Devotionals

  • November 14, 2018: Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Hope in God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 35-37, Job 13, John 11:1-16, 1 John 3:11-18 Job 13: Job continues his defense against his comforters by arguing that his insight, information, and wisdom is no less than theirs. He too has insight. What is more, he has done nothing wrong to deserve what is happening to him. “Can anyone bring charges against me? If so I will be silent and die.” The issue is not that he has done something wrong; the issue is that he is suffering and he does not know why. This is the matter that he will bring up with God. The fact that he is talking to God about his pain and suffering is not a sign of a lack of faith in God, but rather a sign of faith in God. Even if this approach to God, this seeking of God, gets him into trouble with God, he would still seek God.…

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    November 13, 2018: The Sovereignty of God in Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 33-34, Job 12, John 10:22-42, 1 John 3:1-10 Job 12: Job’s reply to these false comforters is only growing in strength and – indeed – sarcasm. “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2). What a great reply to someone who is lecturing, who is assuming they are right and that you don’t know what you are talking about. But, Job says he has a “mind” too. He can think it out for himself. When he does so, what does he conclude? Through stunning metaphor and poetic balance, Job argues that God does it all – he is sovereign over everything. Even suffering. “The hand of the Lord has done this” (12:9). If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. All is according to his wisdom, according to his plan. Therefore, Job’s comforters, who accuse…

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    November 12, 2018: Wipe Away Every Tear

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 31-32, Job 11, John 10:11-21, 1 John 2:24-29 Job 11: Now comes Zophar. We have just seen Bildad, the second of “Job’s comforters.” Bildad had argued that Job had done something wrong; otherwise, why would the good God have caused Job to suffer as he was suffering? Job had replied that though he was a sinner in general, so were we all, and there was no reason why God had caused him specifically to suffer as he was, no reason that he could discern. And now along comes Zophar. Zophar ratchets up the pressure somewhat. After Job has apparently effectively answered Bildad, Zophar now begins by saying, “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?” In other words, he will not sit idly by while Job answers Bildad without giving a further follow up reply to Job’s answer. You sense that Zophar is annoyed. Whereas…

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    November 11, 2018: Eternal Weight of Glory

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 29-30, Job 10, John 10:1-10, 1 John 2:18-23 Job 10: Job finishes his reply to Bildad on a note of deep depression and raw despair. Remember that Bildad, one of “Job’s comforters,” has been offering Job comfort in his suffering. This comfort has been anything but helpful; indeed, his counsel has been quite damaging. Job has replied to his words, but now he is not so much replying as declaring and revealing the true nature of his soul. He is in despair. That single sentence description does not do justice to the range of his emotion as described in this chapter. It is a startling read. And yet – if we are honest – this is how people feel at times. Especially, when they are faced with the kind of suffering that had come upon Job. It is encouraging (can we really put it like that?) to read of a…

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    November 10, 2018: A Mediator for the Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 27-28, Job 9:21-35, John 9:26-41, 1 John 2:12-17 Job 9:21-35: Job continues his reply to Bildad. Bildad has advised Job that he is suffering because Job has done something wrong. What other conclusion could there be, Bildad thinks. After all, God is holy. Job is suffering. Therefore, Job must have done something to deserve the suffering that has come to him at the hands of a holy God. But this is not good thinking on the part of Bildad. He should be preaching the gospel to Job, not lecturing him with religious legalism. Job has answered that he is certainly not righteous – but then no one is righteous and God’s decrees are unsearchable, and therefore his righteousness, or lack thereof, is not the issue at stake when it comes to Job’s suffering. Now Job goes further. He elevates the doctrine of God to its highest levels: “He is not…

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    November 9, 2018: Suffering Without Shame

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 24-26, Job 9:1-20, John 9:13-25, 1 John 2:1-11 Job 9:1-20: Bildad has been lecturing Job. Finding Job in great suffering, Bildad and Job's other “comforters” first do the right thing by merely listening. But then one by one they go on the verbal offensive and criticize Job for his attitude towards his suffering. According to Bildad, Job must repent of his sins. God is good, he argues; none of us is perfect; God wouldn't send suffering on the righteous. Therefore, Job must have sinned somewhere to deserve what he is experiencing. And so the right advice to give Job is to tell him to repent. But while Bildad’s logic seems sensible, it is actually deeply damaging. It layers guilt and shame upon the pain. Instead, Bildad should have come alongside Job and commiserated with him, offered him practical help. He should have preached the gospel to him, not lectured him…

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    November 8, 2018: In the Middle of Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 22-23, Job 8, John 9:1-12, 1 John 1 Job 8: Bildad now takes his turn to speak, and immediately begins by rebuking Job. The way Job has been speaking has, in Bildad’s view, discredited God. “How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind? Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?” In Bildad’s view, any questioning of God’s ways is inappropriate. Surely God knows what he is doing. Surely God cannot be charged with doing things wrong. Of course, at one level Bildad is right. God does not pervert justice. God does do what is right. But Bildad makes an illogical and theologically inaccurate leap: if God does what is right, and if Job is suffering, ergo Job must have done something wrong. He has no space in his mind for the possibility that evil and suffering can fall upon the righteous. But Bildad is…

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    November 7, 2018: Bring It to the Cross

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 20-21, Job 7, John 8:48-59, 2 Peter 3:10-18 Job 7: Job continues in his response to Eliphaz’s words in chapter 5. First he has argued that Eliphaz is not much of a friend for accusing Job of having done something wrong to deserve his suffering. Now Job turns his attention from Eliphaz to God. There are some remarkable words in this chapter, words that are hard to believe are found in the Bible. And yet, glad we are that they are here—especially when we ourselves go through suffering. Consider what Job says (7:11): I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;  Job is unembarrassed about voicing his real complaints to God. Note this is different from complaining about God to other people. Here he is praying to God. But still Job is real, and not just real, he is raw (7:16): I loathe my life;…

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    November 6, 2018: A Friend in Need Is a Friend Indeed

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 17-19, Job 6, John 8:31-47, 2 Peter 3:1-9 Job 6: Job’s reply to Eliphaz’s uncomforting words are a lesson in what people who are experiencing unjust suffering often feel – even if they cannot give their feelings such eloquent voice as does Job. Job begins by outlining the length and breadth, height and depth, of his misery. He describes it in terms of weight: if it could be weighed, his misery would “outweigh the sand of the seas.” Those who are in suffering and mourning often feel a near-unbearable weight on their shoulders. Job describes the experience of this misery in eloquent terms. Are you suffering? Could you use these words to give voice to your feelings? But while Job does articulate his misery, his godliness is evident even in his frank despair. He wishes to die (verse 9) so that at least he would have this consolation that he…

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    November 5, 2018: Hide in Christ, and Look to the Cross

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 16, Job 5, John 8:21-30, 2 Peter 2:17-22 Job 5: Eliphaz continues giving advice to Job. Basically, while in chapter 4 he argued that because God is holy and none of us is perfect, Job must have done something wrong to deserve what he got, now in chapter 5 he takes a different tack. He builds upon what he has just argued to now encourage Job to ask God for help. He wants him to go to God in prayer and appeal to him and ask him to relent from his deserved sufferings. Surely God will listen to the repentant sinner, and therefore surely the right thing for Job to do is to ask God to intervene in Job’s situation and turn it all somehow around to be something better for his good. As Eliphaz puts it in verse 8, “But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would…

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