05 August 2008

Hypocritical Joy – 6.27.08

The book of Job, most likely the oldest piece of literature in the world, has got to be one of the most interesting books ever written. I would also admit that at times it can be a bit confusing. What we have to remember when we read the attempts of Job's friends at "comforting" him was that much of what they said was true, it just didn't apply to Job.

Such is the case with Job 20:4. This from the mouth of Zophar the Naamathite:

Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

Now, Job wasn't a wicked hypocrite. The Holy Spirit called him a perfect and upright man who feared God and eschewed evil. And contrary to the opinion of Job's friends, his calamity wasn't the judgment of God on his life. It was proof of the integrity of Job's love for the Lord. God used it to poke the devil in the eye (chapters 1-2) and make Job "more perfect" (chapters 38-42).

But the point we'd like to consider is the truth of the statement made in Job 20:4. The triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite [is] but for a moment.

Young person, old person, middle aged person, there are 2 scripture passages we all need to commit to memory.

Hebrews 11:25-26 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Do you see that? The pleasures of sin last only a season (an undetermined length of time, no longer than this temporal life), while the pleasures of righteousness last forever.

I know it's tempting (at times) to think that the people out in the world who do all the things a good Christian shouldn't do and don't do all the things a good Christian should – that they're having all the fun, that they're enjoying all the good things this life has to offer.

Here's what I would like to ask you, in the midst of such temptation, are you going to trust your thoughts and your feelings or are you going to trust the word of God? You think…that'd be great! God's word says…no, this is really great! Which will you trust? God wants to bless you. The devil wants to destroy you.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

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