All Nations Saved and Justified by Faith in Jesus.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR.  Galatians 2:11-21 NIV and Galatians 2:11-21 CEV

Summary from Tim Keller’s commentary on Galatians.

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FREEDOM AND UNITY ARE TWO GREAT YEARNINGS OF THE HUMAN HEART – in an earn-your-salvation religion these yearnings will never be satisfied.

  • It is only in Christ we can enjoy the freedom and acceptance and salvation God brings – regardless of our merit we bring to the table. It’s by grace through faith in Jesus.
  • We must never exclude someone whom God has included in His family.

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WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH IN CHRIST. Galatians 2:11-21

  • Nothing else.
  • Nothing more.
  • Nothing less.

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Paul summarises the gospel as “justification by faith”.

PAUL OPPOSES PETER FACE-TO-FACE. How can that be?  What about the unity?

  • What about their example as apostles?  Paul even says that Peter was clearly wrong!
  • What is it about?

PETER HAD CHANGED HIS EATING HABITS. 

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  • Old Testament worshippers had to follow the ceremonial law to be acceptable in the presence of God .If not, the people couldn’t draw near to God. Leviticus 11,15,20.
  • It showed that sinful people cannot go into a Holy God’s presence without cleansing.

GOD EVEN SENT PETER A VISION TO SHOW HIM WHY THE CEREMONIAL LAW WAS FINISHED. Acts 11:7,9

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  • Peter realises that God doesn’t show favouritism but accepts people from every nation who fear Him.

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  • He eats with believing Gentiles despite criticism. Acts 11:2. because God showed him that no one is unclean “in Christ”.

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WHY OH WAY DID PETER STOPPED EATING WITH THE GENTILES? Galatians 2:13-14

  1. Hypocrisy – out of line with his convictions.
  2. Afraid of criticism from those who believed Jesus plus something else for salvation.
  3. Racial pride. It had been drilled into Peter the Jew since their youth that Gentiles were “unclean”.

To Paul, Peter wasn’t merely rude or a snob, but Peter was acting out of line with the truth of the gospel  – Galatians 2:14

PETER’S MISTAKE  He insisted that if Christians really want to be pleasing to God, they need to become Jewish.

But the gospel of truth is: Christians are justified by faith in Jesus.

Socially polished or socially awkward – the gospel tells us we are all unclean without Christ and all clean in Him.

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  1. Peter you have put your faith in Christ Jesus and your are justified by in Christ!
  2. Peter justified in the eyes of God…
  • You don’t need to be justified in the eyes of others by not eating with your Gentile brothers and sisters.
  • You don’t have to fear the demands and disapproval of those who insist on faith plus Jewish laws, or plus anything.
  • So so we know that through grace and by faith in Jesus we already have God’s approval!

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What are the implications of “justified by faith” when Satan torments us with accusations ,doubts and man-made presures?

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Can We Save Ourselves?

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR.  Galatians 2:1-10 NIV and Galatians 2:1-10 CEV

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A summary using Tim Keller’s commentary.

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MANY OTHER GOSPELS – MANY OTHER WAYS WE TRY TO SAVE OURSELVES.

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CAN WE, OR OUR FAMILY, MAKE OURSELVES PURE AND (MORE) ACCEPTABLE TO A HOLY GOD?

  • In the meeting in Jerusalem the apostles and Paul agreed that it is faith in Christ alone and not any other performance or ritual that is necessary for salvation.
  • The false brothers insisted that people could make themselves pure and more acceptable to God through strict compliance with the Jewish law.

Our Jesus Christ fulfilled the law to perfection – it is Christ who make us clean.

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TITUS THE GREEK IS PAUL’S TEST-CASE: He is a picture of a person who becomes spiritually clean and acceptable through faith in Christ and not through his own good works and Jewish rituals

 

  • The biblical gospel gives freedom while the “earn your salvation” formula pressurise people to follow specific rules and regulations.
  • It is easier to follow specific do-able rules than to chase “love your neighbour as yourself” with its impossibly high standards and endless implications!

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IF THE FALSE TEACHERS HAD THEIR WAY….

  • No-one from any other nationality could become a Christian without becoming culturally Jewish – hectic!

