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If I were to ask you the question: “If you were to die right now, are you 100% sure that you would go to heaven?” What would be your reply?
Many have said: “No one knows for sure.” or “I’m 95-99% sure.” “I don’t know.” I run into a few who say with surety: “I am sure I would go to heaven.”
I would like to share with you, from the Bible, God’s Word, how you can be 100% sure.
I John 5:13 says: “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”. Notice the word “know.” When you know something you are 100% sure.
Now, how can you know? To simply determine this, one must know what the Bible says in regard to salvation. Some believe that their religion will save them …. But they are not sure of heaven either. Many will say that “I must do the best I can.” Others: “Keep the 10 commandments.” This all amounts to a system of good works.
I submit to you, that if our religion or good works would save our souls – then why did Jesus die on the cross? Let’s see what the Bible says about our good works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.
Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”
In Romans 11:6 we read: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work”.
Now, I realize that if I put all of the verses on works from the Bible in this post – it would be very lengthy. Would you read it all? The verses above basically teach us that our good deeds do not save us – we cannot save ourselves – we need the salvation that the Lord provides for us.
Galatians 3:24-25 regarding the Law – reads as follows: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster”.
Here we read that the Law was given to show us what sin is. The Law was our teacher, to teach us right from wrong. Why? So we could be saved by faith.
One day, someone took their Bible and shared with me how to be sure of heaven. Allow me to share it with you. It changed my life and my destiny.
First of all – in the Book of Romans 3:10 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”
Vserse 12 reads: “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one”. Then verse 23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” I thought “I’m in a bad spot. If I am not good or righteous and am a sinner, I have no hope. What will I do?”
The person went on to share with me the following. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” He explained that God loved me so much that He sent Jesus to die for me. Jesus Christ paid for all my sins, He took the punishment for me, so that I wouldn’t have to.
The, he went to Romans 6:23 which reads: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Hmmmm I’m going to die one day, where will I go?
Being a sinner, I would surely go to hell. But I read and was told that God has a gift for me. That gift is eternal life and it comes from Jesus Christ. God’s gift does not come through me or my goodness or my keeping the 10 Commandments, but it is a GIFT.
O.K. How do I get God’s gift? Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” God’s gift is received by us when we acknowledge that we are a sinner;
and then we receive Christ into our hearts and lives.
Verse 13 reads: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Whosoever means ANYBODY can be saved and it by faith in what God did for us. Whosover means YOU.
In II Peter 3:9 we are told that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. You see, God’s will is for folks to be saved and NOT to perisy = spend eternity in hell. My friend, God loves us so much that He made a plan for mankind. That plan was for us to have eternal life – to be saved – to go to heaven. That plan was for God to come to this world as Jesus Christ – God’s “only begotten son.” He went to the Cross paying the price for every sin that you and I ever committed. He arose the third day, conquering death, hell and the grave fou you and for me. He offers us salvation, a FREE GIFT – forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven. He says that if we believe and receive, we shall be saved.
My friend, would you, now receive Jesus Gift of salvation? If so, the following prayer can be of a help to you. It is not just reciting some words, but it is belief in your heart.
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. Please forgive me of all my sins. I now ask Jesus Christ to come into my heart and save my soul. In Jesus name, A-men”.
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Ruth Chapter #3
Introduction: We can look at Ruth as the Gentile Bride of Christ. Ruth is a Gentile who marries a Hebrew and symbolically brings all non-Jews (gentiles) into the lineage of Messiah. This means that the Gospel is for all people.
We can look at her life as a type of a Christian with decisions to make. She makes decisions about serving the Lord; finding rest in the Lord and being rewarded by the Lord.
This is a wonderful story of the grace of God.
Vs 1: Ruth finds rest:
Spiritually = full, abiding, present, eternal rest in the Lord.
Earthly = a place to settle down & live, a home.
The correlation: just like we want & need a place called home, here on this earth, God offers a place in heaven for all who believe & receive Christ.
