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August 2014

                              Godsgrazingfield Devotions August 2014

Faithful Shepherd

                                           Jesus Is The Faithful Shepherd

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31

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1.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

 Today’s First Thoughts                                        August 1, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Satan says, “you will fail when the hedge comes down”—he says, “they all will fail.” Satan himself failed in the Holiest of environments—Heaven. Eve failed in the Holy atmosphere of Eden. David failed in the comfort of the palace. “Take the hedge down and Job will fail too.”

GOD ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE & HIDES BEHIND A CLOUD:
Job 1:11. “But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

Not My hand, says the Lord, thy hand. “All that he hath is in thy power; only touch not his person.” And swiftly, eagerly, Satan is gone, to bid his time. How near he comes to winning his wager, the story will disclose. And yet how far short—by what length, and width, and height, and depth? We cannot tell.

The Psalmist realized his precariousness, “But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.” (Psalms 73:2-26.)

Satan is not pitted against Job. He is pitted against God. Satan leaves the presence of the Lord to plan his attack on Job. But Thank God The Adversary Also Has An Adversary. God has put reins, a check, on him, he can only do what God permits. Satan Begins His Attack On Job: The action quickly shifts back to the world of men and Satan heads straight to the Land of Uz where Job and his family are going about their daily routine until disaster strikes suddenly.

There are days in our own lives that Satan has been let loose upon us. Things happen suddenly and violently. One after the other the blows fall and it seems that we are going to be overwhelmed with grief or pain, but Satan is on a leash.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Isaiah   64  65  66

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 2. 3.                      God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      August 2 & 3, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The action quickly shifts back to the world of men and Satan heads straight to the Land of Uz where Job and his family are going about their daily routine until disaster strikes suddenly.

SATAN BEGINS HIS ATTACK ON JOB:
Job 1:13. “And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 14. And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 15. And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 16. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 17. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 18. While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 19. And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”

Our attention is focused with anguish and pity upon Job. 1. A rich man made poor. 2. A sheik stripped of his heirs. 3. A Godly worshipper smitten with unexplainable adversity. These disasters are attributed by Job to God himself. “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me” (Job 6:4.) We also, when natural disaster strikes, when storms tear down, or floods invade our homes, or some undeserved thing happens to us, accident, sickness, loss of job, etc. are quick to question God, almost to blame Him. But because Jesus revealed His inner struggle with Satan (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4), we along with Paul are able to say, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11.)

Job is being tried, and not because God Himself intends the trial, it was Satan’s idea, God permits it, not as testing, but confidently and proudly proving that evil does not rule in the universe.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   20  21
2 Chronicles   
32  33

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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4.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       August 4, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The first word in the hour of a person’s direst calamity reveals the very soul of a man. Could anything have been greater? No finer example of Godly character is revealed to us than in these scriptures.

LISTEN TO JOB AS HE WORSHIPS:
Job 1:20. “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

The oxen and the asses were carried away by the Sabeans, their attendants slain. The sheep and their shepherds were struck by a fire storm. The camels were stolen and their drivers slain by the Chaldeans. His sons and daughters perished in a great storm. Each bearer of bad news escaped alone to tell the news, and was still speaking when the next bearer of bad news arrived. One hour, Job possessed everything he could wish, the next hour, he is stripped bare, penniless, and childless.

“He fell down and worshiped.” “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Again later Job would say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 13:15. Jesus would say. “Thy will be done.” Job’s head is bowed to the ground, yet on his lips is a prayer. In his heart no sign of a thought that God dealt unjustly with him. There was not the slightest murmur against God.  “Yes,” says the eternal God of Sinai, “a man will serve God for naught.” There is nothing any more in Job’s hands that could possibly account for his faithfulness to God.

Never did Job say, “God, it isn’t fair!” “This should never have happened to me!” “I don’t deserve it!” None of that escaped Job’s lips. “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

Satan said, “He will curse thee…” But instead Job blessed the name of the Lord.
“El Shaddai, the Almighty, Yahweh, Adonai, Blessed be His Holy Name Forever.” Job, Gods servant, “there is none like him in the earth,” God is still proud of him. The first round with Satan is over—the liar, the father of lies. And in Job’s victory God has won.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Nahum   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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5.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       August 5, 2014                 

Good Morning!
It seems that our days are so few—each one should be spent wisely. We could probably say that the love of life is an instinctive principle; we cling to life, we grasp at straws. The will to live helps to extend our endurance to unimaginable limits. Yet To Live Is Sometimes A Curse—As Job Would Learn.

SATAN, “EVERYBODY HAS HIS PRICE:”
Job 2:4. “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. 5. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 6. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”

Again the scene shifts beyond the human range, back to the courts of heaven where the son’s of God are again gathered once again in a meeting with the Creator, and who shows up, Satan, the accuser of the brethren. Let us analyze this conversation.
“And Satan came also.”
Jehovah, “Whence cometh thou?”
Satan, “From all over.”
Jehovah, “Hast thou considered my servant Job? That there is none like him?”
Jehovah, “And still holdeth fast his intergrity, although thou movest Me against him without cause.”
Satan, “Yea, but everybody has his price.”
Jehovah, “I don’t think so.”
Satan, “All that a man hath will he give for his life.”
Satan, “Let nobody fool you—his possessions are gone, and his children are gone, but with Job it hardly matters.”
Satan, “Where he is concerned, what counts the most with him is that he himself is still safe—unharmed.”
Satan, “If that were changed, just put forth your hand now and touch his bones and flesh—let him suffer physically—and he will curse thee to thy face.Jehovah, “Beyond the wrong, and out of its reach, is an integrity which cannot be bought or had, with threat or bribe.”
Jehovah, “I’m willing to risk it with anybody”—“Behold not My hand, but thine—I will leave him in your hand—though not his life.”
And God Hides Behind A Cloud: So Satan was gone, again to bid his time. He would come again, and this time he would be cruel. Life Is So Precious: “Yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.”

