Job 29:18

“I thought: Surely I shall die in my nest!” Job 29:18 

By James Smith

Job’s nest was very comfortable–and appeared to be very secure. It was on high–and not to be easily reached. He knew that death could reach it–but he thought that nothing else would disturb it. 
His conduct was consistent, 

his conscience was quiet; 

God was his Father, and 

providence was his friend. 

“I thought: Surely I shall die in my nest!” 
But, alas! Suddenly a ‘storm’ arose–the nest was destroyed, and the poor bird lay bleeding and exposed!
No earthly nest is out of danger! Temporal comforts are only lent to us. The higher the tree in which we build–the more exposed to the whirlwind and the storm!
Here on earth–we have no continuing city. In one moment–our fine nest may be devastated! Let us therefore endeavor to leave our matters fully with the Lord–and learn to be content with His appointments.
We must die. But when, and where, and how–should be left with the Lord.
Five minutes after death–it will matter very little whether we died on a bed of down, in a luxurious mansion, and surrounded by kind friends–OR as a poor diseased beggar, dying alone in squalor!
Present comforts may all leave us, and our soft nest may be scattered to the winds–but nothing can disturb our salvation and future glory!
“These all died in faith–and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth!” Hebrews 11:13

“They were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a heavenly city for them!” Hebrews 11:16

From Grace Gems.

Specialist Divers

Not long ago I was watching a show on the Discovery Channel about divers that specialize in underwater repairs. It started, I think, with a group of Navy divers who were trained to make emergency repairs. These divers had to leave the comfort and safety of the ship to do their job, job that many lives depended upon. It was cold, dangerous work but so very necessary to the fleet, especially during war-time.

We are in a war today: a spiritual war. And as much today as any time in history disciples of Jesus Christ are under attack. The attacks come from all angles, all places, from where we, often, are least likely to look or think about. Like the specialists divers, there are times when we need to leave the comfort and safety of our “boats” and get in the water. Just like those Naval divers, we have to go to the problem even if it’s out of our comfort zone and address it directly. The cargo and supplies and people the Navy protect are very important. But the eternal cost of the lives that our enemy is assailing are so, so much more important.

In this New Year, I pray that we all, the Church, will find the courage, the desire, and the drive to get out of the boat and do the job at hand. The cost of not doing so is just too high to bare.

Wait and Watch

Wait and Watch
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 2:10

Job’s response to his wife’s suggestion that he curse God and die is magnificent. “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks” (Job 2:10). Hats off to the old patriarch! In his weakened condition, sitting there in the misery of all those sores, not knowing if any of that would ever change, he stood firm—he even reproved her. He said, in effect, “I need to correct the course of this conversation. We’re not going there.”

He went further than stating a reproof; he asked an excellent question. “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (v. 10). His insight was rare, not only back then, but today. What magnificent theology! How seldom such a statement emerges from our secular system.

Job is thinking these thoughts: Doesn’t He have the right? Isn’t He the Potter? Aren’t we the clay? Isn’t He the Shepherd and we the sheep? Isn’t He the Master and we the servant? Isn’t that the way it works?

Somehow he already knew that the clay does not ask the potter, “What are you making?” And so he says, in effect, “No, no, no, sweetheart. Let’s not do that. We serve a God who has the right to do whatever He does and is never obligated to explain it or ask permission. Stop and consider—should we think that good things are all we receive? Is that the kind of God we serve? He’s no heavenly servant of ours who waits for the snap of our fingers, is He? He is our Lord and our Master! We need to remember that the God we serve has a game plan that is beyond our comprehension, including hard times like this.”

And I love this last line, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips” (v. 10). There’s absolute trust there. And faith. “Sweetheart, we can’t explain any of this, so let’s wait and watch God work. We would never have expected what happened. Both our hearts are broken over the loss. We’ve lost everything. Well—not everything. We’ve still got each other. Our God has a plan that is unfolding, even though we cannot understand it right now. Let’s wait and watch to see what He will do next.”

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Job 1:1–12

Without Job’s knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan’s attention to Job’s exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn’t serve You, the way You’ve prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job.

And so, in today’s terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man’s possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.

This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation—not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.

In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job’s mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.

You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father’s plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father’s plan includes. It’s best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it’s on the horizon. We can be certain of this: our God knows what is best.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.