Vs 2-7: Ruth decided to be with God’s people and to accept the God of the Hebrew peoples.
- Is it just enough to be saved by Christ, & that’s all?
- Believers receive the full enjoyment of Christ’s abiding rest.
- There is no real rest with the unsaved crowd.
- Remember, Boaz is a type of Christ
- Vs 4; Ruth comes to him by faith.
- Vs 5; she humbles herself before Boaz and surrenders to his will.
- In like fashion, Christians are to come to Christ, humble self before Him, and surrender to do HIS will.
- Vs 6-7; Ruth follows through, she takes action; obeys.
Vs 8-11: He sees Ruth, vs 8
- Vs 9; “spread thy skirt …”
- This means: to spread a skirt over one, in the East, symbolical action denoting protection.
- Ruth wants Boaz to protect her.
- To this day in many parts of the East, to say of anyone that: he put his skirt over a woman, is synonymous with saying that he married her; and at all the marriages of the modern Jews and Hindus, one part of the ceremony is for the bridegroom to put a silken or cotton cloak around his bride.
Vs 10-11: Boaz takes Ruth as his bride: (the price he paid is not mentioned).
- Jesus purchased all who are saved and made us His bride.
- The bride is to prepare for the wedding day.
- Saved people are to prepare for the day when we stand before Christ.
Vs 11: Ruth was known by what she did not do as well as what she did do.
- Ruth did the right thing, she behaved herself.
- Christians need to do the right thing: have a good Christian testimony.
- Boaz: “I will do …. all … thou requirest.”
- This means he will take her to be his bride.
The rest of the chapter deals with O.T. Law: Deuteronomy 25:5-10
This is symbolic: the Law cannot save. The Law condemns, it cannot save a soul.
Ruth Chapter # 4
Introduction: Recap, we find the following brief outline of the Book of Ruth.
- Ruth makes a decision = choice: chap. 1.
- Her response, serving: chap. 2
- Her request: chap. 3
- Her reward: chap. 4
Remember, Boaz is a type of Christ.
Vs 1-5: Boaz asks the kinsman to buy or to redeem the land from Naomi &, vs 5, Ruth.
- Colossians 1:14 & Ephesians 1:7
- Our salvation cost something.
- It was bought & paid for by the life & death; shed blood of Jesus Christ.
- Jesus redeemed us.
- He bought & paid for you; He paid your sin debt in full: I Corinthians 6:19-20.
Vs 6: The kinsman = the Law, said that he could not redeem Naomi & Ruth.
Acts 13:39; Romans 8:3
Vs 7-8: “… man plucked off his shoe …”
This was a testimony; that the man who gave the shoe transferred his right to the one who received it.
This was according to God’s Law: Dueteronomy 25:7-9
Vs 9: The elders were witnesses to this action.
Vs 10: Boaz purchased Ruth to be his bride.
- Acts 20:28
- Ephesians 1:7
- Redemption = to pay a ransom in full.
- Revelation 21:9 & 19:7
Vs 11-12: Ruth turned her back on Moab & its gods.
- She turned to the God of Israel & became a child of God.
- This is a typology of a gentile bride who becomes a child of God, by redemption.
Vs 13: Ruth marries Boaz and has his child.
- Ephesians 3:6
- Romans 10:13
Vs 14-22: We find, from the marriage of Boaz to Ruth, a line to David who becomes King over Israel.
This is prophecy being fulfilled: Luke 1:27 & Matthew 1:17
Conclusion: The Book of Ruth is a wonderful example of the grace of God and that the Law cannot save.
Romans 8:3 tells us that the Law is weak in the matter saving a soul.
Romans 5:17-21 show us how much grace there is.
John 3:18 shows us the one sin that condemns a person to an eternity in hell.
That sin is the sin of rejecting Christ as Saviour.
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Introduction: The Book of Ruth is one of two Books of the Bible that has the name of a woman: Esther is the other one. Ruth is about a kind woman; a Moabite, Gentile, that marries a Hebrew. This story takes place during the Judges. The timeline for Ruth is about the time of Judges chapter 3 and 4.
