The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
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Thursday, January 11, 2018
Sam Wagner Covered Bridge spans the Chillesquaque Creek on the Northumberland/Montour County line.
"A Lesson From Bildad The Shuhite"
Message summary: Today let us hide this important truth deep within our hearts: "Love the LORD, all His saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:23,24).
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"When the wicked dies, his hope will perish" (Proverbs 11:7). "Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass. Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web. He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold" (Job 8:11-15). "Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:23,24). “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You" (Psalm 39:7).
In yesterday's message I told about some confusion on my medical records after I saw my doctor on Monday concerning my height and weight. In a faulty conversion of metric to standard they initially had me at 4 feet tall!
I had my annual dental exam yesterday and shared the story with my friendly dentist, Dr. Dinse, as my long 6'2" frame stretched out on the exam chair. I'm sure he was thinking, "He sure doesn't look like he's 4 feet tall!"
He asked me if I knew who the shortest man in the Bible was. Now, of course, the most famous short man's name is ___________. (Answer below since we think many of you will know who he is!).
I told Dr. Dinse it seems like I recalled a joke about a Nehi (knee high) but he corrected me, giving me the name of Bildad the "Shoe Height" (actually spelled Shuhite, see Job 2:11.) He was one of Job's three friends.
Job is a remarkable book and a remarkable person. When most of us consider Job we commonly recall the tremendous trials he endured. Most impacting is his persevering faith, but there are so many gems of wisdom throughout the entire book. Today's portion is from a discourse by Bildad the Shuhite, one of Job's friends. In the bigger picture the advice from these friends was flawed but we can still glean truths from some of the statements made such as today's timeless text.
Bildad begins with a keen observation from nature: "Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water? While still growing and uncut, they wither more quickly than grass." Papyrus reeds were created to grow near water. Papyrus is a tender herbaceous perennial. It forms tall stands of reed-like swamp vegetation in shallow water. Nature illustrations in the Scripture are used frequently making them a timeless message for every culture, generation, and geographic region.
This observation from nature is immediately followed by the statement in the daily text, "Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless." That is, their destiny is like a reed without water, withering and perishing. A truth is then developed based on another observation from nature, a spider's web: "What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web."
God's intended purpose for the spider's web is very efficient for its inhabitant. Spend some time observing nature and you will see the tiny insects resting comfortably for hours on end, day after day, after they've busily spun their webs over a period of time. Now they lie in wait for a tasty meal at the expense of a hapless insect. If you made a steel string as thick as a spider's string, the spider string, almost invisible to the human eye, is stronger. Their proteins are aligned along the thread and all work together to hold up the spider. It takes a lot of force to stretch a spider's thread, and you have to apply that force over a long distance before it will break.
But it would be absolutely foolish for me, as a human, to count on a spider web to hold me up or to provide hope for my eternal destiny! Such absurd thinking is described by Bildad in v.15: "He leans on his web, but it gives way; he clings to it, but it does not hold."
Job's friend colorfully illustrates what the majority of people do rather than place their hope, trust and reliance in the Lord. Today let us hide this important truth deep within our hearts: "Love the LORD, all His saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud He pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord" (Psalm 31:23,24).
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, You are the only source of eternal life to whom I cling. I am confident that You will be with me to the end of my life here on this earth. I am grateful for the many people who bring me support, encouragement and companionship along the way. They're a source of great joy as they enrich my life daily. But as I grow older I'm recognizing that nothing stays the same and much of what I came to rely on is no longer available to me. Losses of very dear people are now but a warm memory. And many things that once captured my attention are but a passing interest as I reflect upon the passing years. I find great comfort as I cling to the words of the 73rd Psalm, "Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none that I desire on earth beside Thee. My flesh and my heart, they may fail but You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Thank You for being my all in all through every season of my life. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"God Is The Strength of My Heart" Video Don Moen
"Whom Have I But You" Video Brian Doerksen
"My Hope is in You" Video Aaron Shust
The most famous short man in Bible: Zaccheus!
Upon study I found there is no "Nehi" in the Bible at least spelled that way! I must have been thinking of the soft drink we had as a kid.
Finally today: Yesterday, Mel, a longtime friend and reader managed to decipher my precise weight from this photo and description in yesterday's message regarding some confusion at my medical exam! Now that's a smart man!
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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