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August 4, 2015

– We have all “heard of the “endurance of Job” (James 5:11) in the face of unspeakable adversity and personal loss (Job 1:1-2:13). As Oswald Chambers said “We must get hold of those great souls, the men who have been hard hit — hit and have gone to the basis of things and whose experiences have been preserved for us by God, that we may know where we stand.”

So how did Job survive such incredible afflictions? We get a clue from Job 23, where this suffering saint declares “Behold, I go forward but God is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him. When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him. He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.” (Job 23:8-9) BUT despite not BEHOLDING God, we see Job still BELIEVING God, confidently declaring “But He KNOWS the way I take. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10note)

But how did Job KNOW that God KNEW? He did not have the Bible on computer, a Gideon New Testament or as far as we know any written record of God’s Words! Job explains the source of his ability to walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7note), declaring “I have not departed from the command of His lips (obedience to God’s Word). I have treasured (as men do with what they most love and value = same word tsapan in Ps 119:11 “I have treasured Thy Word”) the words of His mouth more than my necessary food (Job “internalized” God’s Word). (Job 23:12note) In a word, Job memorized and obeyed God’s Word, which fortified and sustained him through his incredibly difficult trials. In Job’s example of faithful, patient, suffering (James 5:10, Heb 6:12note), he gives us a tried and true “template” for surviving the trials and tests of life — The Word of God HELD (and obeyed) in our heart, will HOLD us firm in faith when the winds of adversity blow! Spurgeon affirms “There is the picture which Job has sketched. Hang it up on the wall of your memory, and God help you to paint after this old master, whose skill is unrivaled.”

Beloved, are you treasuring the Word of God in your heart that you might not sin against Him (Ps 119:9,11note)? Are you fighting the good fight of faith (and the temptations of the devil) even as did our Perfect Example, our beloved Lord Jesus, choosing daily to live not just by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mt 4:4)? Are you fighting off dark thoughts of despondency as did God’s choice prophet Jeremiah (Jer 1:5), who declared “Thy Words were found and I ate them (cf memorized them) and they became for me the joy and the delight of my life.” (Jeremiah 15:16)?

The transformation and renewing of our minds (2Cor 3:18note, Ro 12:2note, Eph 4:23note) and our growth in godliness (2Pe 1:5-8note) is dependent on our feeding upon the living Word, the Bread of Life, the Word of Truth, which alone provides sustenance for our soul. God’s Word (from His very ”lips”) must become our greatest treasure even (especially) in dark days of suffering. Even better, we need to hide the Word of Life (Phil 2:16note) in our hearts before the dark days come, so that we might run and hide in that Word when the days do come. “Every (no exceptions) Word of God is tested. He (via His Spirit) is a Shield to all who take refuge (and trust) in Him (via His Word).” (Proverbs 30:5note)

Remember that like Job and Jesus and Jeremiah, the first requirement for keeping God’s Word in our hearts even as we would a precious treasure is to recognize that it is a TREASURE. A beautiful and touching story is told of a young French girl who had been born blind. After she learned to read by touch, a friend gave her a Braille copy of Mark’s gospel. She read it so much that her fingers became calloused and insensitive. In an effort to regain her feeling, she cut the skin from the ends of her fingers. Tragically, however, her calluses were replaced by permanent and even more insensitive scars. She sobbingly gave the book a goodbye kiss, saying, “FAREWELL, FAREWELL, SWEET WORD OF MY HEAVENLY FATHER.” In doing so, she discovered that her lips were even more sensitive than her fingers had been, and she spent the rest of her life reading her great treasure with her lips.

Father, as we go through the storms of life, shield us with your Word and by Your Spirit give us the desire and power to have an insatiable appetite to eat and obey the pure milk of Your Word in the Name of the living Word of God. Amen (Phil 2:12note, Phil 2:13note, 1Pe 2:2note, Rev 19:13note).

When the storms of life come, may God’s Spirit enable us to remember His Word and empower us to sing…

I was sure by now
God you would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining.

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as You mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God Who gives
And takes away

I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn

Memorizing His Word
Memory Verses by Topic
Meditating on the Word
Primer on Biblical Meditation
Job 23:10 Commentary
Job 23:11 Commentary
Job 23:12 Commentary

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One Comment
  1. great site thank you give me all you got i teach and preach in my church and in a prison. so long as you are true to biblical christianity,orthodox teaching.

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