Ruth is the widow of Mahlon, the son of Elimelech Naomi.
What does Ruth represent? Ruth 4:17 & 22: she symbolically brings all non Jews (gentiles) into the line of Messiah. Matthew 1:5. This means that the Gospel is for ALL people, not just a certain group of people.
CENTRAL MESSAGE: The Kinsman Redeemer
Divisions of the Book of Ruth
- Ruth makes a decision = choice: chap. 1.
- Her response, serving: chap. 2
- Her request: chap. 3
- Her reward: chap. 4
The reward of love: Ruth received a reward for her Godly love towards her mother in law. The reward was the kinsman redeemer; Boaz. Boaz is a picture or a type of Christ, our kinsman redeemer.
I.Requirement Of The Kinsman Redeemer
A. He MUST be willing: Lev. 25:25, Galatians 4:4-5
B. He MUST have the RIGHT to redeem: Lev. 25:48-49
C. He MUST have the POWER to redeem: Ruth 4:4-6, John 10:15-18.
II. Application To Christ
A. The unnamed kinsman: Ruth 4:6 represents the Law.
The Law is just and right but shows no love nor mercy.
B.The kinsman redeemer represents Christ, the expression of God’s love and mercy.
Gal. 3:13-14; Gal. 4:4-5
C. Christ was the only one willing and had the right and power to redeem us; both Jews and Gentiles.
I. Decisions have to be made. In your life & mine, we each have decisions to make.
A. Decisions should be made after searching the Word of God and much prayer.
B. The important thing is to find God’s perfect will for each of our lives.
II. Elimelech was married to Naomi, Vs 2.
A. They had 2 sons & 2 daughter’s in law.
B. Vs 3 Elimelech dies leaving his wife without a means of support.
C. Vs 5: The 2 sons also die.
D. Vs 5-7, Naomi decides to return to Moab
E. Vs 8-9, Naomi decides her 2 daughter’s in law should go home.
1. In Moab, as well as in Israel, widows were to dwell with their parents.
2. The women, in Moab, also had apartments distinct from the men, where the daughters lived with their mothers, and the sons lived with their fathers.
F. Vs 9, they wanted to stay with Naomi.
G. Vs 11-13, Naomi reasons with them.
1. She has no more sons.
2. She is to old to have any more sons.
3. Even if she could, these women would not wait for them to be old enough to marry. 4. In other words, Naomi basically tells them not to waste their time or their years on her.
H. Vs 14: Ruth & Orpah have made their decisions. Orpah chose the way of false gods.
I. Vs 15, 16, 17: Ruth chose to stay with Naomi.
J. Vs 18-19: It caused a stir when Naomi arrived.
- She was well known & well liked by the people there.
2. Naomi had been gone for about 10 years.
3. When she now comes home, she is changed or different than when she left.
K. Vs 20: Call me not Naomi, call me Mara.
- Naomi means pleasant.
2. Mara means bitter, sorrowful, grief & pain.
3. She had lost her husband and her two sons in a strange land.
4. Naomi went from a woman who was well provided for and had plenty, to a woman who now has no material wealth at all.
L. Vs 21: She went out full: husband, 2 sons, property, etc.
- Now she is empty = lost it all, death & cost of living.
2. God brought her back home.
3. There is a reason why God brought Naomi back home.
4. Naomi is a chastened believer; she blames God for her losses.
M. Vs 22: Beginning of barley harvest = beginning of spring.
- The barley harvest began immediately after the Passover which corresponds nearly with the end of our March.
2. God’s plan for Ruth & Naomi is unfolding
Ruth Chapter 2 Ruth Serving:
Vs 1: We see God at work.
- Naomi has a kinsman or a relative of her husband.
- His name was Boaz.
Vs 2: Ruth humbles herself.
- They go to glean the corn fields.