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   22  23      2 Chronicles   34  35

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 6.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 6, 2014                 

Good Morning!
“All that a man hath will he give for his life.” Is That So? No! There are things too precious to be given away even for life. Love is the only thing which will cause a man to give his life.

THE SECOND VISITATION OF EVIL:
Job 2:7. “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown. 8. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.”

“Sore boils,” “Evil Inflammation.”  The original word (shehin) was one of the worst forms of leprosy. The same word (blains) is used to describe one of the 10 plagues which God sent upon Egypt (Exodus 9:9-11); bloch, (Deuteronomy 28:27). Sometimes believed by modern interrupters to be shingles. It sometimes appear suddenly and reaches almost at once an acute stage. It was particularly common among adults with vigorous vitality. Job describes himself as such 14 times. He seemed to be in the prime of life. These boils are characterized by bulbous inflammation which produce intense itching (2:8). Atrophic changes arrear on the face (2:12). Generalized blistering and produces offensive odor. These all terminate by relapses which reveal constant deterioration, until death eventually comes, sometimes after many years.

Let us read Job’s description of his misery. Job 7:3. “So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.  4. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? And I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.  5. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome. 6. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.”

Job had made his way outside of town to the refuse heap where the fires burn continuously and where the scavenger dogs prowl among the ashes. There Job sat through “Nights without end’ (7:4), and “Days spent without hope (7:6). Amid such pain and agony could anything worse come to him? We shall see. In our own trials we sometimes are made to feel that things just can’t get any worse. But if we have friends to encourage us, and a faithful, loving companion to stand by us, we should give thanks to God.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Zephaniah   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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7.                           God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                       August 7, 2014                 

Good Morning!
A man may be rich in this worlds goods, but if he have none to love and be loved by, he is a pauper. Whereas a man may lose all his property even his health, and yet be rich, if he has those whom he loves and those who love him. How much we need those who are close to us when tragedy strikes.

ANOTHER LOOK AT JOB’ WIFE:
Job 2:9. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh . What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Job’s wife walks across the stage and only gives one comment and the world has passed judgment upon her by this one statement. First of all if we interpret the book of Job literally we come to the conclusion that Job’s wife lived to an extreme old age, 180 to 200 years old, maybe more. During such a long period of time she must have said and done many noble things. Yet it is a pity that the verses which we read (2:9-11) are the things she is remembered by. Satan is glad that they are written and he wants to make sure that they are always read in a sarcastic tone.

Satan would like for us to always remember the lowest point in her life. Likewise Satan also wants us to be remembered by our low points. Some word, some misdeed, Satan bounces it back like an echo. With Satan there is no such thing as repentance, No such thing as forgiveness.

The earliest critic of Job’s wife, and the first to assassinate her character, of which I can trace, was Augustine; (354-430 A.D). Augustine called her “The Adjutant of the Devil.” “A spiritual sister of the woman in the Garden of Eden, (Genesis 3:1-24) for she tempted Adam to forsake his creator.” Adjutant = “One who assists the commanding officer and is responsible for messages sent.”

On this sense who of us is not guilty of delivering a message from Satan? In a time of anger, in a time of deep hurt, in a time of despair, Satan is there to provide words to wound, to hurt, to discourage. In times like these let us guard our thoughts, lest Satan take advantage of our feelings and move us to speak words we don’t want to be remembered for.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 8.                          God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                        August 8, 2014                 

Good Morning!
There is an old Indian proverb which says, “Never judge another person until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.”

THE SORROW OF JOB’S WIFE:
Job 2:9. “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

The sorrow of Job’s wife has never been adequately dealt with—perhaps never will be—certainly by a man. It was her children who were dead, her possessions gone; her husband was now an invalid, an outcast from society. Yet her part in the sorrow is unexpressed and unrecognized. Her problem seemingly brushed aside. Yet surely she had her problem too. I feel she has been treated unkindly by thousands of preachers. Job’s problem was intellectual, hers emotional. His was of the head, hers of the heart. Remember in all that happened to this family Job did not suffer alone. Job found a man’s way out at last, the rest of the book reveals this. Did his wife ever find a way out, or had she no use for God ever afterward? I think we can find an answer.

God would not let Ezekiel prophesy to Israel until, “Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days” Ezekiel 3:15. I don’t feel that we have the knowledge to judge Job’s wife until we sit where she sat, or lay where she lay, or stood where she stood in these times of undue stress. I want us to look back a few years previous to these troublesome times and into a time of great joy and happiness in Job’s wife.

The happiest day of her life was when a young man brought two cows or was it five sheep to her father’s tent in exchange for her hand in marriage. She knew from what she saw that this young man was the choicest of all the young men in Ur. Word of his kindness, his generosity, his God fearing spirit had spread everywhere. Although at this time Job did not possess very much (Job 8:7) the Lord God blessed him and increased his substance. (We’ll continue this thought tomorrow).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   4  5  6

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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9. 10.                    God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  August 9 & 10, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Her thinking, live right, love God, and keep his laws and commandments and you will always be happy—nothing can ever go wrong.

THE HAPPINESS & SORROW OF JOB’S WIFE:
Job 2:9. “Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.”

