Devotionals

  • November 19, 2018: Healing a Broken Spirit

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 48, Job 17, John 12:12-19, 1 John 5:6-12 Job 17: Oh the sadness! Job continues with his lament. What can we say about these words that wrench the soul and speak of the ruin of the hope of man? Here is Job: he was doing so well, and then he was cut down. His beloved are dead. His finances are ruined. His body is in pain. And – to add insult to extreme injury – his friends have let him down. Can such a man survive? Can he retain his faith in God? With these words you wonder whether he will. My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. With similarly pitiless words he berates himself, until at the end of this chapter he concludes: where then is my hope – who can see any hope for me? Will it go down to the gates of death?…

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    November 18, 2018: An Advocate on High

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 45-47, Job 16, John 12:1-11, 1 John 5:1-5 Job 16: You sense that Job’s frustration with his so-called “comforters” is only growing. He has heard one lecture after another – one lengthy lecture after another. Over and over again, so far, they have been accusing him of being in the wrong. They have told him in no uncertain terms that his complaints against God are inappropriate. He should not be speaking like that about God! He should instead confess his sins, humble himself before God, and then God would restore him. The end-result of this wrong theology is to leave a man (Job) who is in deep suffering without even the comfort of his friends to encourage him. They should be preaching grace; instead they are finger-wagging their disapproval at him. Look at what Job says: ‘I have heard many things like these; you are miserable comforters, all of you! Strong…

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    November 17, 2018: He Himself Suffered

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 42-44, Job 15:17-35, John 11:45-57, 1 John 4:7-21 Job 15:17-35: Eliphaz continues with his firm rebuttal to Job’s sensitive complaint. Job is suffering deeply. Extraordinarily. And in his suffering he is surrounded by the famous “Job’s comforters” who give not just poor advice, but make his situation worse by attempting to shame him into feeling guilty. The reason why Job is suffering is because he has done something wrong! That is why they are arguing. And Job is resisting. How will Eliphaz drive in the point of the sword of his legalistic lecture? In this second half of this chapter, he adopts a simple tactic. With Job sitting in ruin next to him, he describes how the wicked are the ones who are suffering. The implication is clear: Job is suffering and therefore he must be wicked. All his days the wicked man suffers torment. And therefore, Eliphaz none too subtly…

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    November 16, 2018: Troubled Land to Sunlit Values

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 40-41, Job 15:1-16, John 11:38-44, 1 John 4:1-6 Job 15:1-16: Job’s rebuttal of the previous “comforters” prompts Eliphaz to come storming back to rebuke Job in even stronger terms. "...you even undermine piety and hinder devotion to God. Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty" (v. 4-5). What Job had done so wrong, according to Eliphaz, is revealed in the words that he himself had spoken. He had convicted himself in his speaking. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you. Job has shown himself to be arrogant – to think too much of himself, to put much trust in his own insights, and to not be humble enough to listen to the counsel of others around him. Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? What do you know that we do not know? What…

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    November 15, 2018: Hope in Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 38-39, Job 14, John 11:17-37, 1 John 3:19-24 Job 14: At least there is hope for a tree! In this continued reply to his “comforters,” Job interweaves deep despair with sudden questioning hope and then returns to deep despair again. The waves of suffering and mourning wash over him, and he is hanging on in the storm to his faith – questioning, doubting, but believing still. Such is often the experience of a believer in suffering: questions come, pain with it, but still underneath are the everlasting arms. He will not let you go, Christian, he will not let you go! In the middle section, there are some precious promises – jewels that glitter far more brightly from the light of the resurrection of Jesus that we now know about and which give us a sure and firm foundation for eternity. Because of what he does know about God, he…

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    November 14, 2018: Though He Slay Me, Yet Will I Hope in God

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 35-37, Job 13, John 11:1-16, 1 John 3:11-18 Job 13: Job continues his defense against his comforters by arguing that his insight, information, and wisdom is no less than theirs. He too has insight. What is more, he has done nothing wrong to deserve what is happening to him. “Can anyone bring charges against me? If so I will be silent and die.” The issue is not that he has done something wrong; the issue is that he is suffering and he does not know why. This is the matter that he will bring up with God. The fact that he is talking to God about his pain and suffering is not a sign of a lack of faith in God, but rather a sign of faith in God. Even if this approach to God, this seeking of God, gets him into trouble with God, he would still seek God.…

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    November 13, 2018: The Sovereignty of God in Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 33-34, Job 12, John 10:22-42, 1 John 3:1-10 Job 12: Job’s reply to these false comforters is only growing in strength and – indeed – sarcasm. “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2). What a great reply to someone who is lecturing, who is assuming they are right and that you don’t know what you are talking about. But, Job says he has a “mind” too. He can think it out for himself. When he does so, what does he conclude? Through stunning metaphor and poetic balance, Job argues that God does it all – he is sovereign over everything. Even suffering. “The hand of the Lord has done this” (12:9). If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land. All is according to his wisdom, according to his plan. Therefore, Job’s comforters, who accuse…

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    November 12, 2018: Wipe Away Every Tear

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 31-32, Job 11, John 10:11-21, 1 John 2:24-29 Job 11: Now comes Zophar. We have just seen Bildad, the second of “Job’s comforters.” Bildad had argued that Job had done something wrong; otherwise, why would the good God have caused Job to suffer as he was suffering? Job had replied that though he was a sinner in general, so were we all, and there was no reason why God had caused him specifically to suffer as he was, no reason that he could discern. And now along comes Zophar. Zophar ratchets up the pressure somewhat. After Job has apparently effectively answered Bildad, Zophar now begins by saying, “Are all these words to go unanswered? Is this talker to be vindicated?” In other words, he will not sit idly by while Job answers Bildad without giving a further follow up reply to Job’s answer. You sense that Zophar is annoyed. Whereas…

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    November 11, 2018: Eternal Weight of Glory

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 29-30, Job 10, John 10:1-10, 1 John 2:18-23 Job 10: Job finishes his reply to Bildad on a note of deep depression and raw despair. Remember that Bildad, one of “Job’s comforters,” has been offering Job comfort in his suffering. This comfort has been anything but helpful; indeed, his counsel has been quite damaging. Job has replied to his words, but now he is not so much replying as declaring and revealing the true nature of his soul. He is in despair. That single sentence description does not do justice to the range of his emotion as described in this chapter. It is a startling read. And yet – if we are honest – this is how people feel at times. Especially, when they are faced with the kind of suffering that had come upon Job. It is encouraging (can we really put it like that?) to read of a…

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    November 10, 2018: A Mediator for the Suffering

    By Josh Moody

    Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 27-28, Job 9:21-35, John 9:26-41, 1 John 2:12-17 Job 9:21-35: Job continues his reply to Bildad. Bildad has advised Job that he is suffering because Job has done something wrong. What other conclusion could there be, Bildad thinks. After all, God is holy. Job is suffering. Therefore, Job must have done something to deserve the suffering that has come to him at the hands of a holy God. But this is not good thinking on the part of Bildad. He should be preaching the gospel to Job, not lecturing him with religious legalism. Job has answered that he is certainly not righteous – but then no one is righteous and God’s decrees are unsearchable, and therefore his righteousness, or lack thereof, is not the issue at stake when it comes to Job’s suffering. Now Job goes further. He elevates the doctrine of God to its highest levels: “He is not…

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