Psalms 144-145

Psalms 144-145

Chapter 144: Happy are the People of God

A Psalm of David

                David speaks of how the happiest people are those “…whose God is the Lord.” (Psalms 144:15) The world today is filled with unhappiness and the reason is because people have turned away from the Lord. These people who denounce the Lord and His gospel are the same people complaining about how evil the world is.

Chapter 145: His Kingdom is Everlasting

David’s Psalm of Praise

                The Lord is good to all. His kingdom and His love are eternal. David tells the Lord; “I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness.” (Psalms 145:5-6)

These two verses remind me of how the world will say you can’t have God in schools, or to take God out of the government… then when school shootings happen or anything similar people ask ‘why can God do such a thing?’ Well God gave us all free will, and with that comes the ability to choose to harm another. The Lord is being pushed out of our lives, and then people ask ‘where is God?’ Well He is THERE, but the people DON’T WANT HIM. It is a very sad world we live in.

 

Psalms 81-82

Psalms 81-82

Chapter 81: Walk in the Ways of the Lord

To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of Asaph

                Here, the Lord speaks to Asaph;

“I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt… But my people would not hearken to my voice… So I gave them up to their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should have soon subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries.” (Psalms 81:10-14)

We need to remember that God will help us, but because he has given us agency… he will not force us to do anything. If we chose to live without God, he will leave us alone and not help us in our times of need.

Chapter 82: Ye are Gods of the Most High

A Psalm of Asaph

                “God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods” (Psalms 82:1) The Lord God (Jesus Christ) is a God, but not THE GOD (The Father).

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” (Psalms 82:6)

This is a very important verse. First we learn that we are “gods” notice how it is a lowercase “g” and not an uppercase “G”, because we all have the ability to become “gods” like our Father, or in other words, we have the ability to become like our Father in Heaven. This leads to the second important part of this verse… we are children of the most High God. That means that God is literally OUR FATHER!

Job 40-42

Job 40-42

                I think we learn a lot about the importance of mankind and the relationship we have with the Almighty (God). We learn that God is all powerful and that we should not contend with him. Even when times are tough, the Lord will bless us greatly. In the case of Job he blessed him with double of what he had, as reward for being good and prevailing through the tough trials. We must also endure through the tough trials, so that we can come out ahead and the Lord will bless us for it.

Chapter 40: The Arm of God

God asks Job; “Shall he that condendeth with the Almighty instruct him? (Job 20:2). Job needed not to contend with God and try to instruct him, God will instruct Job.

Job responds; “…I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth” (Job 40:4)

                Job knew his place and knew that he must not contend with God.  Job only changed his tone from blaming God to humbling himself before him, but not because circumstances had changed. Job was still in misery and had lost virtually everything. The tone changed because while he once felt that God had forsaken him, now he felt and knew that God was with Him.

 “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee…” (Job 40:15)

God gave Job a remarkable survey of the wonders of creation in Job 38-39, including a look at many remarkable animals and their ways. Now lastly, God gives Job a look at two remarkable creatures: Behemoth (Job 40:15-24) and Leviathan (Job 41).

**We don’t know much about behemoth, except that some identities range from dinosaur to crocodile to a mythological creature. Most think God had in mind what we would call the hippopotamus, one of the largest, strongest, and most dangerous land creatures in the world.

Nevertheless and extremely powerful animal.**

“…his strength in in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly” (Job 40:16)

God is essentially telling Job that if he can’t full understand or contend with a creature that God has created, then how will he contend with God (the Maker) Himself?

Chapter 41: All Things are God (The Body of God)

After the discussion of Behemoth in Job 40:15-24, God now called Job to consider another fearful monster, Leviathan (sea monster or what some scholars believe to be a very large whale). This creature was first mentioned in Job 3:8; in that verse, Job considered how sailors and fishermen would curse the threatening Leviathan, and with the same passion he cursed the day of his birth.

Leviathan is mentioned several places in the scriptures;

Psalm 74:12-14 refers to Leviathan as a sea serpent, and that God broke the head of the Leviathan long ago, perhaps at the creation.

Psalm 104:26 also refers to Leviathan as a sea creature.

Isaiah 27:1 speaks of the future defeat of Leviathan, also associating it with a twisted serpent that lives in the sea.

