. Psalms 73:1-15 GNB God is indeed good to Israel, to those who have pure hearts. 2 But I had nearly lost confidence; my faith was almost gone 3 because I was jealous of the proud when I saw that things go well for the wicked. 4 They do not suffer pain; they are strong and healthy. 5 They do not suffer as other people do; they do not have the troubles that others have. 6 And so they wear pride like a necklace and violence like a robe; 7 their hearts pour out evil, and their minds are busy with wicked schemes. 8 They laugh at other people and speak of evil things; they are proud and make plans to oppress others. 9 They speak evil of God in heaven and give arrogant orders to everyone on earth, 10 so that even God's people turn to them and eagerly believe whatever they say. 11 They say, "God will not know; the Most High will not find out." 12 That is what the wicked are like. They have plenty and are always getting more. 13 Is it for nothing, then, that I have kept myself pure and have not committed sin? 14 O God, you have made me suffer all day long; every morning you have punished me. 15 If I had said such things, I would not be acting as one of your people.
D4 Nevertheless, he understood something that we can learn: Psalms 73:16-28 GNB I tried to think this problem through, but it was too difficult for me 17 until I went into your Temple. Then I understood what will happen to the wicked. 18 You will put them in slippery places and make them fall to destruction! 19 They are instantly destroyed; they go down to a horrible end. 20 They are like a dream that goes away in the morning; when you rouse yourself, O Lord, they disappear. 21 When my thoughts were bitter and my feelings were hurt, 22 I was as stupid as an animal; I did not understand you. 23 Yet I always stay close to you, and you hold me by the hand. 24 You guide me with your instruction and at the end you will receive me with honor. 25 What else do I have in heaven but you? Since I have you, what else could I want on earth? 26 My mind and my body may grow weak, but God is my strength; he is all I ever need. 27 Those who abandon you will certainly perish; you will destroy those who are unfaithful to you. 28 But as for me, how wonderful to be near God, to find protection with the Sovereign LORD and to proclaim all that he has done! 
C4 A few more quotes from his friends(?):
D1 Bildad speaking to Job. “Job you are evil to the core, and your children, too. God punished those bastards as they deserved.” Job 8:1-7 GNB (1-2) Are you finally through with your windy speech? 3 God never twists justice; he never fails to do what is right. 4 Your children must have sinned against God, and so he punished them as they deserved. 5 But turn now and plead with Almighty God; 6 if you are so honest and pure, then God will come and help you and restore your household as your reward. 7 All the wealth you lost will be nothing compared with what God will give you then.
D2 Zophar’s turn to revictimize. Look at his poor judgment. Let us learn, O Lord, not to do this! Job 11:1-5 GNB (1-2) Will no one answer all this nonsense? Does talking so much put you in the right? 3 Job, do you think we can't answer you? That your mocking words will leave us speechless? 4 You claim that what you say is true; you claim you are pure in the sight of God. 5 How I wish God would answer you! 
D2 Eliphaz again: Job 22:4-5 GNB It is not because you stand in awe of God that he reprimands you and brings you to trial. 5 No, it's because you have sinned so much; it's because of all the evil you do.
C5 Job speaks, but they do not believe. Victims experience the same much too often. We need to listen and to believe. Always start there.
C6 Job finally appeals to God, “Why, are you doing this to me.” Job knows he did nothing to deserve this.
C7 Read this and sense the Job’s pain at this revictimization. Job 16:1-8 GNB (1-2) I have heard words like that before; the comfort you give is only torment. 3 Are you going to keep on talking forever? Do you always have to have the last word? 4 If you were in my place and I in yours, I could say everything you are saying. I could shake my head wisely and drown you with a flood of words. 5 I could strengthen you with advice and keep talking to comfort you. 6 But nothing I say helps, and being silent does not calm my pain. 7 You have worn me out, God; you have let my family be killed. 8 You have seized me; you are my enemy. I am skin and bones, and people take that as proof of my guilt.
B3 Some things to learn
C1 God does not victimize. He does punish, but He does not victimize. He does not abuse. He hates abuse. Psalm 11:5 NIV The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.
C2 God hates those who plan evil: Micah 2:1 NIV Woe to those who plan iniquity, to those who plot evil on their beds! At morning's light they carry it out because it is in their power to do it.
C3 satan and those who follow his ways will be punished:
D1 Revelation 20:10 GNB Then the Devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had already been thrown; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
D2 Revelation 20:14-15 GNB Then death and the world of the dead were thrown into the lake of fire. (This lake of fire is the second death.) 15 Those who did not have their name written in the book of the living were thrown into the lake of fire.
D3 Revelation 21:8 GNB But cowards, traitors, perverts, murderers, the immoral, those who practice magic, those who worship idols, and all liars—the place for them is the lake burning with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.
C4 Here is a warning from God. If you are an abuser, God will deal with you. If, like Job’s friends(?), you do this in ignorance, then repent. God knows that abusers fake repentance. Beware. Proverbs 6:16 GNB (16-19) There are seven things that the LORD hates and cannot tolerate: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people, a mind that thinks up wicked plans, feet that hurry off to do evil, a witness who tells one lie after another, and someone who stirs up trouble among friends. 
B4 As Christians we can practice these principles:
C1 Speak truth (Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
C2 Listen (Proverbs 18:13)
C3 Be slow to speak and  slow to anger (James 1:19)
C4 Be understanding (Proverbs 20:5, John 7:24)
C5 Give encouragement (Hebrews 3:13)
C6 Have fellowship (Hebrews 10:25) This would include the idea of a support group
C7 Ask for wisdom (Psalm 16:7)
C8 Asking appropriate questions (Proverbs 20:5) This would include open questions
C9 Clarifying This would include paraphrasing (restating what the speaker said using different words) and summarizing (repeating the main points of the speaker)
C10 Show compassion (Colossians 3:12)
C11 Give wise answers (1 Peter 3:15)

