A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
These horses are in a pasture at the end of Kraybill Church Road.
"The Destiny Of All Who Forget God"
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).
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"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 8:13-15).
We enjoy sitting on our front porch watching the sun set across the field. Our focus is normally distant and macro. But spiders seem to have certain places they like to make their webs and they inevitably choose to make one from the corner of the roof over our porch to the house. In our case that's a place we often walk through so guess what happens!
Have you ever walked into a spider web? Of course you have! As you walk your eyes tend to be focused on something distant and you don't see the spider web till you walk right through it, and even then you may not see it, but you sure do feel it and immediately make a rather spastic effort to get the icky stuff off, hoping the spider was not in the web!
However, I'm really not worried about getting tangled in the web and being eaten by the spider for breakfast. But spiders and their webs are creepy and I don't want a spider bite, poisonous or not!
Most of us consider spiders and their webs icky, but today let us draw a spiritual lesson from one of the only two obscure references to the spider mentioned in the Bible. (The other is in Isaiah 59:5.)
Job is a remarkable book. Probably when most of us consider Job we recall the tremendous trial he endured, but there are so many gems of wisdom throughout the book. Today's portion is from a discourse by Bildad the Shuhite, one of Job's friends. These three friends and their attempts to comfort Job were ultimately deficient but still contain some gems of wisdom.
The Scripture preceding our daily text has a timeless 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" (Job 8:11,12). This 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."
Bildad then develops a truth based on the observation of a spider's web: "whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is a spider’s web".
God's intended purpose for the spider's web is very efficient for its designed purpose. Spend some time observing nature and you will see the tiny creatures resting comfortably for hours on end in their home-made webs while also waiting for prey.
But it would be absolutely foolish for me, as a human, to count on a spider web to provide hope for my eternal destiny! Such absurd thinking is further described by Bildad in V. 15: "He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; he holds fast to it, but it does not endure."
A similar but far more familiar illustration is the teaching of Jesus regarding the man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27).
Bildad illustrates what the majority of people do rather than put 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, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: God, You are the only source of eternal life to whom we can cling though we're tempted to build our lives on that which does not last, much like one who "trusts in his house, but it does not stand; he holds fast to it, but it does not endure." We're reminded in Scripture that "The hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile, and whose trust is a spider’s web." Help us to remember that which has only earth's values can be compared to the fragility and time span of a spider's web in light of eternity. With eternity's values in view we want to build our lives upon Christ who is our firm foundation now and forevermore. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Christ Our Hope in Life and Death" Video Shane and Shane
What is our hope in life and death?
Christ alone, Christ alone
What is our only confidence?
That our souls to Him belong
Who holds our days within His hand?
What comes, apart from His command?
And what will keep us to the end?
The love of Christ, in which we stand
"My Hope Is In You" Video Aaron Shust
"Almost Home" Video Matt Papa & Matt Boswell Dedication: Last night I received a note from Nick, a longtime friend, whose wife is nearing her departure. May God bring great peace and assurance.
"Christ The Sure And Steady Anchor" Video Keith & Kristyn Getty, Matt Boswell, and Shane & Shane
This my ballast of assurance, see His love forever proved
I will hold fast to the anchor, it shall never be removed!
Our late Texan friend Jim Scanlon shared this pastoral experience during a children's Christmas program:
The church was packed. People came in and “oohed and aahed” the transformation of the platform into a stable. Soon it was time to begin. I began with a prayer, introduced the program and got out of the way. The program began. The songs were sung, the lines were said.
Then suddenly, isn't it always “suddenly”?, something “dramatic” happened. As Joseph, Mary and the rest, knelt on the hay-covered floor, a small child's voice interrupted the whole scene. Four year old Ann looked at the doll in the manger, pointed and said in her childish voice: “Ooh, a Bug”.
Well, it wasn't a just a bug, but something larger. There on the “Baby Jesus”, in all its hairy glory was a quite large Tarantula Spider!
You can imagine the change of action, with a platform populated with country girls and robust country boys, at the sight of that Tarantula. Some laughter, some shouts, some stomping, some backing away, some trying to catch the critter. Before any of them could catch or dispatch the unwanted invader, it was gone. A Tarantula can jump a bit, and move rather quickly when startled, so it made an exit for the piles of hay and disappeared.
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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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