The second happiest day of her life came several months later when she brought forth her first born son after a time of pain and labor. In the weeks and months which followed she enjoyed her little son, nursing him, bathing him, changing him, cuddling him; she remember his first words, first step. During the next several years she would go to that tent of labor nine more times until there were seven sons and three daughters. There was always something special about each one.

In the meanwhile their substance had increased until the hills, valleys and plains for miles around were covered with sheep, camels, oxen, and she asses which belonged to them. They had need of nothing. Job’s wife was so happy with her family which shared everything together. She, herself, was like a queen of a small kingdom—like Sarah in Abraham’s world. God had built a ‘hedge’ around this family to shelter them from all the trouble of the world. This ‘hedge’ was built upon the prayers and sacrifices and continuous good deeds of both her and Job—so what could go wrong?

Then one day, in one hour, everything changed. Her world came apart—blows, after blow, fell upon her--the sheep are gone, the camels are all gone, the oxen are gone, the she-asses are gone, so are the sheep along with all the servants who cared for all the livestock. All of a sudden she is a poor woman again. Then another messenger is there—all ten of your children are dead, killed in a storm.

We cannot imagine the inexplicable anguish, the extreme grief, the awful feeling of pain and distress of body and mind which must have come over her all at once. At first she would try to deny it—“It’s not true,” “I’ll wake up and it will all be just a bad dream.” She tried to block it out of her mind, but the sorrow just kept it before her at all times. Job tried to comfort her, yea, no doubt they received comfort from each other. Then all of a sudden her husband, Job, was stricken with these awful sores all over his body. His pain and anguish was so great that he was driven by his affliction to the ash pit on the edge of town where he spent his days and nights mourning out his sorrow and pain.
Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   7  8  9
Jeremiah   
10  11  12  13

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 11.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 11, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Isn’t it marvelous that we don’t all fall into that pit of extreme depression at the same time—or we would all perish? God always has someone who has a reserve of strength for that hour to pull us through. Like a husband and wife team.

A HEART BROKEN CRY:
Job 2:9. “Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Not the cynical jeer, surely, of one who had never known belief, but the last gasp of a passionate heart broken in its desolation. “Can you still keep your faith? Mine is gone—I care for nothing any more.” It’s the cry of a woman forsaken by God—she thinks. Do you ever think that God has forsaken you? Have you ever come to that place in your struggle, your pain, your distress, your sorrow? Forsaken By God—when not even an Egyptian Bondswoman (Hagar) was forgotten by Him—nor the widow of Nain.

Job’s wife (tradition calls her name Mona) had at first gone to the tent of labor, but now the tent of sorrow, the tent of remorse, of despair, she felt alone, lonely, hopelessness. Those words (Job 2:9), the only ones recorded for us which she spoke, seems to have been inspired by love and common sense. In other words, this desperate and bewildered woman, still confident in her husband’s integrity, and unable to hope for healing, and sympathizing with his condition, the only answer she feels is just being allowed to die—Mercy Killing.

Death by any means is better that this kind of life. In this expression (Job 2:9), she is crying out against the whole horror of the situation. But Job did not fall into this temptation, and in his stand reached out a hand to ‘stay her’ in this dreaded hour. With words of kindness, of love, of hope—Job reaches for her. First he was courteous. He did not accuse his wife of being a fool but using a fool’s language. He understood that she too was suffering in agony. In time of great distress, thank God for love, for kindness, and for a hand to ‘stay’ us when our own faith fails. She would rise out of the ashes to become the queen God intended her to be
(Job 42:10-17). No doubt, at her death Satan would come to contend for her body, but no, Job had prayed
(Jude 9).

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   14  15  16  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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12.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    August 12, 2014                 

Good Morning!
We close our thoughts on Job’s wife with this last thought.

A HEART BROKEN CRY:
Job 2:9. “Then said his (Job’s) wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.” 

I am reminded of the poems of Martha Swell Nicholson, born 1899, and died 1957 after suffering almost constantly from birth, many diseases. Crippled by arthritis and bedridden most of her life, she overcame the pain and self-pity and lived above it in spite of unbearable afflictions. She wrote over 900 poems.

In one of her poems, which she calls “The Thorn,” she speaks of a pauper standing before God, begging for one priceless gift to call her own.

She took the gift from His hand, but as she departed she cried, “Lord, This Is A Thorn, and it has pierced my heart—this is a strange gift which thou have given me. God replied, I love to give good gifts—I Gave My Best To You.”

“I took it home,” she wrote, “and though at first, the cruel thorn hurts sore, as long years passed I grew at last, to love it more and more. I Learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace—He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face!”

“There will be another day,” she continues, “some glad day I shall walk like others! All memory of helplessness, of crutch, of iron braces, will melt like mist when I behold the beauty of His face! And so I wait. On swift wings comes that blessed moment when He’ll take my hand, and smiling, teach me how to walk again!”

The day came for Job’s wife when the clouds cleared and the sun began to shine again. When we get to the end of the story we find Job’s family bigger and better than it ever was. Their end was like a fairy tale, “They lived happily ever after.” We must remember that everything that happens to us is guided by God’s hand of eternal love.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah  18  19  20  21  22

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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13.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    August 13, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Job’s misery must have been going on for several weeks maybe months, for news traveled slow in those days, yet three of Job’s friends heard about his calamities, and they were concerned enough about him that they came to see about him.

