"In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen.
That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”
How long does a guilty conscience condemn? In the case of the ten brothers, at least 22 years. Genesis 37:2 said when Jacob's brothers sold him into slavery he was 17 years old. Genesis 41:45 says Jacob was 30 when he entered Pharaoh's service. Adding the seven years of abundance and two years of famine (Genesis 45:6), Jacob would have been 39. How important is a clear conscience? In Acts 24:16, Paul says he takes pains to have a clear conscience with both God and man.
“Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?"
Jesus' answer to the Sadducees hits me between the eyes. His question can be applied to all of us when we struggle in this walk of faith. In this short sentence, Jesus pointed out my (our) problem. When I struggle to live a life worthy of God's call, it is for one of these two reasons or most likely both simultaneously. The first, I don't know Scripture. In 2 Timothy 3:16, I am told: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
The question for me is "How equipped am I?" One of God's purposes in giving me His written Word is to equip me thoroughly for every good work. When I feel unprepared for the situations of life, this is most likely the problem.
Luke 1:37 says, "For nothing will be impossible with God." The truth of that statement should permeate my thoughts and actions. As a child of God, loved as Jesus is loved (John 17:23), why would I doubt my Father's power and ability to care for me; to work all things for my good? What would He not do for me?
Father, may Jesus' question be a constant reminder to me of who You are and what Your Word supplies.
Bildad's counsel is wrong on so many levels. Can you believe that Bildad's advice to Job in his depressed state, begins with "You are full of hot air?" I am sure Job was attentive to Bildad after that expression of care, concern, and comfort!
Bildad emphasizes God's justice to the exclusion of God's mercy. It is so easy to focus on one attribute of God and lose sight of the fullness of His character. His justice and His mercy are both perfect at the same time.
In verse six, Bildad implies if Job were pure and upright, God would wake Himself and help him. Yet God, awake and watching, has already declared Job to be blameless and upright. Bildad's misrepresentation of God (Job 42:8) is evident early on in his conversation with Job.
Oh LORD, please guard my thoughts, mouth, and words so I will not misrepresent You.