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  • Only endless cultural separation, intolerance, prejudice, rather than internal distinctiveness of spirit, motive, outlook and perspective.

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS AND TRUTH…  LEAD TO FREEDOM – instead of an endless treadmill of guilt and insecurity.

  • Of course Christians aren’t free to lie, steal and commit adultery – the moral law is still how saved people please and honour their Lord.

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  • Christians are free from the system of law as a way to get saved.

WHY DO CHRISTIANS OBEY?

  • Christians obey, not out of fear and fingers crossed, hoping to earn our salvation.

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  • Christians obey, having been set free, forgiven and welcomed – now living for God.

Are we fully convinced He accepts and welcomes and saves us by grace?

PETER AND PAUL PREACHED EXACTLY THE SAME GOSPEL:  Peter to the Jews and Paul to the non-Jews.

  • We can adapt the gospel to different cultures without changing the gospel.
  • If we over-adapt, we will lose the essence of the gospel of Jesus and fail to win people into the gospel’s joy and freedom.

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  • Are we, or our children,  on a treadmill of guilt and insecurity?
  • In which scenarios do we remove from the gospel that which “offends” a modern world?
  • Do we tend to be so glued to our music or our old jargon unwilling  to incorporate neutral ways?

If we lose the gospel, the good news of Jesus, how will people be saved and set free?

 

 

 

He Bought My Life He Owns My Love.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR.  Galatians 2:1-10 NIV and Galatians 2:1-10 CEV

A summary using Tim Keller’s commentary.

Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us and our children to read Galatians 2:1-10 with awe and gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A MEETING IN JERUSALEM WITH HUGE CONSEQUENCES FOR US ALL, EVEN TODAY.

  • Paul goes to Jerusalem in response to a revelation from God, direct access to God. Years earlier the visible, risen Christ Himself appeared to him.
  • Paul takes with him Barnabas and Titus the Greek, and presents to the esteemed apostles the gospel he preached among the Gentiles.

FALSE TEACHERS 
False teachers were telling the young Christians that Paul was preaching an inadequate, easy and eccentric gospel.

PAUL KNEW.

  1. His message was God-revealed and true.
  2. He could not keep his churches believing sound gospel teaching if he could not disprove the falsehood of other gospels.

PAUL WORRIED.

  • What if the Jerusalem leaders were not true to the gospel of Jesus Christ?
  • What if they would not take a stand against the false teachers?
  • What if they allowed their own cultural prejudices to entice them to tolerate the false teachers’ false claims?

Would there be unity between Paul and the Jerusalem apostles about the gospel of Jesus?

THE STRUGGLE.

  • Paul says the gospel of faith in Christ is for people of all cultures.

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  • The opponents claimed not all Jewish people are Christians but all Christians must become Jewish.

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If the Jerusalem leaders tolerated the false teachers, the church would split in two between Jewish and Gentile believers.

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WOULD THE JERUSALEM APOSTLES SEE THE CHURCH OF GOD AS AN INTERNATIONAL FAMILY?

  • Would they accept the Gentiles’ commitment to Jesus the Messiah without forcing them to accept Judasim and insist they eat Kosher, etc.
  • Would the Jewish and Gentile Christians end up as two hostile opposing parties concerning external behaviours of those who have faith in Christ?

The freedom we have in Christ and the very truth of the gospel of Jesus was under threat. Galatians 2:4-5

The Jewish Christians welcomed the Gentile Christians! 

 

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TITUS WAS PAUL’S TEST-CASE.

The false teachers who infiltrated the Galatian church insisted that for Titus the Greek to be saved, he would need to trust Christ PLUS live according to Jewish rituals such as circumcision.

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CHRISTIANITY BEGINS WITH WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST AND NOT WHAT WE DO FOR CHRIST. We cannot even dream about saving ourselves.

  • Externalities are to do with our doing.
  • Internalises have to do with our being.

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The Jerusalem apostles agreed that it is faith in Christ alone and not any other performance or ritual that is necessary for salvation.

  • These things help us to understand what our Christian faith is.
  • All the countless regulations in Moses’ law just show us how impossible it is  to make ourselves perfectly clean and acceptable before a holy God.