JOB’S THREE FRIENDS COME TO MOURN WITH HIM IN SILENCE:
Job 2:11. “Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. 12. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. 13. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

We can only wonder how they established contact with each other, as they lived many miles apart. Again our mind can only wonder how they, and Job, had established and maintained such a strong friendship in spite of the miles and primitive modes of travel and communication. They had been grieved to hear of Job’s calamities, and they meant the best they knew. These men came with the highest motive in mind. Tragedy has struck an old and dear friend we must go to comfort him. They had come to weep with him, not as hired mourners, but expressing pain, and genuine sorrow with Job. They came, not only to share his grief, but to help bear his grief, and to try to alleviate his grief. During such times many there are who come expressing sorrow, but not trying to alleviate or do anything about it.

It is a mistake to deal harshly with these men, they have been held up to the external ridicule of all the world as “Job’s Comforters.” Even from Job himself Job 16:2. That they failed in their mission should never have fastened on them the stigma they have borne through the years. The only thing that can be said of them is that they were poorly equipped for their ministry of consolation. They meant him the best.

By studying them, and in their faults and shortcomings, we can gain an insight into the way to comfort those who are suffering. There is nothing more lovely or more difficult than to be a comforter. It is best done by the tender-hearted and the strong in faith and love. Not by stern, or hard, or severe of nature, or forbidding, gloomy people.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   23  24  25

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 14.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 14, 2014                 

Good Morning!
These men seemed to be some of Job’s best friends. No doubt, these had all sat many times on his couch, around his table, and had enjoyable fellowship together.

JOB’S COMFORTORS:
Job 2:13. “So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.”

Three of these friends are named Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar; another is named later Elihu who was younger and reserved his statements until later. The first three were very wise and good; they were old men, very old, and had a great reputation. Much of the enjoyment and comforts of life comes from acquaintances and friendships. They were not sent for but came on their own, with, I feel, sincere hope of helping Job through his troubles.

The very first sight of Job from a distance they did not recognize him for he was so disfigured from which the disease had wrought upon him. Looking upon him thus so miserably altered, they did not want to leave him uncomforted so they rent their clothes and sat down with him in the ashes and lifted up their voices and wept. This indicates they wailed loud and long. (wept aloud). So these men did not cut their visit short and just leave him to his misery, but “sat with him seven days and seven nights.”

The Ministry Of Silence: They waited for Job to speak, not daring themselves to begin. “Silence Is Golden,” says an old proverb. There are times it is best to be quiet. There are times when words become empty phrases, when words are to shallow to reach the depths of despair. Did you ever ponder, as you were on your way to the side of someone who had just experienced tragedy? “What will I say to them when we meet?” You try to find words which would comfort them, or at least tell them your sympathy for them. As a Pastor I have come to this place numerous times. Then when you meet, hands grip, you fall into each other’s arms—you don’t have to say anything, Words seemed so inappropriate—they would have been out of place. There is such a thing as fellowship of silence.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10. Silence is older than speech, Silence is older than song, Silence is older than prayer. In silence God built the temple of the sun and the sanctuary of the stars. When God had finished His handiwork—“the morning stars sang together” Job 38:1-7.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   26  27  28  29

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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15.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    August 15, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Job is in a state of hopelessness, or despair. This is a dangerous time for any one who is assailed by Satan. In this Chapter 3, the flood gates of Job’s soul open wide, not in a prayer, but a curse against his day.

THE DEPTHS OF DESPAIR: JOB 3
Job 3:1. “After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.”

After weeks and perhaps months (Job 7:3) of solitude, and seven days and nights of friendly presence without words, Job himself breaks the silence. To this point in the book Job has only spoken seven times, all in three verses. The first time he spoke, (1:5) Job is practicing his religion by offering a burnt offering for his children’s sake. “.. For Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” The second time Job is worshiping his God even after the loss of his possessions and his children. “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21).

The last time Job spoke (2:10) was from the height of submissive faith, but after a long silence he has fallen into a deep depression of hopelessness. Would Satan at last win his wager with God? Does every man indeed have a breaking point, as Satan had said?  “…Skin for skin, yea all that a man hath will he give for his life. Put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face”

It is as though God is becoming a stranger to Him. This is which, little by little will  prove to be the most terrible thing of all. “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” Job 3:25. The anchor is beginning to drag in the storm (Acts 27:29). The lines that have held Job fast to eternity are giving way. I feel the thing that Job feared the most was the loss of his integrity (Job 2:9). But remember which, in our own lament, God did not move, we did. God has not pulled back from us. We pulled back from God. God is still there—unchanged in His love for us. He is like the North Star, always in place, He never moves. Put your Sextant bearing on Him.

The Bible is a story about a God of love—“For God is ‘Love.” It’s a book of Life, It’s a book of Restoration, It’s a book of Rehabilitation, It’s a book of Regeneration, It’s a book of Repentance, It’s a book of Forgiveness. Don’t preach about the fall without telling the story of redemption, of Samson, of David, of Moses, of Lot, of Jacob, of Peter—so don’t stop reading about Job in chapter 3, read chapter 42.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   30  31

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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16.  17.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                August 16 & 17, 2014                 

Good Morning!
For now the shadows which grip Job will not lift until the old relationship can be restored. Job broke into a curse, not against God, but against his own existence.

JOB LONGS FOR NON-EXISTENCE:
Job 3:2. “And Job spake, and said, 3. Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

In chapter 3 Job expresses three wishes. 1. That he had never been born (Job 3:2-10).  2. That he had died at birth (Job 3:11-19). 3. That he might die now (Job 3:21). “Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which I was said, there is a man child conceived.” “Let that day never have been,” “Let darkness reign,” “Let those that make up the calendar leave that day out.” “I just wish I had never been born.” “Or Why Can’t I Just Die Now?”

