Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Sky

Gazing toward the pre-dawn sky, I wondered if the wise men marveled at the Star of Bethlehem as I admired the beauty of God’s heaven. Off in the distance over a hill, a bright quarter moon smiled at me. Not far to the left of the moon was an enormously brilliant star, probably the planet Venus. The light against the night sky was stunning.

How can anyone doubt the existence of God? Nature and its routine showing isn’t really routine and it doesn’t just happen by chance. It is ordained by a higher being who we know to be God. Read of God’s glory in Psalm 8 (NKJV) and His revelation in Psalm 19:1-6 (NIV):

O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
You have ordained strength,
Because of Your enemies,
That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
What is man that You are mindful of him,
And the son of man that You visit him?
For You have made him a little lower than the angels,
And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen—
Even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
And the fish of the sea
That pass through the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth!


The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
Read the rest of Psalm 19 – it’s awesome.)

Do you doubt His existence? If you’re reading this, probably not. Are you uncertain if He hears your prayers? Possibly. Is your trust in His faithfulness wavering? Maybe. Do you believe He will fulfill His promises in your life? Perhaps. Have you prayed and prayed for your prodigal and your family to no avail? If God cares enough to consistently paint His orderly sky, revealing Himself through creation, surely He has compassion on His creatures and desires to care for them. If you feel your prayers aren’t working, consider Job and his bleak circumstances.

Job feared God and lived uprightly. He had been blessed with many children and great possessions. One day he lost his entire property and all of his children; his health even dwindled. Now that’s something to cry out to God about. Not Job. Scripture says that he fell to the ground and worshiped God with these words:

“ Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
Job 1:21-22 (NKJV)

As time marched on, Job’s soul became restless:

So I have been allotted months of futility,
And wearisome nights have been appointed to me.
When I lie down, I say, ‘When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?’
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn.
My flesh is caked with worms and dust,
My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh.

“My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
And are spent without hope.
Oh, remember that my life is a breath!
My eye will never again see good.
Job 7:3-7 (NKJV)

Job goes on to say:

If I called and He answered me,
I would not believe that He was listening to my voice.
For He crushes me with a tempest,
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills me with bitterness.
Job 9:16-18 (NKJV)

As he pleads with God, he says:

‘Your hands have made me and fashioned me,
An intricate unity;
Yet You would destroy me.
Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.
And will You turn me into dust again?
Did You not pour me out like milk,
And curdle me like cheese,
Clothe me with skin and flesh,
And knit me together with bones and sinews?
You have granted me life and favor,
And Your care has preserved my spirit.
Job 10:8-12 (NKJV)

Then Job seemed to gain strength and he says:

“Hold your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!
Why do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
Listen carefully to my speech,
And to my declaration with your ears.

See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is he who will contend with me?
If now I hold my tongue, I perish.  Job 13:13-17 (NKJV)

He’s ready to contend with God, yet declaring that he stills trusts Him. Later, though, he says:

Know then that God has wronged me,
And has surrounded me with His net.
Job 19:6 (NKJV)

My footnote explains that Job feels fenced in by God when it’s really Satan who’s been mistreating him. Even though he feels that God is persecuting him, Job still declares:

“Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
Job 19:23-27 (NKJV)

After all the back and forth speech with God and his friends, Job finally answers the Lord and says:

“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 42:2-6 (NKJV)

In His time, God restored Job’s losses and gave him twice as much as before. He blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days. Job 42:10, 12, 16 (NKJV)

Can you declare with Job that your Redeemer lives (19:25)? Do you believe with Job that even if He slays you, you will still trust Him (13:15)

Go outside and focus on the work of your Creator. Contemplate the Savior’s works in your life and hear Him say:
“ Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b (NKJV)

But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:2-4 (NKJV)

Do you still doubt? Let’s hold each other up, trusting and believing Him. Together with confidence, let’s declare the words from Psalm 5:

Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

And all God’s people said AMEN – let it be so!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment