2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 14, December 24-30, Some Lessons From Job
Tuesday, December 27
The book of Job might well have been the “How to Make Friends and Influence Enemies” of his time period. Within its passages we see demonstrated some of the very principles that Jesus tried to teach His disciples.
“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” KJV, John 9:1-5, emphasis added.
Jesus is not saying that neither this man sinned, nor his parents, as though they had never fallen short of the righteousness and glory of God. What He is emphasizing is that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” KJV, Romans 5:20. Every trial and affliction can find its basis in that Satan, the Originator of Sin, will do that which he can in attempts to separate us from God. But to those who trust in God, these trials only strengthen our hold upon God. It is, then, the work of every one who takes the name of Christ to do all we can to join God in relieving pain and suffering.
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” KJV, Luke 13:1-5, emphasis added.
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” KJV, Matthew 7:1-5, emphasis added.
It would be easier to think evil of another than to think evil of our own selves. Jesus is teaching us to look after our own sinful condition before addressing the sinfulness of others. Only after we have tasted of the mercy of God’s grace can we then minister to others to relieve the burdens of guilt and shame through the reconciling merits of Christ which bring confession, forgiveness, repentance, and finally pardon.
“… Divine forbearance and protecting care are ever in exercise to preserve souls from destruction; for it is Satan’s constant work to separate them from Christ. We must resist his wiles with watchfulness and prayer; faith and preserving effort will give us the victory.
“Are we willing to put forth such efforts to save our fellow-men as Christ made for our salvation? Will we manifest such regard for the reputation and interest of our brethren as Jesus has taught us by his care for us? We are one in Christ. In his sight, the bond that unites believers is more sacred and enduring than any other tie. Christ is the Vine; we are branches, and only branches. This view of our relationship to him and to one another should lead us to labor earnestly for the salvation of our brethren. We must be faithful to do our appointed work, to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. This must be done in the spirit of meekness, while abiding in Christ. Here is our power over hearts. When Christ reigns in the hearts, selfishness will die out, and disinterested benevolence take its place. Coldness and indifference will then be considered as fatal as for a sentinel to sleep at his post, thus exposing the whole army to defeat and death. We must ever be on our guard. Our enemy is vigilant; he is ever watching for opportunities to come in with his snares.” (Ellen White, Review and Herald, March 4, 1884, emphasis added.)