- Ruth looks for grace from the owner of the fields.
Vs 3: The right of gleaning was conferred by God’s Law on the widow, the poor,
and the stranger: Leviticus 19:9 & Deuteronomy 24:19.
- The liberty to glean behind the reapers was not a right that could be claimed;
- It was a privilege granted or refused according to the good will or favor of the owner.
3. This part of the field belonged to Boaz, a relative of Naomi.
Vs 4-6: Boaz arrives on the scene.
- Who is this young girl?
- He wants to know who is in his fields.
- They answer: she came with Naomi.
Vs 7: Ruth pleads with Boaz to let her continue gleaning.
- Ruth to a break with the farm hands.
- She, basically, is working with the farm hands.
Vs 8-10: He tells Ruth to only glean in his fields.
- Boaz is protecting her = grace.
- Vs 9: again, grace. Ruth, a gleaner, can drink form the vessels provided for to his workers.
3. Ruth, again, humbles herself: fell on her face.
4. Ruth tells him, she doesn’t deserve such wonderful treatment; she is a stranger. Matthew 25:35: grace, mercy, compassion.
Vs 11-12: Ruth was rewarded for her kindness & compassion to her mother in law.
- Vs 12, a full reward is given to Ruth.
- II Corinthians 9:6; Galatians 6:7-8
- Wings = protection and care.
- Referring to hens which protect and cherish their young ones under their wings.
Vs 13-19: These verses are filled with grace.
- Boaz allows Ruth to get more than she hoped for.
2. Romans 5:20: God gives us more than we deserve.
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Introduction: Date of this Book
-Year from the Creation, 3004.
-Year before the birth of Christ, 996.
-Year before the vulgar era of Christ’s nativity, 1000.
-Year since the Deluge, according to Archbishop Usher and the
English Bible, 1348.
-Year from the destruction of Troy, 185.
-Year before the first Olympiad, 224.
-Year before the building of Rome, 247.
The Word PROVERB means: in some original sense of superiority in mental action; properly, a pithy maxim, usually of metaphorical nature; hence, a simile (as an adage, poem, discourse):– byword, like, parable, proverb. An easier definition would be: “A lot of truth in a short sentence.”
Human Writer: The bulk of the Book of Proverbs was written by Solomon (so were Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon).
In the Bible, (up to Song of Solomon,) most of the Books were written by men of some status in this world. After Song of Solomon, most of the Books were written by the common man.
The job of the giving of the Law was given to men of esteem and might. The job of evangelizing the world is generally done by the common man; the weak and the lowly; I Corinthians 1:26-27.
The human writers, so far, were Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David and Solomon. Later, we will read Books written by: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Amos etc. In the New Testament: common men – fishermen. There are exceptions; Luke the physician, but they are very few and far between.
The Apostle Paul writes: “not many wise men ….”
A Book of Practical Wisdom
The Psalms are a great help to our devotional life while the Proverbs have been referred to as: “Laws from heaven for a life here on earth.”
Central message: The practical wisdom of God
Six basic divisions in the Book of proverbs
- Instructions to sons: chap. 1-7 2. Praise and wisdom: chap. 8-9 3. The folly of sin and wickedness: chap. 10-19 4. Warnings and instructions: chap. 20-29 5. The words of Agur
- 6. The words of King Lemuel.
The Structure Of A Proverb
There are three main types of Proverbs
- Contrastive: This is the most common type; it is known by the striking contrast of the two members joined commonly by the word “but. “ Chapters 10-15 are predominately of this type.
Proverbs 10:27 is an example of this.
- Completive: Here, the second “member” agrees with the first and carries that idea or thought to completeness. The word “AND” is the common connector. Proverbs 16:3 is a good example of this.
- Comparative: Here we find a striking comparison between the two thoughts, ideas or members. The word “THAN” is a common connector between them. A good example of this type Proverb would be Proverbs 15:16.