02 October 2019

Job and His Suffering Part 1

What we can learn about suffering today.
A 4 part series:
B1 Job and his sufferingbehind the scenes Job 1:1-
B2 Job and his sufferingEliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar respond Job 4:1-31:40
B3 Job and his sufferingElihu responds Job 32:1-37:24
B4 Job and his sufferingGod responds Job 38:1-42:17
Some questions answered
B1 Why do good people suffer?
B2 Why does God allow suffering?
B3 Why do friends abuse the victim?
B4 Why
B5 Why it is important to know the truth. Assumption can be dangerous.

A1 Job Part 1behind the scenes Job 1:1-3:26

B1 Job is blessed. He is blessed spiritually and emotionally, with health, wealth, and wisdom. He is blessed with a good wife, many children, and many friends. He is blessed to know God, have fellowship with God, not physically, but spiritually. He understood about sin, judgment, punishment, and substitution (a sacrifice). He knew the King of the Universe!
C1 Treasure of salvation (deliverance from God’s wrath): Psalm 3:8 CSB Salvation belongs to the LORD; may your blessing be on your people. Selah 
C2 Treasures of material wealth. God does not guarantee material wealth, but all believers can have spiritual wealth.
D1 Proverbs 10:22 NET The blessing from the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow to it. 
D2 Matthew 6:20 CSB "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.
C3 Treasures of having the fear of the Lord (salvation), wisdom, and knowledge: Isaiah 33:6 NLT In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure.
C4 Spiritual treasures from doing the will of God: 2 Corinthians 6:10 NLT Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
C5 Treasures of assurance and the knowledge of Messiah: Colossians 2:2-3 WEL That their hearts may be comforted by being knit together in love and into the all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, into the full knowledge of the mystery of God and of the Father and of Christ 3 In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
B2 The devil, satan, having access to heaven slanders Job and blasphemes God’s character by claiming that God has made Job secure and successful and that is the only reason that Job worships and serves God.
B3 Two times satan requests God to curse Job. God refuses but does allow satan to do so.
C1 satan did not have to afflict Job, instigate murder, theft, loss of possessions, etc. satan wanted to do this in his hate for God and for those who serve God.
D1 satan and his followers are liars and murders. Have you ever noted how many people believe the answer to a problem is murder. We see this in abortion to murders at work, at events, at school, at home, etc. John 8:44 NET You people are from your father the devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.
D2 An evil heart leads to evil thoughts which lead to evil actions: Matthew 15:19 WEL For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. 
D3 satan loves to oppose God’s work and God’s people: Zechariah 3:1 LEB And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh; and Satan was standing on his right to accuse him.
D4 satan loves to pretend he is god, so shows himself as angel of light, which is deceptive, seductive, and disastrous to anyone. This is why we must know God and His character traits well. His followers also will pretend to be real apostles. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NIV For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
C2 Why did God allow satan the opportunity to hurt Job, kill his family, cause a loss of all his goods?
D1 God did not want this to happen. It was not His decreed will; it was His will.
D2 Evil
E1 Evil is the absence of good.
E2 Evil is a punishment. Adam was warned by God not to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam did not believe God. Because of Adam’s sin, the world was cursed.
E3 Some evils that happen to us are from our bad choices.
E4 Some evils that happen to us are from another’s bad choices.
E5 Some evils that happen to us are from the curse on the universe, as hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, etc.
E6 Some evils are because satan hates anything good, so he wants to cause pain and affliction. You can see this very thing in abusers. It doesn’t make any difference what kind of abusers. The abusers may be a pastor (pastoral abuse), domestic abuse of all types, parental abuse, child abuse, etc. Note how narcissists, psychopaths, and others do evil. They are doing the evil that satan loves. If you are an abuser, pastor, spouse, parent, boss, leader, whatever, you are doing satan’s will, and you will go to hell to be tormented for eternity.
D3 God allowed it. Why?
E1 The universe is cursed. A promised time is coming when
