TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I don’t like reading the book of Job. Don’t worry. God already knows, even before I told Him. So there’s no need to be shocked that I just stated I don’t like reading from one particular book of the Bible. I also don’t like reading Leviticus. God knows that too.
The reason I don’t like reading Job: I have to really be careful about how I process what Job’s friends say to him. They make some compelling points, but they aren’t accurate points about God’s character. And later, when God finally has enough of Job and his friends’ speech making, He spoke up and confronted them. Job 42:7 says, “After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.’” I find myself backtracking a lot in Job when I read something. Who said this? Is what he said the good part to agree with or the part the friends got wrong? And that back and forth frustrates me.
One of my favorite Bible resources is GotQuestions.org and in an essay called, “What did Job’s three friends have wrong, and what did they have right?,” the author wrote, “For this reason, we should always be careful about how we interpret individual verses from Job. It is unwise to pull an isolated verse from the book of Job and use it to understand God—if the verse comes from a speech of Eliphaz, Bildad, or Zophar, then we have no guarantee that it accurately reflects the character of God. As with any single verse, we must look at the context.”
And that pretty much sums up why I don’t like to read Job. I’m really worried about taking something wrong as right. So every time I come to this book in the Bible, I pray for extra wisdom as I read it and remind God of how difficult the book is for me to understand.
The thing is, there’s a lot out there that can be misleading for a Christian. Just as some of Job’s friends arguments sounded valid, they were off the mark about who God is. And just because something is categorized as “Christian” doesn’t mean it’s biblically sound. For example, there is a very popular writer who wrote a series of books called, “Jesus Calling.” Before anyone gets defensive with me about it, I simply encourage you to do your homework. The author writes as if God is talking. It’s important to remember that while God does speak to us, He has already spoken. His Word—the Bible—is complete. Many readers of this series have been convinced that these are new words. Caution must be applied! The author has stated that she wanted more than the inspired Holy Bible. We all want to hear more from God, and someday, we will. But that doesn’t mean we can put words in God’s mouth today.
So again, I say, just proceed with caution. This is one example. There are a few others that I cringe over because the message is flawed and not in line with Scripture or God’s character. The point of today’s post is simply be careful. Just because it sounds right doesn’t mean it is. People have been misrepresenting God since our earliest days of humanity. Job’s friends didn’t accurately represent Him, and today, we know the genre “Christian” doesn’t automatically mean it’s right either.
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Before we trust what anyone else says about God, let’s get it straight from Him. His words will always guide us and illuminate us to His will.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His perfect word. Ask the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom when it comes to reading the Bible as well as Christian resources.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.