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Christ Alone is the Sum and Total of Our Right Standing with God

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR. 

Galatians 1 NIV and Galatians 1 – CEV and the summary from John Piper’s sermon.

 

 

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Our eternal destiny hang on the truths in the Bible – including Galatians.

A VERY VERY SERIOUS WORD TO ANY WHO LURE PEOPLE AWAY

  • Paul says that people who destroy human souls through false teaching are to be cursed.
  • They are leading people away from the grace of Jesus and destroying human souls.

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THE GOSPEL.

  • Shows how human beings can get right with God.
  • Not on a basis of any good things of their own doing.

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  • Only on the the basis of the crucified, risen and righteous Christ.

PAUL DIDN’T VOLUNTEER HIMSELF FOR THE JOB OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES. This was all God’s plan. Galatians 1:15-16

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  • Jesus met the Christ-hating, Christian-persecuting Saul on the Damascus Road.

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  • Clearly God called Paul – it was so totally His doing.
  • Paul had no desire to be a Christ-follower – he hated Jesus’ followers!
  • Everything changed for Paul.

FOR THREE YEARS PAUL AVOIDED ALL CONTACT WITH THE TWELVE APOSTLES BY GOING TO ARABIA – after that he spent 15 days to get to know Peter.

  • Paul’s message came from Christ and not from human input.
  • Yes, there was harmony in message, because everyone’s apostleship  and gospel came directly from Christ.

WOW LOOK WHO IS PREACHING THE FAITH HE HAD TRIED TO WIPE OUT. 

  1. Paul the persecutor and destroyer of Christians,
  2. Paul the high-flyer Pharisee

Screen Shot 2017-10-08 at 10.40.30LET’S EMBRACE AND LET THIS SINK IN – Paul is no fool neither fraud.

Galatians also came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

YOU CANNOT BE A RELIABLE WITNESS IF YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON PEOPLE’S OPINION.

  • Paul is independent of people’s approval.
  • Therefore he can be open about what needs to be said – including the hard things.

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Paul can say this because his gospel is not from himself but from the risen Christ whose authority is higher than angels.

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PAUL WAS GOB-SMACKED.SHOCK AND ASTONISHED!

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  • How could the Galatians move away from the Good News of Jesus.
  • How astonishing that anyone would want to defect and turn from the God whose way of salvation is precious grace in Christ!

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  • God Himself called you to Himself through the loving grace and mercy of Christ.
  • Christ loved you and gave Himself in crucifixion in your place to deliver you.

Gal gracepeace-1JESUS ISN’T A MERE TEACHER – HE RESCUES THROUGH HIS FREE GRACE.

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600 Concepts Icons 28Juy2016-07THE GOSPEL IS GLORIOUS GOOD NEWS!

  • Christ alone is the sum and total of our right standing with God.
  • If we add any law-keeping as a necessary for a right standing with God – then we nullify the grace of God and why should Jesus have died?
  • Justification is by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis of Christ alone, to the glory of God alone!

THERE IS ONE GOSPEL THAT SAVES 

The pope, the prosperity celeb preacher, every one of us, are under the inspired authority of Scripture.

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Job, You Don’t Matter to God.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR. 

A summary straight from Job 22 NIV and  Job 22 CEV and David Atkinson’s commentary.

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ELIPHAZ’S THIRD AND LAST SPEECH  (Is that the sound of a sigh of relief?)

(Later on we will return to Job’s laments, statements and questions. In the mean time we know he never cursed God, never turned his back on God as Satan predicted.)

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“JOB, GOD IS SO LOFTY, SO HIGH THAT NOT EVEN THE WISEST HUMAN BEINGS ARE OF ANY USE TO HIM”

  • “You could be completely sinless and that will make no difference to Him.”
  •  “He has nothing to gain from your integrity, Job.”
  • “God is too transcended and lofty to care and be bothered about your claims, complaints and the trivia of your life, Job.”

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There’s a nastiness of tone that seeps into the rest of  frustrated Eliphaz’s last speech.

