Job - Better Than Normal

Job – Better than Normal

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

Right now, many of us are thinking of how things will get back to “normal.” But if you’re like me, you also think: “Lord, I don’t want things back to where they were before all this global pandemic and other shaking events. In Jesus’ name, bring us to a better place with You than we were ever at before.”

Remember this from the Book of Job:

Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning.
Job 42:12

Job - Better Than Normal

You will remember that at the start of the Book of Job, the man Job was a blessed, godly man, with a real relationship with God.

Then the calamities came, and Job had a true crisis.

Yet at the end of it all, Job was more blessed, greater in his godliness, and had a deeper relationship with God. What the devil intended for evil, God used for good. Through it all, God made a good man better.

As tough as it has been, I don’t think many of us have suffered as badly as Job suffered. But we want God to work in us and through us in the way He worked through Job. Our prayer is, “Lord – in these hard times, please don’t let one bit of suffering or trouble be wasted. Let it all work for Your glory and my growth.”

In the story of Job we could say that God declared to Satan: “You do your worst with Job, and I will do My best in him – and let’s see who wins in the end.”

By faith, receive it – God’s best working in you even through this strange season. At the end of it all, we hope to end with something better than normal!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

Loving or Hating God's Word

Loving or Hating God’s Word

And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done. (2 Kings 23:37)

Josiah was a ruler over Judah, the kingdom of the two southern tribes of the children of Israel. The cruel Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom, but the southern kingdom of Judah lasted more than 100 years after the fall of the northern kingdom of Israel.

Josiah’s reign was a bright light in a dark season. There were bad kings before and after him, but Josiah was different. He loved the LORD, loving and honoring God’s word. The spiritual revival that came in Josiah’s day started when they came back to the Word of God. In the best sense, it was a “back to the Bible” movement.

Loving or Hating God's Word

Eventually, Josiah died in battle against Egypt. Before Josiah’s time, many leaders in Judah thought Egypt would protect them from the rising power of the Babylonian Empire. Prophets like Jeremiah warned Judah not to trust Egypt, and Josiah resisted them – but he died in the fight against Egypt.

After Josiah’s death, the next kings of Judah were terrible. The people pushed and demanded until Josiah’s third oldest son named Jehoahaz was crowned king of Judah. Jehoahaz was a disaster; he was the people’s choice, not God’s man. He reigned for only three months. 2 Kings 23:32 says that “he did evil in the sight of the LORD.” The people’s choice had his reign cut short when the Pharaoh of Egypt removed Jehoahaz from Jerusalem and put him in prison.

Pharaoh then took another son of Josiah – Jehoiakim, one of the imprisoned Jehoahaz’s older brothers – and made him the puppet king of Judah. Pharaoh also forced massive taxes on the kingdom of Judah. Even as they were forced to pay these taxes to Egypt, Jehoiakim selfishly built himself a new palace, and he did it with slave labor.

What 2 Kings 23:37 said about Jehoiakim was true – He did evil in the sight of the LORD. Jehoiakim, like his brother Jehoahaz, did not follow the godly example of his father Josiah.

Jeremiah 36:22-24 describes the great ungodliness of Jehoiakim – how he even burned a scroll of God’s word. You see, the Prophet Jeremiah told King Jehoiakim that God would send the Babylonians to conquer Judah and Jerusalem, and do it to discipline and humble their proud, disobedient rulers and people.

Jehoiakim didn’t like what God said, so he burned the scroll where the word was written. He wasn’t the first one to hate God’s word and try to destroy it – but he didn’t succeed. The Bible tells us that the Word of God lasts forever. No king or mob can destroy it. Instead, those who resist God and His word are ultimately destroyed in their rebellion.

Josiah honored God’s word; his son Jehoiakim literally burned it. We always want to be on the side of those who love God’s word, not those who hate it.

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 23

Comfort Greater than Death

Consuelo mayor que la muerte

Tu corazón se enterneció, y te humillaste delante de Jehová… Por tanto, he aquí yo te recogeré con tus padres, y serás llevado a tu sepulcro en paz, y no verán tus ojos todo el mal que yo traigo sobre este lugar.  (2 Reyes 22:19, 20)

El joven rey Josías lideró un avivamiento significativo en los últimos días del reino de Judá. Tuvo el celo de reparar y restaurar el templo, y cuando hicieron ese trabajo descubrieron el libro olvidado de la ley: la palabra de Dios a través de Moisés y otros libros tempranos del Antiguo Testamento.

Cuando Josías escuchó el mensaje de esos libros, sintió inmediatamente la convicción de su pecado. Estaba claro cuán lejos se habían alejado del camino de Dios, y él rasgó su ropa y lloró como si alguien querido hubiera muerto. Josías no se detuvo ante un sentimiento de tristeza, sino que buscó ver lo que la palabra de Dios le diría. Buscaron a la profetisa Huldah, y ella le dijo que el juicio vendría sobre Judá por todos sus grandes pecados contra Dios y el pacto que Israel hizo con Él.

Comfort Greater than Death

Esa fue una mala noticia; sin embargo, había buenas noticias también. Dios hizo algunas promesas reconfortantes a Josías, porque su corazón era tierno. El corazón de Josías se enterneció de dos maneras. Primero, fue tierno a la palabra de Dios y pudo recibir la voz convincente del Espíritu Santo. Segundo, era sensible al mensaje de juicio de Huldah descrito en los versículos anteriores.

Este fue el consuelo de Dios para Josías: serás llevado a tu sepulcro en paz. Es cierto que Josías murió más tarde en la batalla (2 Reyes 23: 28-30), hay al menos tres formas en que esto fue cierto.

– Josías murió antes que el gran desastre espiritual y el exilio llegó a Judá.
– Josías se reunió con los espíritus de sus padres, que estaban en paz.
– Josías murió a favor de Dios, aunque fue por la mano de un enemigo.

El consuelo de Dios se agregó a Josías cuando dijo: no verán tus ojos todo el mal que yo traigo sobre este lugar. Esta fue la misericordia de Dios con Josías. Su propia piedad y su corazón tierno no podían detener el juicio de Dios, pero podrían retrasarlo. El juicio inevitable a veces se retrasa debido a los tiernos corazones del pueblo de Dios.

Supongo que alguien podría decir: “¿Qué consuelo fue todo esto? Josías murió de todos modos, y el juicio todavía vino sobre el reino de Judá”. Esa objeción olvida que nuestro destino común es morir, nadie puede escapar de eso. Sin embargo, Dios puede mostrar misericordia y amabilidad tanto en el tiempo como en las circunstancias de nuestro fallecimiento.

Josías nos muestra que nuestro humilde arrepentimiento nunca es para nada. Dios siempre encuentra una manera de acercarse a quienes se acercan a Él y de bendecir a quienes lo buscan.

Haz clic aquí para el comentario de David de 2 Reyes 22