The sad thing is there have been multitudes, before and after Job, who faced this philosophical dilemma. Thousands stand in that same condition today, many longing for death, others just struggling to get through another day. To some it was a passing thought—but others it is a genuine desire. Many a human being has said sincerely in the time of weariness and trouble, “I wish I was in my grave.” This does not necessarily show a weakness of faith, of mind, of character. The best of the race have been known to look forward with a sigh to that perfect calm when all sorrow is passed away, and a hand wipes away the last tear.

Paul, one of the strongest of our race, looked for it, yea even longed for it. “Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:” Philippians 1:23. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”
1 Corinthians 15:19. The Psalmist David, a giant killer, a king, a warrior, a statesman, a singer, a songwriter, summed up all he wanted in one phrase. “…, Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” Psalms 55:6-8.

We today can read Job 3 in the light of the New Testament. We know that Jesus is the resurrection and the life to all his people. These words in, Job 3, remind us of a better world, where there will never be an unkind word, never an unfriendly look, never any pain, nor a tear, “There the wicked cease from troubling” Job 3:17.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   32 33 34
Jeremiah   35 36 37

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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18.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    August 18, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Throughout Chapter 3 Job let’s loose the pent-up torrent of his anguish. So we want to look at a verse in the New Testament which gives us a view of Job.

THE IMPATIENCE OF JOB:
James 5:11b. “Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

I feel that this phrase has been long been misunderstood and misapplied. Some have used this to tell us we need to take everything that happens to us without any reaction on our part, without any retort, without any complaint, and with out any answer. Now I did not say to retaliate. Job never did attack his antagonist, he never struck back, and he only aired his complaint and defended his integrity (Ch. 31).

The tension between the “patient” Job, and the “impatient” Job, contributes to the overall message of the book. It shows Job as a real person. He was no “stone saint,” who suffered stoically and without reaction. Instead, he struggled with his emotions and feelings as we do today. The Book of Job teaches that it is not wrong for a person to ask the question why, as Job did repeatedly (chapter 3). But these questions must not grow into accusations against the sovereign Lord.

Patience: What is the Bible meaning of this word? Jesus says, “In your patience possess ye your soul” Luke 21:19. Paul says, “..That tribulation worketh patience” Romans 5:3. James says, “…the trying of your faith worketh patience” James 1:3. So, According to the Bible patience is an important attribute of a Christian. But notice also in almost every verse how patience is attained—during a struggle, a trial, or test. The very word itself in the Greek is a twisting and turning; a holding on, a wrestling match, warfare. Like Jacob to the Angel, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” Genesis 32:26.

Do we think that patience is to assume a humility and quietness of spirit by refusing to wrestle with the contradictions which life and experience seem to throw our way in the face of God’s goodness? The Bible gives no such meaning to the word patience. Paul says, “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:4. Patience is, Endurance in trials, Holding on, Persistence, Perseverance, Long-suffering. Job did all of this and it earned him the acclamation “The Patience of Job.”

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah  38  39  40    Psalm  74  79

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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19.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 19, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Eliphaz opens the long dialogue which is recorded in the next 32 chapters.

ELIPHAZ REPROVES JOB:
Job 4:1. “Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said,
2. If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking?”

After Job’s outburst in Chapter 3, his friends, who had come “to mourn with him, and to comfort him,” undertook their task with reservations. There is no reason to think that the friends came to Job with hostile intentions. From all the information concerning them we must believe that they were highly religious people as was Job. Their knowledge of God’s ways is displayed in ways that are not shown in other parts of the Bible. They traveled from great distances in order to comfort Job (2:11). Their 7 days of silence probably was due to respect and compassion as well as bewilderment—not really knowing what to say or how to begin.

But when Job had shown in his lament (chapter 3) that he could not accept his fate with fortitude, (grin and bear it) they felt compelled to speak. All Christians can fall into the same mood or disposition they fell into: Every person who attempts to console, comfort, or in any way help a person who has fallen into dire straights needs to take heed unto themselves that they do not become critical, judgmental, and try to assess, or weigh them on their scales. Many good people, with good intentions, do great injustice to people by their judgmental mood.

We all want friends to whom we can pour our hearts out to. To whom we can trust to know what’s bothering us. We want friends to whom our tongue can release the pent-up fury of our mind, the release that so often comes when the sufferer finds himself among those who will assuredly understand, and not take amiss anything we say. Pray, “God give us such a friend, one with empathy, and understanding of our situation, feelings, and motives.”

Eliphaz, who seemed to be the oldest and wisest, begins his speech apologetically. “If we assay (try) to commune (talk) with thee, wilt thou be grieved (offended)? Job 4:2. “If one ventures a word with you, … will you be offended? (R.S.V.).

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
2 Kings   24  25   2 Chronicles   36

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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20.                               God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                               August 20, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Tactful and cautious, Eliphaz does not intend deliberately to start such a long and agonizing discussion as follows in the next 34 chapters. He knows that even a considerate reproof will hurt Job’s feelings.

ELIPHAZ: “YOU FAINTED WHEN TROUBLE CAME YOUR WAY:”
Job 4:1. “Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said, 2. If we assay to commune with thee, wilt thou be grieved? but who can withhold himself from speaking? 3. Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4. Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 5. But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. 6. Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?”