Isaiah 51:9 and Psalm 89-8-10 also speak of a serpent associated with the sea that God defeated as a demonstration of His great strength, and identifies this serpent with the name Rahab, meaning proud one.

Job 26:12-13 also refers to God’s piercing defeat of a fleeing serpent associated with the sea.

God’s point with this description of Leviathan is to show Job just how powerless he is against this creature. If Job cannot defeat this monster, how can he contend and defeat God?

From verses 12-34 God describes Leviathan.

The most prominent features mentioned;

“…his teeth are terrible…” (Job 41:14)

                “…his neesings (sneezing’s) a light doth shine…” (Jib 41:18)

                “Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.” (Job 41:19)

                “Out of his nostrils goeth smokes…” (Job 41:20)

                “His breath kindeleth coals…” (Job 41:21)

                “…his neck remaineth strength…” (Job 41:22)

                “His heart is as firm as stone…” (Job 41:24) 

If mankind can’t overpower Leviathan, it can’t hope to overpower God.

Chapter 42: Job Sees God

Job answers the Lord; “I know that… no thought can be witholden from thee” (Job 42:2)

                He continues to say; “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee” (Job 42:5)

Job here, SEES God! He commands his friends to repent and make their standings with the Lord right, through sacrifices.

The Lord then “…gave Job twice as much as he had before.” (Job 42:10)

Job is reunited with his family; his brothers and sisters and then ate bread with him in his house.

The Lord “…blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” (Job 42:12)

Job lived 140 years and saw four generations of his posterity.

 

Job 32-33

Job 32-33

Chapter 32: Great Men are Not Always Wise

At the end of Job’s persuasive arguments in Job 28-30, his friends had nothing more to say. They still thought that Job was completely wrong, but they felt he was so grounded in his own opinions that it was useless to keep talking with him.

Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram (who is only mentioned briefly in the book of Job critizes Job and tells him; “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment.” (Job 32:8-9). Although this was an unjust attack on Job, Elihu brought up a good point, great men, even men of great age and experience do not always have the most wisdom. Wisdom is hard to attain, but those who have it and those who are willing to share that wisdom, should be listened to carefully!

Chapter 33: God Speak to Men in Dreams

Elihu continues to challenge Job’s defense. Elihu claims to be a spokesperson for God, while telling Job to listen to all of his words.

“…God is greater than man.” (Job 33:12) Elihu is telling Job, that he needs to be more humble, because God is truly greater than man. Even though Elihu was missing the point that Job was actually a good, humble guy… we can still learn from this. We are not on the same level as God, we need to remember that.

For a man who claims to have so much wisdom, he doesn’t walk the walk, but surely talks the talk.

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man percieveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night…” (Job 33:14-15)

Again, we can ignore the words to Job, as I am sure he also ignored them. But take away from the scriptures that God is always trying to communicate with us, so we need to listen. Elihu insists that God has indeed answered Job.

Elihu had just suggested that God spoke to Job in a dream; now he suggests that perhaps God spoke to him through his physical suffering. In the view of Elihu, if Job would only receive and respond to God’s messenger, if he would only admit to God’s uprightness, then he would be restored to God’s favor.

 

Job 23-24

Job 23-24

Chapter 23: After Trials, We are Refined

Job answers his friends, yet again; “Even to day is my complaint bitter… and fill my mouth with arguments.” (Job 23:2-4). The wisdom and counsel of Eliphaz and others was of no relief to him, and just made his mental and spiritual agony worse. Job felt separated from God. He had found comfort and solace in God in previous times, but in this catastrophe he felt he could not find God.

“Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:8-9)

Job explains to his friends that he indeed did look for God, but felt that He could not be found anywhere! Job tried with all sincerity to find God, but felt that God remained hidden. Even so, Job knew that God was still watching him, even if he couldn’t see or feel his presence. Job understood that even without seeing God, he knew that God was there and that what he was doing was for his own good. Job knew that this was a trial, even though he hated it and was suffering greatly deep down Job knew that this had to be, so that he would come forth as “gold” or in other words come forth stronger and more refined.

“My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined” (Job 23:11)

                Even after being accused of sin and abandoning God, Job proudly and boldy tells his friends that he has indeed kept the ways of God and had been and is continuing to be righteous.

