Sunday, June 21, 2020

Speaking Job


Here are the "speaking the Bible" summaries for Job.

Job Summaries

Job was a man from Uz. He was blameless and upright. He was very wealthy and helpful to the people. He sat in the gates and instructed the people. He had the final word on matters. He helped the poor and needy.  God saw him and was pleased. Satan, however, came to the Lord and accused Job of weak integrity saying he wouldn't hold up under pressure. The Lord gave permission to Satan to test him, yet within boundaries. Job's grief is great. He wishes for death. His friends come to visit him. Job maintains that he's done nothing wrong, that God has done this to him and he doesn't know why. He feels his righteousness didn't keep him safe. He says if he could argue his case before God he'd be vindicated. He says that his friends should comfort him, pity him, strengthen him, but instead they accuse him of sin and wickedness. They say he must have sinned and he should repent and then God would deliver him. The young one speaks after Job's friends finish talking and says that Job should listen to God's chastening and repent. Why should he expect God to tell him what He is doing? His case is before God and he must wait. He says that just because God hasn't come in anger, Job continues to talk and multiplies words without knowledge. He says that Job should consider the majesty of God and consider his own ways. The Lord finally speaks and humbles Job, speaking of creation and all He did to form it, and all He does to maintain it. Can Job do all that? Job repents. The Lord tells the three friends that they didn't speak right of Him as Job did. They will need to offer a sacrifice to Him and Job will pray for them. After Job prayed for his friends, his fortune was restored two-fold and his friends didn't suffer the wrath of God.

  • God boasts in His people's goodness, Satan accuses.
  • God provides evidence of His opinion because He is just in dealing with accusations.
  • Job was tested to prove God's claims.
  • When suffering or doubts arise, stay true to the Lord, even when you don't understand.
  • Know God's character as well as His power.
  • Look beyond a suffering person's words of despair. Strengthen, rather than condemn them.
  • Help the suffering person to not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
  • Don't faint when justice requires evidence. When God moves to strengthen you, or prove you, through testing.
  • Maintain your faithfulness through it all. Search your heart and call on Him.
  • Truth must be spoken in love.
  • Where is weeping? Where is intercession? Why take a stance against your brother instead of holding him up and walking him through his trouble? Where is comfort?
  • When hope seems about to die and everything seems against you, and circumstances are painful, don't forsake your faithfulness to God.
  • Seek the Lord when questions and doubts arise.
  • When He is silent, wait.
  • Are the righteous assured of never suffering trouble? Does trouble come only to the wicked? No.
  • Does God do, or allow, things for no reason? No.
  • Wisdom does not come up from the earth. It's not hidden in the earth. It's from God and He declares that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. To depart from evil is understanding.
  • Calamity tests your humility as well as your faithfulness.
  • Your faithfulness is not something to be arrogant about.
  • Judge by truth and God's wisdom, not appearance.
  • Seek Him. Search His heart as well as yours.
  • When trouble comes, seek God. He gives songs in the night. He teaches us more than the beasts and makes us wiser than the birds of heavens.
  • Seek to become more than a creature of the earth, but to become a song and wise.
  • Creation speaks of the mysteries of God. We can see them. God will show us.
  • The mysteries of God in creation speak of His mysteries, wisdom and ways.
  • A proper response is awe, humility, and fear of the Lord.
  • Don't speak of what you don't know.
  • We need the whirlwind of God to come so we can see Him and hear Him, not just hear of Him.
  • The testing comes not just to prove our faithfulness, but also to strengthen the areas we are weak in.
  • 1 Peter 5:9-10: Resist the devil firm in the faith. After you have suffered a while, God will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 
  • If we just had God's protection with no adversity, we may be able to appear perfect and blameless, we might even behave perfect and blameless, but adversity comes and strengthens us. Adversity comes so we learn to appreciate the times without it. 
  • None of us are God. We're not that pure. So the potential is there for sin. 
  • Darkness comes and we are thankful for light. Suffering comes and we're thankful for peace. Lack comes and we are thankful for plenty.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Speaking Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther

Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah

Here are the "speaking the Bible" summaries for Ezra, Esther, and Nehemiah.

Ezra Summaries

The Lord moved on Cyrus, King of Persia, to allow the Jews to go build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. They returned with gold, silver, cattle, valuables, along with the treasures of the old temple. They began to build the temple, but some people wrote letters to the king and had the work stopped until the reign of King Darius. When the prophets prophesied they began to rebuild the temple. The governor asked what authority they had to rebuild and when told it was Cyrus, he sent a letter to Darius asking to search the records and see if its true that Cyrus issued the decree. It was, and he was told not to interfere, and to give them whatever they needed. After the temple was built, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron and a skilled scribe in the law of Moses, came from Babylon by order of the new king Artexerxes to set up judges and magistrates in the land to judge and teach the people according to the laws of God.