An old proverb says that friends should reprove as well as sympathize. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6); “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friends” (Proverbs 27:17). It may be that reproof is at times in order—but the right spirit, attitude, or manner is worth more than the words. To reprove does not mean to ‘rub in.’ Eliphaz, “but who can withhold himself from speaking?” (4:2). “Yet who can keep from speaking” (R.S.V.). He suspects he should remain silent, but cannot stand any longer the seemingly incoherent ramblings of Job in Chapter 3. Without any feelings for what Job has endured, Eliphaz cannot endure what Job has said.

What Job needs is the compassion of a human heart. What he gets is a series of absolutely beautiful religious expressions and moral remarks which were cold, formal, and indifferent. Remember, the soul in its deep distress seeks understanding not counsel. It will help us in our efforts to condole (to feel another's pain), and console (comfort, and support) those whom we have the opportunity to comfort, if we take the time to study their plight or situation in the light of true empathy (compassion).

There is nothing more lovely, or more difficult than to be a comforter. It is best done by the tenderhearted and compassionate, and above all long-suffering.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Habakkuk   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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21.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 21, 2014                                         

Good Morning!
Not only did Eliphaz, Bildad, And Zophar fail in their attempt to comfort Job they became an added extension of his misery. They undertook their task with the premise, “God punishes the evil and rewards the good.”

MISERABLE COMFORTERS:
Job 16:2. “I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.”
Job 19:1. “Then Job answered and said, 2. How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? 3. These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.”

This was their logic—“God’s mercy is towards them that fear Him---and His wrath is upon the disobedient, that they may forsake their wicked ways and live.” “The man whom catastrophe overtakes, that man has sinned.” “Let him repent and his deliverance is sure.” “If he will not repent, the very stars in their courses will fight against him.” That was the Hebrew faith straight out of Deuteronomy and the Prophets—and it was their faith. And they could not go along with anyone who would break with this tradition, and Job had broken with it, they felt.

This had been Job’s Faith too, (all through the Book he gives God credit for all his calamities Job 1:21; 2:10; 3:23), but now realizes it does not always hold true. He had done nothing to deserve all this evil. Job maintains his innocence. The three friends twisted, and squirmed, and guessed, and supposed, and hurled it back at him over and over again.

Job responded, “How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in peaces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me; ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me. And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself. If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:” (Job 19:2-5).

As much as we dislike the attitude of these three friends of Job, we must also acknowledge the wisdom and advice that is given in their many speeches. There are so many topics that were covered in The Book of Job that to cover all of them would take a thousand pages or more. But let us not “throw out the baby with the bath water,” because even their speeches are full of great sayings of wisdom which makes great preaching. And I, for one, am glad that God had it recorded for us.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah  41  42  43  44  45

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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22.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 22, 2014                 

Good Morning!
We that are so ready and have so many sermons and advice for other people, have we any sermons left for ourselves? When, “it comes upon thee?” Lest—“It toucheth thee:” Job, in the day of his calamity, had not one sermon to preach to himself.

YOU HAVE BEEN STRONG ON OTHER’S BEHALF BUT WEAK ON YOUR OWN:
Job 4:3. “Behold, thou hast instructed many, and thou hast strengthened the weak hands. 4. Thy words have upholden him that was falling, and thou hast strengthened the feeble knees. 5. But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. 6. Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?

The point Eliphaz makes here is this, Job had in his time been a teacher and helper of others. His ministry had been a ministry of encouragement and consolation, “But now it is come to thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.” The man who was so successful as a preacher to others was not quite so successful as a preacher to himself. The consolations he had ministered so profitably to others somehow seemed to fail him when he needed them for himself. Remember the calling out to Jesus, “Physician heal thyself.” Luke 4:23. “He saved others; himself he cannot save” Matthew 27:42.

Paul, the greatest of preachers, next to our Lord himself, closing a sermon, full of passion of the Gospel, full of urgency, full of lofty ideals, all summed up in the phrase, “So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” 1 Corinthians 9:24b-27.

Paul, the greatest of all evangelists, Paul the most able of all ministers, “Lest I myself should be a castaway.” So Paul preached his sermon over again to himself, and as he preached it again it fell upon a broken and contrite heart.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   46  47  48

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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23.  24.                 God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                August 23 & 24, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Who has not read some of these great wisdom passages and not stopped to think deeply about them? What preacher has not preached from chapter 4:12-17, where Eliphaz describes his fearful vision, designed to humble the pride of creatures before God? And again in chapter 33:14-18 we find the same kind of thing.

 WHAT IS OUR FEAR:
Job 4:5. “But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled. 6. Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?”

Eliphaz “Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and uprightness of thy ways.” Job had said in his outburst of anguish; “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” Job 3:25. Is it that Job feared that if catastrophe came to him that he would have no reserve to overcome it? This should be the fear of every man.

We can gather from theses verses that in spite of Job’s wealth, family, standing in the community, and loyalty to his God there was a constant nagging fear always just in the back of his mind. I feel Job’s fear can be summed up by the natural fear of every person of standing.

1. I am afraid I cannot maintain this place of honor.
2. I am afraid I will lose my wealth.
3. I am afraid I will lose my children.
4. I am afraid I will lose my health.
5. I am afraid I will lose my integrity.
6. I am afraid God will turn against me and become my enemy.

Of these 6 fears I feel the last is the one which was Job’s greatest fear. First of all Job is beginning to attribute his calamity to God. “Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in” Job 3:23. The ‘hedge,’ in Job 1:10, which was his shelter, has now become a prison. The barrier which God had fashioned to keep the danger out—was the ‘wall’ which God now seems to have built in order to keep the misery in. We also must be careful in our criticism of the situation we find ourselves in. Do not let Satan cause you to loose trust in God. God is always working for our benefit.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Jeremiah   49  50
Jeremiah   51  52

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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 25.                       God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     August 25, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Many in this world do not understand that in the background God is in control and governs every event that takes place good or bad.