How To Read The Proverbs
The Proverbs are meant to be read with thought and not to rush your way through them. Read a few Proverbs and then think on what you have read and consider the truths that you have just read. Let them sink into your mind and soul Let’s look at a few Proverbs and see the Truths contained in them.
Proverbs 1:7 – When we begin to fear God – we will begin to learn. Fear is “moral reverence”
Proverbs 1:10 – Don’t fall victim to those who will tempt you to do wrong.
Entice means to “lure.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 – TRUST – Faith in the New Testament – faith is to believe.
Trust means take refuge in – lean on – roll on – to stay upon
The word TRUST is found 152 times in the Old Testament
Proverbs 4:18-19 – Are you walking down His path of Heavenly knowledge and love?
Are you growing in it?
Proverbs 6:16-20 – Tells us what God hates. We ought to hate what God hates and Chapter 8:13 also tells us that very same thing.
Proverbs 9:9 and 10:8 tells us about the giving and receiving of instruction.
Proverbs 13:20 – Be careful who we associate with. Just as a tree frog or a chameleon acquires the color of what it adheres to for a short time, in the same way, man is influenced by those who you associate with.
Proverbs 15:32 – learn to take constructive criticism and use it to improve your life for the Lord.
Proverbs 17:22 & 15:15 – Remember Readers Digest “Laughter is the best medicine?”
Learn to laugh: even at yourself.
Proverbs 18:24 – The way to make friends is to be one.. Take the initiative, go and talk to folks.
Proverbs 21:19 – Much to be said about making the little woman happy.
Proverbs 22:1-3 – Great instructions
Proverbs 23:1-7 – Godly council of who to avoid – our heart – our desires
Proverbs 23:29-33 – A warning against fermented beverages
Proverbs 24:17-19 – Instructions to us about our enemies
Proverbs 27:1 – None of us are guaranteed of another today
Proverbs 28:9 – It pays to listen to the Word of God
Proverbs 31:10-31 – The Virtuous woman
Proverbs 1:5-7: Receiving God’s Word
- Brings wisdom and knowledge
- Fear – reverential trust with a hatred of evil – Proverbs 8:13
- Fear is the beginning of wisdom – Proverbs 9:10 – 10:8 – 13:1
- hatred of evil – Proverbs 1:10 – Ephesians 5:11
Brings Instruction – Proverbs 9:9
- Not to turn away – Proverbs 28:9 & 14
- To confess sin – Proverbs 28:13
- To those who reject instruction – Proverbs 12:15 – 13:20 – 13:18
- It’s our spiritual food
- for strength
- to grow in grace
- to learn
- May we ever read and study and hold dear the precious Word of God.
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The Book Of Psalms
Introduction: The Psalms were the inspired prayer and praise Book of the Nation of Israel. The are revelations of Truth: not abstractly, but in terms of human experience. All of the chapters of these Psalms were set to music to worship God.
They are expressions of man’s feelings: from joy to sorrow; from happiness to depression and perplexity. They show the feelings that can arise from about every type of human experience; not just from a few thousand years ago. They can be applied to every time period; to every life and every situation.
The Book of Psalms provides for our emotions and feelings guidance – the same kind of guidance as the rest of the Bible provides for our faith and our actions. Hebrew poetry is vastly different from the poetry of our day and age.
The title “Psalms” comes from the Septuagint and it means “Songs to the accomplishment of a stringed instrument.” Psalms means: “all metrical compositions fitted to be sung.” There is a spiritual message in the Book of Psalms. Many times over, we see where distress and “feeling low” turns to singing and praise because the Psalmist turned to God in prayer.
The promises of the Psalms are primarily Jewish and are suited to a people under the Law. There are also spiritually true in Christian experience also, in the sense that they disclose the mind of God and the exercises of His heart toward those who are perplexed, afflicted or cast down.
Author: The Holy Spirit – I Peter 1:21
Human writers: David – Asaph – Solomon – Moses – Jehoshapat – Hezekiah – Ezra – Heman – Ethan; most were written by David.