  • The Lord can move on the heart of captors--those who appear as an enemy--to bring freedom.
  • He will fulfill His word spoken through His prophets.
  • Rise. Return. Rebuild. Rejoice. Refuse. 
  • Refuse to compromise with the enemy who led to the cause of the exile in the first place.
  • Let the prophets prophesy and let the builders build.
  • By decree of the King of kings and Lord of lords, rebuild the house of God.
  • Rebuild His dwelling place. Draw from the royal treasuries of the king to do so.
  • Pray, Worship, Celebrate, and take your place to maintain the work of the Lord.
  • Let the skilled scribes arise and take their place.
  • Appoint magistrates and judges to teach the people according to the law of God.
  • Before any great and potentially dangerous mission, seek the Lord.
  • Make sure you have what and who you need for the work and service to God.
  • Entrust the valuables to the faithful and honorable people.
  • When it seems as if all is lost, cry out to God with repentance and fasting. He will make a way.
Nehemiah Summaries

Nehemiah asked visitors from Judah the condition of those who survived the captivity and was told their distress. Nehemiah wept, fasted, prayed, repented and reminded God of His word. He was the king's cupbearer and asked permission to go and rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It was given. Enemies tried to stop the building of the wall. They mocked, threatened harm, made false accusations. The people continued to build the wall by day and guard by night. Nehemiah found the ancestral book of the exiles from Babylon. The people had become indebted, borrowed, and became slaves because of the famine. Nehemiah stopped the usury and restored the people to their land. The people were hungry for the words of the Law. Ezra read and the Levites explained. They wept with fasting and repentance and made a covenant with God to keep His law. They celebrated the Feast of Booths. the people settled in and around Jerusalem.
  • Seek to know the condition of God's people. If there is distress, seek God on their behalf.
  • Ask permission of the King. Tell Him your desires. Ask for the authority and resources. 
  • Go, and do the work of restoration.
  • Don't listen to the mockers. Build the wall. 
  • Don't listen to threats. Build and guard.
  • Don't fall for the enemies schemes to draw you away to do harm, to bring subtle fear, to send false prophets.
  • Be alert. perceive.
  • Take care of your brothers and sisters. Help them. Free them. 
  • Don't enslave them or use them for gain.
  • Know your bloodline and serve as He has called, ordained, and placed you.
  • Recognize the need to know the Word of God. His Law. His covenant towards you.
  • Hunger for His Word. Seek understanding of it. Seek out those who can explain it.
  • Surrender to His Word. Submit to it. Do it.
  • Study, learn and proclaim the history which brought you to where you are today.
  • Make the necessary sacrifices to keep His Word.
  • Give. Tithe. 
  • Churches--keep the Law of God. Honor the tithe as He commands.
  • Obey the laws of God whether there is a leader there to guide you or not.
  • Be the leader. Take initiative.
  • Do what's right when no one is looking. 
  • Stay faithful. Be consistent.
  • Teach your children to do the same.
  • Remain a people set apart for the Lord continually.

Esther Summaries

King Ahasuerus reigned over 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. His queen, Vashti, disrespected him so he wanted a new queen. Esther, a Jew, was chosen. Her cousin Mordecai had raised her. Haman was appointed by the king over all princes. He hated Mordecai because he wouldn't bow to him. He plotted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews. He got the king to sign a decree that they could all be killed and plundered on a certain day. Esther risked her life to approach the king without being called. She asked to meet with him and Haman at a banquet. In the meantime Haman built gallows and was going to ask the king to hang Mordecai on it. But that night, the king couldn't sleep so he read from the record book and found out Mordecai had once stopped a plot to murder him and he had never been honored. The king asked Haman what to do if he wanted to honor a man. Haman thought he was talking about him so he told him what he thought, but then the king told him to do what he had just said for Mordecai. Then Esther told the king about Haman's plot to kill the Jews which included her and Mordecai. Haman was hanged on the gallows he built. The king set Mordecai over Haman's house and he sent out a decree that the Jews could defend themselves on the day appointed to slaughter them. They did and the two days of Purim are celebrated to remember.

  • Stay true to the Lord. Bow only to Him.
  • The enemy will use his power, position, and influence to try and harm you. Fast, pray and be courageous.
  • God will make a way.
  • The beauty, kindness, and integrity of a people will position them so when the time comes, God's deliverance is already set in place.
  • Be humble and do what's right.
  • See the plan God gives you through to the end.