Saturday, October 20, 2012
Welcome to Day 293 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Job 6:10, “my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.”
15 “my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow 16 when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow, 17 but that cease to flow in the dry season, and in the heat vanish from their channels.”
29 “Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.”
Job 7:4, “When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.”
15 “I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine.”
Job 8:4, “When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” [His kids weren’t killed because of their sin. This is Bildad the Shuhite’s misunderstanding of what had happened to Job’s children. He does make some good points, though, as you will see.]
21 “He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
Acts 12:6, “Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.”
14 “‘Peter is at the door!’ 15 ‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.'”
21 “On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” 23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down…”
Job or Peter? Both are in tough situations.
Both Peter and Job are in tough situations. Job has lost everything and has been physically stricken. Peter is imprisoned and facing a certain death. (After his escape, the guards were all killed!)
Jobs friends are giving him a mixed bag of advice. A mixture of short-sighted opinions and good, godly insight! (“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”)
Peter’s friends are “earnestly” praying for him… yet when he showed up at their doorstep, they thought it must be his angel.
Now that’s faith, eh? Earnestly praying for your friend, then when they escape prison and the sword and show up at your doorstep, you figure it must be their angel. (Even though when we die, we don’t become angels. Angels are created beings, not the souls of those who have passed.) Would have been better translated as “Peter’s spirit,” I think… imo.)
I think Job’s friends get a bit of a bad rap though… They did sit with him for SEVEN days… Job 2:12 “[Job’s friends] began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with [Job] for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”
I have never experienced anything like that. I have never sat with a friend for 7 days, nor have I had a friend sit with me for 7 days. Not that I have ever been through anything that warranted that…
It’s easy to fill the air with our own frustration or earthly wisdom. (After 7 days they were probably thinking, “Ok, Job, time to move on!”) I probably sometimes give a mixture of godly wisdom and Scott’s best attempt to help someone (my own thoughts…) We are only human, of course… There’s nothing worse than a friend giving you irritating, bad advice in a tough situation… is there?
They probably would have done well to have just sat with him and said nothing… and consoled him in the process simply by their presence.
Truth is, nothing and no one, but the LORD can console us through the toughest of situations as Job has gone through, losing all his cattle and his kids, then stricken with a horrible physical skin disease…
But I would still want my friends available, just in case.
(Keep in mind, even though Job appears after the Psalms in the Bible, the Psalms hadn’t been written yet. It is estimated that Job was a contemporary of Moses, and that it is possible that Moses was the author of Job. Solomon is another possibility as far as authorship. gty.org.)
What I’m saying is that Job’s friends couldn’t even read him a Psalm to console him, as they hadn’t been written yet!
Did the angel rescue Peter because of the prayers of his friends? Or were they simply praying in concert with the Lord’s plan and will?
Either way, friends are so vitally important in our lives.
Even if and when they may be irritating to us.
Lord I thank you for my friends that pray for me and support me through difficult times.