The End of Job, Israel, and the LORD #3

Friday, April 26, 2013

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses” (Job 42:12 KJV).

During the Tribulation period, the nation Israel will gain valuable insight from today’s Scripture….

Job, a type of believing Israel, suffering intense calamity due to Satan, a type of the Tribulation, and Job’s restoration, a type of Christ’s earthly kingdom, is an historical narrative that will provide great comfort to God’s people who are yet future from our day. Satan targeted Job because he was a man of faith in the God of the Bible (Job 1:1,5,8,20-22; Job 2:3,10). Likewise, Satan will persecute Israel’s believing remnant for Jesus Christ’s sake during the Tribulation (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; 1 Peter 4:12-19; 1 Peter 5:8,9).

As the Apostle James comforts them in James 5:10,11, these believing Jews should be patient: JEHOVAH, albeit seemingly quiet and unresponsive to their situation (as He was with Job), is aware of their sufferings (as He was of Job’s), and He will restore them in manifold ways in due time (as He did with Job; today’s Scripture). They need not grow weary or discouraged, for though they have lost their possessions for being Christians (and some will lose their very lives), when Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming, they will be ushered into that glorious kingdom and receive “an hundredfold what they lost during the Tribulation (Matthew 19:29,30)!

Although these Scriptures are not to or about us (members of the Church the Body of Christ in the Dispensation of Grace), we too suffer for the name of Jesus Christ. Like believing Israel, let us allow the Holy Spirit to teach us to look at the broader picture, the overall view, and not be sidetracked by the current state of affairs. We may lose our material possessions, our family and “friends,” and our lives, but like believing Israel, we have gained things that are of far greater importance and value, possessions that we have right now in Jesus Christ that will never pass away….

A Doxology of Doctrine During Distressing Days #7

Sunday, April 7, 2013

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; (2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV).

A brief, light annoyance—an everlasting, much heavier weight of praise and worship….

While difficult circumstances are not enjoyable, they can be learning opportunities. Even the Apostle Paul needed spiritual growth. He finally learned how to change his outlook on suffering: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Philippians 4:11-13).

The “treasure in earthen vessels” of 2 Corinthians 4:7, the “power of Christ” of 2 Corinthians 12:9, and the “inward man being renewed day by day” of 2 Corinthians 4:16, are summarized in Philippians 4:13—“Christ which strengtheneth me.” Hence, Paul wrote, “for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

God’s abundant grace (2 Corinthians 12:9) enabled Paul and Timothy to endure suffering in order to minister to these Corinthian believers: “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15). God strengthened them, which caused other believers to be thankful to God for giving Paul and Timothy provisions in Christ that got them through their difficult circumstances.

The spiritual fortitude and spiritual growth that resulted in these believers helped them to better understand how to deal with their own troubles, and it stored in their inner man the capacity to eternally function one day in the heavenly places for God’s glory. Therefore, this doxology—this praise to God—is not only here and now, but literally “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (today’s Scripture).

Remember, the issue is not the vessels—our frail, perishing physical bodies—but rather the treasure—the life of Jesus Christ—they contain. A doxology indeed! 🙂