F1 Revelation 21:3-5 CSB Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God's dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.  Then the one seated on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new." He also said, "Write, because these words are faithful and true.
F2 2 Peter 3:13 LEB But according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness resides.
F3 Revelation 22:3 NIV No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.
E2 God is not a micro-manager as some Calvinists teach. WCF III 1. God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass...  Read the confession. Read it in context. God ordained whatever comes to pass including sending most humans to hell to roast and barbecue for eternity without ever having a chance to repent.
F1 Do words mean anything? Doesn’t God always tell the truth. God says this to the prophet: 1 Chronicles 21:10 NET Go, tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: "I am offering you three forms of judgment from which to choose. Pick one of them.
F2 From a real offer choice that was spurned: Proverbs 1:29-31 NET Because they hated moral knowledge, and did not choose to fear the LORD, they did not comply with my advice, they spurned all my rebuke. Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way, and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel.
E3 Sometimes we can look back at a bad choice we made, even after praying for God to help us to not make a wrong choice.
F1 There may have been warning signs that we ignored.
F2 The warning signs were new and unknown to us, so we didn’t recognize them. This is a good reason to be aware.
G3 Some abusers are very subtle. They want to deceive. If one has any gut feeling that all is not good, they should leave the relationship.
G5 The actions of love, real love as defined by God. How do WE measure? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends...
B4 We must know that Job did not give up the faith. Quite a number of people leave Christianity over abuse, thinking that God could have prevented this. Why didn’t God do this for you or me? I don’t know. But, I do know that if we have a commitment to God, persecution will not cause us to permanently give up the faith.
B5 Please read Job chapter 3, for it shows the utter, total personal experience of spiritual, emotional, and physical pain. His words have been repeated many times throughout history, though most would not recognize.
B6 Pain is real. If you are suffering, find someone who will really listen without interruption, offering unasked advice, and someone who is protective of your character.
B7 Hebrews 10:25 LEB not abandoning our meeting together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging each other, and by so much more as you see the day drawing near. 
B8 Romans 12:15 NET Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
B9 James 1:19 CSB My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,
B10 Proverbs 18:13 GW Whoever gives an answer before he listens is stupid and shameful.
B11 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NET Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we may be able to comfort those experiencing any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

27 March 2018

Praising Him in Pain




Theme: A song for suffering

Scriptures: Psalm 22

Objectives: (From the D6 Fusion Sunday School Lesson book)
Know: David chose to call upon and praise God in the midst of suffering.
Think: View suffering and difficulty as opportunities for God to work in my life.
Do: Choose to praise God during times of suffering.




C1 People:
  • The Psalm Project

  • Video of a song by The Psalm Project, recorded live at the Symposium 2011, Thursday evening worship service, Calvin Institute for Christian Worship
  • Miranda de Vlieger - soloist
  • Eelco Vos - piano
  • Luca Genta - cello
  • from The Psalm Project Band (Netherlands) with local musicians
C2 Lyrics:

Psalm 22

My God, My God, Why?


My God, my God, why have you left me here?
Where are you now, when I need you near
to rescue me, deliver me from fear?
Please, don't forsake me.

LORD, answer me; do you not hear my sighing?
All day and night, my eyes are sore from crying?
I long for you, to keep my hope from dying.
I find no rest.

My God, my God, why have you left me here?
Where are you now, when I need you near
to rescue me, deliver me from fear?
Please don't forsake me, my God.

See, O my God, that I am poor and weak.
I have no voice, I have no strength to speak.
They scoff and stare, have pierced my hands and feet.
My heart is melting

O LORD, my God, my enemies despise me.
They steal my clothes;
they mock and compromise me.
"Where is your God?" they taunt and terrorise me.
Don't stay away.

My God, my God, why have you left me here?
Where are you now, when I need you near
to rescue me, to deliver me from fear?
Please don't forsake me, my God.