Great Themes of this Book: are: Christ – Jehovah – the Law – Creation – future of Israel – and the exercises of a renewed heart.
For the purpose of this study, we will look at some Biblical principles as well as some selected passages and selected Psalms.
- Selected Passages
- The Words of the Lord – Psalms 12:6
- Only God can forgive your sin – Psalm 32:1-2 & 5
- vs 5 – we must acknowledge and confess
- then – God forgives – vs 1 & 5
- Psalms 34:8 – taste and see …
- Jesus is the “Bread of Life” He is the “Living Water”
- We must come to Him and receive Him as our own personal Saviour.
- I Peter 2:3 – taste, here, means to experience
- tasting, as used in this passage , is a figurative word
- Other passages: Psalms 34:1-3 – Psalms 51:1-4 – Psalms 55:17 – Psalms 88:1-3
- Psalms 91:2 and 92:1 – Psalms 100:3-5 – Psalms 103:1-4 – Psalms 118:8 – 119:9-11, 18, 33-40 – Psalms 119:89, 97, 103, 111, 127, 140, 160
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Introduction: This is most likely the oldest Book in the Bible. It was written before the Law was given. It deals with the age old question: “Why do the Godly suffer?” The first 17 Books of the Bible, ending with Esther, are historical Books. We now come to the Books of poetry, beginning with Job and ending with the Song of Solomon.
In a very short time frame, Job loses his wealth, possessions, family (except his wife), and his health. Often, folks wonder: “Why do good people have awful disasters or terrible things happen to them?” They may notice that those who are not saved; lived wickedly; or seemingly good folks; very rarely or never have those things happen to them.
This Book teaches us that we do not always understand why things happen to us the way they do. It also teaches us that God is not obligated to explain why.
Human writer: unknown. Matthew Henry, author of one of the finest Bible commentaries every written, believed that Elihu (one of the characters in this Book) was most likely the writer. However, no one knows for sure. The one fact that we do know, is that the Book of Job is in the Jewish Cannon of scripture and the author is the Holy Spirit.
Job was a man of great wealth and influence. He honored God by staying faithful throughout all of his sufferings. It is easy to remain faithful as long as all goes just the way we want it to go. The test of our faith and character comes when we are going through great trials and sufferings. Job was “run through the mill,” as we might say. Throughout discouragement, he was 100% faithful to God and God’s Word.
Principal characters: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar: = Job’s detracters. Job’s wife, satan, Elihu
- The Introduction: chaps. 1
- Perfect and upright: 1:1-4
- perfect: whole heartedness for God. Sincerity; this does not mean nor refer to “sinless perfection.” Morally pious in his actions, life, thinking.
- feared God: reverent. He was a righteous man with the Truth of God.
- Eschewed evil: vs 1
- Job avoided evil; he hated it; withdrew from evil.
- I Thessalonians 5:20 “Abstain from all appearance of evil”
- The Tempter – 1:6-12
- Vs 10-11 – satan says that Job was only good because he was prosperous
- The goal of the tempter / temptation
- Vs 11 – to get Job to curse God to His face
- the devil tries to get man to blame God for your troubles
Vs 6: sons of God
- some say fallen angels – some say good angels and refer to Genesis 6:2
- not correct
- Luke 20:35: angels are sexless beings
- We have here, in the case of Job, the same grand assembly held, as was before, in that of Ahab; I Kings 22:6-23. These were prophets – Godly men who were now in heaven.
The Temptation Vs 13-19
- Everything Job had was all lost in one day
- four tragedies at once
- Job didn’t know any explanations of why he was to go through these trials – tragedies hard times etc. Romans 8:28-29
- his friends had no idea of God’s conversations with satan
- they had no idea of the outcome of Job
- we also, have no idea of God’s plan – purpose – outcome, for our lives
- if he had known and if we knew, we would not have to exercise faith in God
- faith is what God wants us to have – Hebrews 11:6
- if God revealed everything to us, we would panic and do our own will.