Chapter 24: The Wicked Often Go Unpunished

“Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?” (Job 24:1) This is a fairly difficult verse to understand, but we might look at it in a different way; “Since God knows and will judge everything, why are the godly kept in the dark about His ways?” This also adds more application to the question of why God allows the prosperity of the wicked.

Other translations of the Bible read; in the NIV “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment? Why must those who know him look in vain for such days? The New Living Translation says “Why doesn’t the Almighty open the court and bring judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain?”

“Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them” (Job 24:12)

Why does God permit suffering? Job goes on to explain a little bit about WHY, but I want to share a little more insight into this question;

WHY does God PERMIT SUFFERING?

In the Book of Mormon we can find a story about a man named Jacob, Jacob was the first born of a man named Lehi. The story goes that Lehi (who was ancient prophet in Jerusalem) received divine inspiration to leave the city, before it was destroyed. Lehi and his family depart into the wilderness and while on their journey they encounter many hardships. Lehi explains to his first born son that “…God…shall consecrate thine affliction for thy gain” (2 Nephi 2:2), he goes on to explain a little about the plan of salvation (and the free gift of Salvation), agency and the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. But the most important part for us to understand take from this story is that there is opposition in all things.

“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not… righteous could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad…” (2 Nephi 2:11)

Lehi knew that in order to have good, we must also have bad. Sometimes people wonder, why do commandments exist? I would respond that they exist for the very purpose that laws exist, for our protection. For if you “…shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness… if there be no righteousness there be no happiness… no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery… if these things are not, there is no God… if there is no God, we are not, either the earth…” (2 Nephi 2:13)

So, why does God permit suffering? I would argue that we live in a world of good and evil, for our own understanding. If we have never felt joy, we cannot understand it. However, if we feel pain and then feel joy we can truly understand what joy is, while at the same time learning what pain is. “Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself…” (2 Nephi 2:16). God gave us agency, and part of that agency means that we can truly act for ourselves, which means people can do bad things to others. If God were to interfere, we would not have agency.

With this agency, we can choose to be free and to “…choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of  all men, or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27)

But we know that God wants only the best for us, “Adam fell that men might be’ and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25)

We are meant to enjoy this life, learn from it and repent of our wrong doings, while still in the flesh.

Job continues to say that those who commit these atrocious acts of murder, robbery or who commit adultery and all other manner of wickedness will see the morning and to “…them even as the shadow of death…” (Job24:17). Those who are wicked may be prosperous in this life, but in the end, when the morning comes, the judgment will befall them.

At times, we may fall on our knees in despair, and even usher up a prayer… “Heavenly Father, I hope you know, I am having a hard time”. Have you ever felt this way? I know I have, maybe you feel that God has abandoned you, or that He is nowhere to be found. The truth of it all? God is there. He is always there. Sometimes we are left to suffer, that we might know the joy, and we can feel the everlasting glory of his light.

Job 9-10

Job 9-10

Chapter 9: Man cannot contend with God

Job answers Bildad;

                “…how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?” (Job 9:2-4)

Job continues to praise God and tell of his justice, and greatness. Job’s answer to Bildad seems so much more gracious than Bildad’s harsh and unforgiving words he had for Job in the previous chapter. Job began by agreeing with Bildad’s general statement, that God rewards the righteous and corrects (or judges) sinners.

“How… shall I answer him, and choose out my words to reason with him? …though I were righteous, yet would I not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge. If I had called, and he had answered me; yet I would not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.” (Job 9:14-16)

Job has a problem and that problem is very clear… he feels distant from God. How many of us can relate to that? Job clearly identifies that God does infact answer each and every prayer… but sometimes we do not believe that He has answered us, because perhaps he has answered in a way we do not understand or did not give us the answer we wanted.

Job continues with is discussion by concluding that man cannot contend with God, and frankly should not contend with Him.

Chapter 10: Why are we born?

Job gives God a little piece of his mind here…

“My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint… I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me… thou… despise the work of my hands…” (Job 10:1-3)

Job continues to inquire of God… asking him why he was created… and why he was born;

“Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together… yet thou dost destroy me.” (Job 10:8)

                Job continues to tell God (and Bildad) that he is “…full of confusion; therefore (he pleads) see thou mine affliction; For it increaseth.” (Job 10:15-16)

                While it may appear that Job is speaking harshly to God, I think Job said it best… he is confused. I would be too, but even with all of his affliction and even with his begging and longing for death he praises God and thanks him for his life.