IS LIFE JUST A GAME WITHOUT AN UMPIRE?
Job 6:4. “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.”

“The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me,” Job 9:2-10 In these verses Job describes God as ‘all-terrible.’  “Exciting extreme alarm or intense fear.”
“Formidable in nature.” “Having qualities which discourage approach or attack.”
“Tending to inspire awe or wonder, awesome.” Job 9:2-10 (paraphrased, J. L. T.)
“Nobody has ever been able to stiffen his neck like as an ox resistive under the yoke, plant his feet in the ground, and hold out against God—Who rips mountains wide open with his fire and hardly even knows it. Who could possibly answer the questions He could ask? Even one question in a thousand?” Reminds me of a song, “How Great Is My God.” Job went on to say:

V6. “He shakes the earth to its foundations.”
V7. “Blots out the sun with storm clouds and eclipse.”
V7. “Shuts up the stars in their secret place.”
V8. “Stretches out the heavens like a tent.”
V8. “Tramples down the waves of the sea.”
V9. “Frames the constellations against the blue evening sky.”
V10. “Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.”

What is all this but the glitter, the power, and the glory of “God the all-terrible?” Such power without love is intolerable. One leader said, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But with God, might not only makes right, right is transformed into might. Just because “He that sitteth in the heavens” does not sign His name in monstrous letters, when something awful happens, the world tends to think He has not spoken. In the twentieth century God entered the pulpit and preached in His own way by deeds—and His sermons were long and taxing, and they spoiled the dinner, His voice shook the earth. Two World Wars followed, earthquakes, violent storms, epidemics and uncontrollable diseases, world-wide violence one hundred-million souls died—lack of control of crime runs rampant.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Lamentations   1  2  3

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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26.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                    August 26, 2014                 

Good Morning!
This lets us know that Life Is Not A Game Without An Umpire.

GOD IS NOT A MAN:
Job 9:32. “For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. 33. Neither is there any mediator betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both. 34. Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: 35. Then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me.”

Job complains that God is not a man who would go to court with Him (Job 9:3). Neither does Job have an impartial mediator between God and himself—a mediator who can present his case before God. The desire for a mediator between God and humanity is a key theme in Job (16:19; 19:25), and it anticipates the New Testament emphasis on Jesus as the true Mediator between God and all of humanity (1 Timothy 2:5).

In his complaint Job longs for his day in court, but he sees no way for this to happen. He felt that life was a game without an umpire, with God making up the rules as it went along. “Neither is there any daysman (mediator) betwixt us,..” One with power and authority to “Lay his hand upon us both, ..” The Need Of A Mediator: Job 9:30. “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; 31. Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.”

Like the Psalmist, Job realizes that he cannot wash himself and make himself pure—He feels that the absolute remoteness of God makes intimacy with God impossible. There is no meeting place between heaven and earth. God and man may not “come together in judgment,” since “He is not a man as I am.” Job had no idea of the Incarnation—of a God made into human “flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory” John 1:14. So his lament lingers on, “Would there were an umpire a mediator or daysman between us” Job 9:33.

Job 19:13. “He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are quite estranged from me. 14. My kinsfolk have failed, and my known friends have forgotten me.” There is nothing more painful in breaking of the heart than when friends turn away from us. It is worse than the worst of bodily pains brought on by afflictions. It crushes us when our last friend forsakes us.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Lamentations   4  5

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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27.                        God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                     ugust 27, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Job’s confidence in his conscience, though shaken by Eliphaz, and Bildad, and Zophar, was not subdued—his conscience says, “Not Guilty,” “Innocent Of All Charges.”

MY REDEEMER LIVETH:
Job 19:25. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold.

Job spoke these words after the most scathing condemnation by Bildad in the entire book. In the hardest of all speeches in chapter 18, in which Bildad pictured the awful fate of the sinner. Under this terrible picture he says: “Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked” (Job 18:21). And he held it up before Job. It was meant for him. The malignancy spoken in (Job 18:13-15), “The first born of death,” which consumes the sinner’s limbs, was an allusion to Job’s leprosy. Another will occupy his dwelling after it has been disinfected with sulphur. With stroke after stroke Bildad paints an awful picture of the sinner and with each a gesture indicating to Job, “You are the man.” This is how Satan would like to accuse us.

Job wrestles with God, and he does stumble, but the faith that God had planted in his heart remains true. It is out of the lowest dept that Job’s mind leaps to its highest height. He feels that behind all the darkness, behind all the chaos, there is a face that looks kindly on him. It is the face of a living God with whom he walked in fellowship, who knows his innocence and who shall make it known to the world. This God with whom he had fellowship in days past, this God still lives, and is still what He ever was. And at that instant his faith rises and leaps the chasm and spans the gulf that separates man for God.  JOB’S HEART IS TRANSFORMED: And his tongue utters the grandest expression in the Old Testament.

In this statement Job is abandoning the hope or the illusion of defending himself.
“I KNOW MY REDEEMER LIVETH! and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:”  This has been called, “The Highest Expression Of Faith In The Hebrew Bible.” It has it’s counterpart in the New Testament, “And we know that we are of God ... and we know that the Son of God is come, … (1 John 5:19-21). In times when all hope seems lost let us repeat these words along with Job and John.

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Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezekiel   1  2  3  4

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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28.                       Gods Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                  August 28, 2014                 

Good Morning!
Hundreds of thousands of sermons and Bible studies have not exhausted the message of hope and comfort which the world has received from these words.