ELIPHAZ NOW GOES RIGHT OVER THE TOP IN HIS INJUST TIRADE AND MANUFACTURING OF JOB’S SINS. (Job 22:11-13).

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  • “Job, you treated your family cruelly and stripped them naked when they couldn’t re-pay.”
  • “Though you were rich, respected and honoured, you refused generosity, even basics, to the vulnerable.”
  • “Job, you turned away widows and broke the arms and strength  orphans. Do  you think God doesn’t see?”

“IT IS BECAUSE OF YOUR SINS, JOB, THAT YOU ARE TERRIFIED BY YOUR SUDDEN TRAUMA.”  

Eliphaz is still insisting on applying the law of cause and effect to poor broken Job.

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There’s not a single trace about grace in Eliphaz’s speeches.

selfhelpPULL UP YOUR SOCKS JOB, COME BACK TO GOD   –  Job 22:21-30

  • If you want your prosperity again, well then get yourself back into a positive relationship with God. Be at peace with Him.
  • Accept God’s teachings and take them to heart.
  • Get rid of your finest gold, let God Almighty be your  treasure – then you will find your happiness in God.

DEVOTE YOURSELF TO GOD AND LIFE WILL BE BRIGHT FOR YOU JOB!sun images

  • God will do whatever you ask, and what you decide Job, will be done.
  • When you pray for others God will do whatever you ask.
  • He will even forgive the guilty if you ask him. God will do this on the basis of your obedience to God.

800 Batch1Concepts4May2016-39WHAT ARE WE TO MAKE OF ELIPHAZ?

  • He speaks some of the truth but insensitively misapplies it.
  • He’s really quite accusative: directly and indirectly.
  • He tries to handle Job’s massive problems in terms of his own rationalisations: all evil doers will suffer.
  • He offers quick fixes like simply repent and all will be well.
  1. Did Job felt heard by Eliphaz?
  2. Did Eliphaz catch the magnitude of Job’s sufferings?

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Who Do You Think You Are Job?

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR.

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THIS IS ELIPHAZ’S 2ND SPEECH OF THREE after Bildad and Zophar had spoken and Job has replied to each.

A PEEK AT  JOB’S DISTRESSED QUESTIONING OF GOD IN  JOB 14 – We’ll return to this.

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  • “God how can You judge mortals, human beings who could never be pure?” “Please  look away from me and leave me alone till I die.”
  • “There’s more hope for a tree which dies and with a bit of water will bud again than for people who die and never live again.”
  • Job has a glimmer of hope as he contemplates life after death, forgiveness – but says, “Like erosion You destroy my hope, God”

IN HIS SECOND SPEECH, ELIPHAZ SHIFTS GROUND AND DIRECTLY ATTACKS JOB OF UNDERMINING AND HINDERING DEVOTION TO GOD.  Job 15:2-6 NIV and Job 16:2-6 CEV

  • Eliphaz pigeon-holes Job:  “You are an unwise person with empty ideas and useless words and your sin motivates your speech to threaten God.”
  • “In the process you condemn yourself with your own mouth.”

JOB, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE!  Job 15:7-16

  • “Were you the first human ever born and what do you know we don’t know. Are you the only one with wisdom and understanding?”
  • “Who are you Job, to vent your rage against God and attack God?”
  • “No human being is sinless before God – not one of us stand a chance, neither do you”

LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I THINK, JOB!  Eliphaz is right back in his groove of cause and effect. Job 15:19-20

  1. “Job, God gave the promised land to the wise.”
  2. “But f wicked sinners suffer.”

ELIPHAZ’S PICTURES THOSE WHO SUFFER FOR THEIR SIN – a clear implication that our  Job neatly fits this category.

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“Join the dots, ex-rich, suffering, despairing Job who dares to rage against Almighty God!”

  • Long term daily suffering is in store for the ruthless. Death is his destiny.
  • Job is overcome with despair. The distress and anguish fill him with terror

THOUGH HE IS RICH FOR A WHILE HE WILL LIVE IN RUBBLE AND RUINS.

  • His wealth will disappear his time cut short – he won’t escape the blazing breath of God.
  • The godless will become worthless, the greedy will have their homes destroyed, because they make trouble and tell vicious lies.