Words: Lee Ann Vermeulen-Roberts 2010.
Music: Eelco Vos, based on the tune for Psalm 22 in the Genevan Psalter, 1542/1543.
© 2010, The Psalm Project

B2 Introduction to Psalm 22
C1 Writer is King David and author is Holy Spirit.
C2 This is a Psalm of David’s feelings and emotions.
C3 King David did not experience all that is recorded in this Psalm.
C4 Being a prophet, King David foretells the suffering of Messiah—Jesus, Yeshua.
C5 Bob Utley points out this reference that is important: Matthew 5:17-18 NKJV - "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
C6 Jesus did fulfill the words of the Psalm.
C7 Forsaken is עָזַב `azab and is pronounced ah-zav. It is the Qal perfect, thus means (Qal) to leave; to depart from, leave behind, leave, let alone; to leave, abandon, forsake, neglect, apostatise; to let loose, set free, let go, free. (Source).
B2 Psalm 22
C1 The first 2 verses describe Messiah’s feelings of being abandoned.
C2 Verses 3-5 describe Messiah’s appeal to God: “You delivered our ancestors when they asked you to.”
C3 Verse 6, Messiah describes His opinion of Himself.
C4 Verses 7-8, Messiah tells of the mocking He hears about Him.
C5 Verses 9-10, Messiah testifies that He has trusted God since birth.
C6 Verses 11-18, Messiah speaks of His suffering, His pain, His rejection, His troubles, the indignity, the humility, the torture of His body and soul.
C7 Verses 19-21a, in these Messiah pleads with God to save Him from this torture.
C8 Verse 21b, Messiah is relieved; “My prayer has been answered.”
C9 Verses 22-23, He now speaks loudly and clearly for all to hear. He is testifying of His deliverance by His deliverer.
C10 Verse 24, Messiah states, “Even though, I was so abhorrent to look at; you still delivered me.”
C11 Verses 25-29, Messiah states that He will pay His vows.
C12 Verses 30-31, Messiah tells the results of His vows—We will serve Him and testify of His goodness.
B3 Suffering—Why?
C1 The Lord Jesus suffered for our sins:
D1 Acts 1:3 NKJV - to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
D2 Hebrews 2:9 NKJV - But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
C2 People suffer because of sin: Jude 1:7 NKJV - as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
C3 Christians suffer for preaching the Gospel: Acts 5:41 NKJV - So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
C4 Christian suffer for living like Christians: Romans 8:17 NKJV - and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with [Him], that we may also be glorified together.
C5 Christians suffer because the Gospel is exclusive, for it is only through Jesus can anyone be forgiven and reconciled: 1 Timothy 4:10 NKJV - For to this [end] we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is [the] Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
C6 Christians suffer because the government has outlawed Christian worship: 2 Timothy 2:9 NKJV - for which I [Paul] suffer trouble as an evildoer, [even] to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.
C7 Christians suffer because we reject the temporary pleasures of sin: Hebrews 11:25 NKJV - [Moses] choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.
C8 Christians suffer because the devil hates God and Christians: Revelation 2:10 NKJV - "Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw [some] of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
B4 Suffering—How do we respond?
C1 Pray to God: James 5:13 NKJV - Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.
C2 Trust in God’s grace: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NKJV - And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
C3 Commit our soul to our God: 1 Peter 4:19 NKJV - Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls [to Him] in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.
C4 Pray for our enemies: Matthew 5:44 NKJV - But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
C5 Be patient: 1 Peter 2:20 NKJV - For what credit [is it] if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this [is] commendable before God.
C6 Know to burn off our dross: Hebrews 12:10 WEB - For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness.
C7 If all forsake, God will not: 2 Timothy 4:16-17 NASB - At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion's mouth.
B5 Questions:
C1 Jesus was forsaken. He said so. How can God forsake God? Need some help? See here and here.
C2 Why does God not always answer our prayers quickly, especially when we are suffering?
C3 How are we to handle being mocked, bullied, or beat for our faith?
C4 When praying, why are we to be honest with our God?
C5 How does God show Himself as the best counselor?
C6 Does God always deliver us? Why not?
C7 When God delivers us from suffering, what is to be our response?
C8 How does God understand our suffering? (Perhaps, we can refer to the first question).
C9 If God is a God of love, why do the innocent suffer? (Sometimes it is a loving chastisement to affect repentance. Sometimes it is a bad choice. In general, it is because of evil—people, spirits, sin, or situation. Evil is the absence of good).
C10 Why isn’t the Christian life easy?
B6 Next week
C1 He shall reign forever.
C2 Theme: A song for the King
C3 Scripture: Psalm 72