I SHALL SEE GOD FOR MYSELF:
Job 19:25. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

Up until chapter 19, Job’s complaint and misery is almost completely hopeless and despairing. He wonders, “Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, and life unto the bitter in soul; which long for death, but it cometh not; and dig for it more than for hid treasures; (Job 3:20-21). One question after the other follows. And then, miraculously, the Spirit brings Job a revelation of someone who will rescue him from his despair. Job realizes God is not his enemy and cries out, “for I know that my redeemer liveth, …”

Job is not rejoicing because he believes his trial is ending. He is rejoicing because he now believes, by the Spirit, that he has a Redeemer, a heavenly kinsman who will come to his aid. The role of the kinsman-redeemer was well known in the ancient Near East, and it is this Job is referring to. The next of kin was to redeem (buy back) his (relatives) property, and restore it to him if in any way he had forfeited it or been obliged to sell it; to defend him against injury and wrong, especially, to avenge his blood if he had been unrighteously slain.

Job now sees God as his redeemer, and although he is convinced that he will shortly die from his disease, he confidently announces that even after his skin has been destroyed, he will in his flesh see God. In Job’s sorely tried heart, God is no longer his enemy who is pursuing him unjustly; He is now his friend, his Redeemer, his next of kin. We also have a “next of kin,” “a redeemer” “a brother,” someone who has come to our aid. We’ve studied His words and observed His life. We know that our Redeemer lives and we will behold Him one day! “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons (Galatians 4:4-5). We are no longer strangers or slaves, but we are children of God.”  

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezekiel   5  6  7  8

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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29.                         God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                      August 29, 2014                 

Good Morning!
The true knowledge of God humbles all his creation, and places us on our knees before Him, which is our rightful place.

TRUTH FROM A TRANSFORMED HEART, A HUMBLED HEART:
Job 42:5. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

After Job exclaimed that his “Redeemer Liveth,” there was a dramatic change which came over him, from this point on the course of his complaints change. That’s not to say he no longer struggled or sought to determine why the wicked prosper; it’s just that the deep despair and bitterness is gone from him. He receives council of Elihu, the younger of his friends, who helped prepare him for the astounding council from the Lord. His heart is prepared: Job is about to receive the most precious treasures ever imagined. In the longest, and most awesome conversation from God recorded in the Bible, Job is brought to his Knees.

“Now my eyes see thee,” and “I am humbled,” “I repent in dust and ashes,” is Job’s final speech. Job is humbled, instructed, and comforted by God’s sustaining grace, and in the end God is glorified. What was God’s purpose in Job’s trial? It was to silence the lying tongue of Satan, but that was not the only purpose. His purpose was to open Job’s eyes to who He is, a God who is compassionate and merciful, and to sustain within him a steadfastness that would be spoken of for thousands of years.

Do you know that your Redeemer lives? I hope that you do. Do you want to exalt Him and see His glory exemplified in your suffering? God knows that you do, He knows this, and loves you, and will see that your life annuls your enemy’s lies. And it will bring Him great joy, when on that last day you stand on the new earth with your near Kinsman and gaze upon His beautiful, compassionate, and merciful face.

Repeat these words with me, “That I with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ: who with His precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head. He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live for Him” Amen.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezekiel   9  10  11  12

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net

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30. 31.                  God’s Grazingfield Daily Devotion

Today’s First Thoughts                                 August 30 & 31, 2014                 

Good Morning!
In the following verses Job arose to stand on the highest pinnacle of belief in the Old Testament. This is one of the few references in the Old Testament of a future life.

JOB LOOKS FAR INTO THE FUTURE:
Job 19:26. “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

Job says, “I will see Him with my restored body, His coming will set me free from all the bondages of this day.” I believe that this is a clear statement of Job’s belief in a future life. It was a real belief on Job’s part in a life after death in which he will see God and be vindicated. Call it intuition, which to the man of faith, is that something within that is set there to instruct and to lead. After all that had happened, Job battered by blow after blow, lying almost helpless, at the mercy of his friends and his God, yet there was something within him that would not quit—in spite of the insurmountable circumstances—That Something Was Faith. “For I know that my redeemer (umpire) liveth, and that he will stand at the latter day upon the earth:” Somewhere in the framework of time. Future Generations Will Bring A Redeemer—Who Will Stand Upon The Earth!

Chapter 31 contains the highest moral conscience to be found in the Old Testament. In this Chapter (31) Job ends his series of speeches or monologue with the most solemn and elaborate protest of innocence that he has ever expressed. He examines a series of sixteen conditions of sinful acts, each one beginning with the word “If” in the following verses, 5, 7, 9, 13, 16, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 33, 38, and 39.

In verse 1 he speaks of a covenant of purity. “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think (look) upon a maid?” Job knew, centuries before Jesus proclaimed it, that sin began in the mind before an act was performed. Verse 13-15 The idea that slaves have rights established by the Creator for all men. 30 centuries before the “Bill Of Rights,” Job had this awareness of equality of birth among men. Verses 16-23 Job turns to sins against the poor—and emphasizes charity and social responsibilities. Job fed the hungry and he covered the naked, for he had experienced hunger and cold. They were always at the seat, or the source, of his social conscience and was deeply committed to the will of God who cares for all men. housands of years before Jesus told the world to “Love your enemies,” Job was already practicing this principal.

Read-Thru-The-Bible
Click the links below to read today's Bible verses online:
Ezekiel   13  14  15
Ezekiel   16  17

James & Mary Lee Thornton
www.Godsgrazingfield.net  

 

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