Scripture Union Discovery 18th March 2023 – God Knows I’m Good
SCRIPTURE UNION DISCOVERY DEVOTIONAL (USA)
Scripture Union Discovery 18th March 2023, Saturday Devotional Message
TOPIC: God Knows I’m Good
Holy God, sometimes my worship of you is all wrong. Worldly values infect my approach to you. Enable me to move through these things and truly focus on you.
Read JOB 36
36 Elihu continued:
2 “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you
that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.
3 I get my knowledge from afar;
I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4 Be assured that my words are not false;
one who has perfect knowledge is with you.
5 “God is mighty, but despises no one;
he is mighty, and firm in his purpose.
6 He does not keep the wicked alive
but gives the afflicted their rights.
7 He does not take his eyes off the righteous;
he enthrones them with kings
and exalts them forever.
8 But if people are bound in chains,
held fast by cords of affliction,
9 he tells them what they have done—
that they have sinned arrogantly.
10 He makes them listen to correction
and commands them to repent of their evil.
11 If they obey and serve him,
they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity
and their years in contentment.
12 But if they do not listen,
they will perish by the sword[a]
and die without knowledge.
13 “The godless in heart harbor resentment;
even when he fetters them, they do not cry for help.
14 They die in their youth,
among male prostitutes of the shrines.
15 But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering;
he speaks to them in their affliction.
16 “He is wooing you from the jaws of distress
to a spacious place free from restriction,
to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.
17 But now you are laden with the judgment due the wicked;
judgment and justice have taken hold of you.
18 Be careful that no one entices you by riches;
do not let a large bribe turn you aside.
19 Would your wealth or even all your mighty efforts
sustain you so you would not be in distress?
20 Do not long for the night,
to drag people away from their homes.[b]
21 Beware of turning to evil,
which you seem to prefer to affliction.
22 “God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
23 Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
24 Remember to extol his work,
which people have praised in song.
25 All humanity has seen it;
mortals gaze on it from afar.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
27 “He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams[c];
28 the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
bathing the depths of the sea.
31 This is the way he governs[d] the nations
and provides food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
and commands it to strike its mark.
33 His thunder announces the coming storm;
even the cattle make known its approach.[e]
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous’ (Matthew 5:45).
Scripture Union Discovery 18th March 2023, Saturday
Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why do the wicked seem to prosper? Job thinks he is being treated unfairly, while the greedy and morally doubtful seem to live off the fat of the land!
Jesus said that the sun and rain settle on the good and the bad equally (Matthew 5:45); Elihu reminds us God is right and just in all he does and permits. Thus, when the time comes, God’s justice will fall on all. Previous deeds may be taken into account but ultimately faith or lack of it will determine where eternal life is spent (vs 5–11).
Elihu’s words here tend to echo Bildad’s criticism that Job is too self-righteous (Job 8:1–3). Is the penny dropping for Job? After all, which of us is truly good? Have we never broken the speed limit, for example?! If there is sin, it will be found, and an account of it must be given. Elihu continues: ‘one who has perfect knowledge is with you’ (v 4). God knows Job’s predicament and has faith in him. Job’s own faith in God, or lack of it, will determine his outcome (2:10b).
God knows we are not perfect as he is, but the Holy Spirit can train us toward holiness. What is God working on in your life? How can you cooperate with that today?
Patient Father, I don’t want to be like those who know about you but don’t know you. I want more than spiritual information; I want spiritual transformation.