- God’s purpose for us would be side tracked by us
- since we don’t know the beginning and the end of our trials ahead of time: we must continue in faith to a faithful God and His Word
- satan does his best to get Job to curse God
- he uses Job’s wife Job 2:9, as well as the attack on Jobs health Job 2:7-8 Revelation 12:12
Job’s Response: Job 1:20-22
- He worships God vs 20
- rent his mantle – tore his coat or robe
- shaved his head
- Job felt the anguish – grief – bitterness of what had just happened to him
- yet, he, Vs 20 – worships God – he fell prostrate on the ground. He humbles himself before God
- Job knows that all he ever got and had – he got from God Vs 21
- Vs 22 – Job did not sin nor blame God for what had happened
Satan Attacks Job’s Health
- Boils: 2:3-8
- potsherd – vs 8 – a piece of earthen ware / pottery
- to sit in the ashes is the deepest mourning / humility
- Skin for skin – vs 4
- a man will part with all that he has, to save his own life
- the devil basically says that Job has only lost material goods
- he lost his children – but not his own skin or life – yet he still has his health
- Vs 5 – give him bad health and he will curse God
- God allows satan to tempt Job but he cannot take Job’s life
- Job remained faithful – Vs 10
- The next several chapters deal with Job’s “friends”
- chapter 3:11 through end of chapter 38 are an exchange of conversations
- Job’s wife has turned against him – 2:9 – now his “friends”
- Job’s friends
- the basis of the discourses are that there MUST be some great sin in Job’s life
- why else would Job be going through all of this
- they accused Job of being a hypocrite – Matthew 7:3-5
- they base their arguments on their experience and assumptions
- Elihu: chapter 32-37
- he speaks to Job – not as a judge – but as a brother
- he shares with Job
- man has no right to demand explanations from God
- God does chastise – but with the purpose of restoration and spiritual healing
- Elihu appeals to Job to change his current attitude
- accept the suffering with a view of God bringing something good from this
- submit to God’s will – allow God to fulfill His plan for Job’s life
VII. The End Result Of Job’s Faithfulness
- God’s multiplied blessings
- chap. 42:12-13: he received more than he lost
- chap. 2. 42:15-17: he had a long, full life
Conclusion: God did not answer Job’s questions concerning his sufferings. The same with us, God does not owe us an explanation. The purpose for God allowing Job’s many sufferings, was to bring Job to the end of self and to trust wholly in God. This was brought about by Job’s submitting to God and repentance: Job 42:1-6. What satan meant for harm /evil – God made something good out of it. Faithfulness pays off in the end – Proverbs 28:20. God blesses, just hang in there, trusting, serving, staying faithful. Don’t blame God for what the devil does. Keep your heart right with God and keep your focus /eyes, on Jesus.
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The Book Of Esther
Introduction: This story takes place in the Persian capitol of Shushan. The time frame is between Ezra chapters 6 and 7. Esther was an orphan, the cousin of Mordecai; her name means “star” in the Persian language. This Book tells us how Israel, as a race of people, was saved from extinction.
God had a plan for His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to come into this world. In that plan, He protected Israel, His chosen people. Even though Israel had been persecuted; been out of God’s will, God still would not let any nation or tyrant kill all of them.
Remember, God has a Divine plan for you, just as He has for Israel and had for Esther. God’s plan will not fail. If you refuse to allow God to lead you and make you usable, God will use someone else instead and you will miss all the blessings, rewards and usefulness.
Central message: The providence of God. Even though Israel was out of God’s will, they were NEVER out of God’s hand. God knew what would happen before it happened, therefore, God arranged the details of history to provide for Israel’s deliverance.
Typologies in the Book of Esther:
Jews = a type of the worldly Christian. They could have left Persia with the other Jews, but chose to remain. They preferred the worldly pleasures of Persia over doing the will of God.
Worldly wisdom made it seem as if to stay in Persia was the “thing to do.” That decision almost brought the race of the Jews to extinction.