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“SEE JOB, SUFFERING GOES WITH SINNING.” 

  1. You are suffering.
  2. The wicked suffer.
  3. Somewhere along the line you are wicked.

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A Bone-Shaking Vision: Repent and be Happy.

MICRO DEVOTIONALS FOR BUSY PEOPLE – READING THROUGH THE BIBLE IN LOW GEAR. 

A tightly summarised compilation using David Atkinson’s commentary.

Eliphaz’s 1st of 3 speeches – part 2.

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ELIPHAZ IS THE FRIEND WHO OPERATES WITH AN EASY COME EASY GO VIEW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT. 

  1. Effects:  Job is suffering terribly.
  2. The Cause: He has committed particular sins and now he is reaping the suffering.

TO CROWN IT ALL ELIPHAZ CLAIMS HE OBTAINED THIS VIEW FROM DIVINE REVELATION. Job 4:12-17.

  • There’s a rather eerie build-up.
  • When the punch-line comes it is rather flat. “Can a mortal man be more righteous than God?” (Job 4:12)/
  • Job 5:7 is almost fatalistic and standard teaching.  Nothing bone-shakingly new.

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ELIPHAZ ADVISES JOB TO MAKE HIS APPEAL TO GOD WHO IS GREAT AND WHO WILL NOT LET ANY HARM COME TO HIM.

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.Job 5:9-16  NIV and Job 5:9-16 CEV IS A WONDERFUL SONG OF PRAISE TO THE GOODNESS OF GOD AND HIS CREATIVE POWER AND HIS JUSTICE. 

  • He performs unfathomable, uncountable, marvellous  wonders and miracles.
  • He provides rain for the earth and country-side.
  • He protects and lifts up the sorrowful and disgraced mourners
  • He frustrated the schemes of the crafty wicked and their wily plans fail. Darkness hide their path even in high noon they grope as if it is night-time.
  • God rescues the needy from the deadly words of the wicked and out of the clutches of the powerful
  • This fills the poor with hope and injustice is silenced.

 

TRUE OF FALSE? 

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  1. God is always right and perfect in every way.
  2. God can never be blamed for your suffering, Job.
  3. “Job anyone who suffers, suffer because they are reaping what they sowed.”
  4. God uses suffering as a means to discipline and correct His people.
  5. It is always true that God uses suffering as a means to discipline and correct His people.
  6. Job isn’t perfect – why then would he bring daily sacrifices for forgiveness?
  7. Job clings to his integrity because he knows he hasn’t committed a specific sin that needs correction. Correction that involves the loss of all his children, his possessions and his health.

Do you think Eliphaz is telling the truth? Is he a sensitive friend and appropriate? How would his advice help Job? 

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Job 5:17-26 CEV  and  Job 5:17-26 NIV

  • Job count yourself lucky and blessed  that you are chosen to be corrected by God All-powerful. Don’t despise His discipline.
  • He wounds and causes injury but he will also bandage and heal your bruises.
  • He will protect you from harm and calamities (!!!!!????). No harm will touch you  no matter how many times  trouble may strike.
  • In times of war and famine, God will keep you safe – you won’t be killed.

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  • He will protect you from  lashing and hurtful words and you will not have to be scared of being destroyed.
  • You are going to laugh at the threat of destruction and famine.
  • You won’t be afraid of wild animals – they will be at peace with you, friendly with you.
  • Your home and your stock and property will be safe and secure – nothing ever missing.
  • Your children and descendants will be many.
  • You will live a long life and you will be  full of vigour health till your dying day.

ELIPHAZ IS IN EFFECT  SAYING TO JOB, IF HE WILL CONFESS THE SIN THAT CAUSED HIS SUFFERING, HE WILL BE HAPPY AGAIN.

Repent and be happy!

  1. Eliphaz has been speaking truth –  though inappropriately and insensitively.
  2. Of course we learn from our suffering and off course there are times that the godly also feels as if God is far away.
  3. And of course God has zero defects and He is always right and human beings are not.

LET’S CRY OUT TO OUR GOD FOR HIS PERSPECTIVE, HIS WISDOM AND  HIS LOVE.

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