Haman = Plotted the extinction of the Jews: a TYPE of the “man of sin” II Thessalonians 2:3
The Antichrist will be the last and worst enemy of God’s people.
Esther = a type of Christian sold out to God. She was used by God protect Israel. She was willing to obey the Lord and do what was necessary to save Israel from destruction; even if it meant losing her own life.
Mordecai = He represents the Jewish remnant that will be preserved during the Great Tribulation Period. He would not bow to Haman just as the Israelites will not bow to the beast of Revelation, who is typified by Haman.
Mordecai weeps, fasts and mourns as the Jews will do in the Tribulation before the Second Coming of Christ as their King.
Esther 4:15-17 … vs 16b “… if I perish, I perish.” OR … What will I lose by serving God? She took her chances with God. She was willing to die in order to obey God.
She realized that God’s will was more important than her own will.
Esther was willing to “do the right thing” regardless of the consequences.
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Introduction: The children of Judah had been carried into captivity by Babylon. Some men that had gone back to Judah, had come back to Shushan; the winter residence of the King of Persia, Artaxerxes. The Temple had been rebuilt and worship reestablished; the walls of Jerusalem was still in ruins. If the city was to survive, the walls had to be rebuilt, so God raised up Nehemiah for that task.
All of this took place about 446 B.C. … about 2,450 years ago. Nehemiah was the king’s Cup bearer – a high position. This was a high paying job; he was held in high esteem and he was very influential at his job. Nehemiah never wore a crown; never commanded an army; never conquered a country. He was not noted for oratory or philosophy; yet he was a pious, praying, man of God and he served the Lord very well. He was a greater man and more honorable than any of the Roman consuls or dictators; greater than the Greek philosophers – such as Plato, who lived during this same time period.
Nehemiah records, in this Book, the works of his hands but the worship of his heart in the management of public affairs. From the 20th year to the 32nd year of the king, Nehemiah was governor of Judah. This is the last historical Book of the Old Testament.
- Rebuilding Of The Walls
- Nehemiah views the ruined walls – 2:11-16
- Nehemiah encourages the people to build the walls 2:17-20
- Their opponents ridicule them – 4:1-3
- Spiritual lessons from this part of the Book
- I Corinthians 16:9 God opens doors and the enemy doesn’t want you to succeed
- II Timothy 3:12 God’s people will suffer persecution – be ridiculed etc.
- Nehemiah responds by taking it to God in prayer – 4:4-6
- Their opponents get angry with them – 4:7-8
- Vs 7 – very wroth = hot – incensed – burning up
- Vs 9 – Nehemiah prayed and had a continual watch
- Opposition within – vs 14 – fear of the enemy
- God’s people were afraid which led to discouragement
- vs 20 – an encouragement to trust in God – faith
- Opposition by craftiness – chapter 6
- vs 2 – mischief
- vs 6,7 – accused of rebellion
- Nehemiah’s reply – vs 8
- The wall is completed – 15
- The People Revived And Reconstructed
- The Law was read and explained to the people – chap. 8:-12
- NOTE: vs 1,3,4,5,6,8,10
- The reading of God’s Word sparked a revival among the people
- Hebrews 4:12 – Word of God is ……
- The people fast and repent – chap. 9
- the Word of God should bring folks back to the God of the Word
- Psalms 12:6 – 119:9 & 11, 16, 18, 30, 33 – 40; 89, 97, 127, 140, 160, 164.
Spiritual message from the Book of Nehemiah: We work for the Lord in our physical labors; yet we must also have the Word of God. People that truly work for God will seek understanding from the Word of God. Understanding and obeying God’s Word brings joy to us as we labor for God. Without Ezra’s teaching and Nehemiah’s leadership, the Jewish religion and community might not have survived.
Practical lesson from Nehemiah: Planning and organization are necessary to effectively carry out the work of God. Under Nehemiah’s reforms, a lot was accomplished through his skills of organization, in which he followed God’s guidance.