Genesis 3:4

Verse of the Day Devotion: Genesis 3:4

“The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!” – Genesis 3:4 

This verse is found in the verses that describe the fall of Adam and Eve.  The serpent in our focus verse is described as the craftiest of all the beast of the field.  The Hebrew word for crafty means cunning (usually in a bad sense).  It also has the idea of prudent and subtle.  He then says to Eve, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1b.  There are several things that is intriguing with this.  First, it appears that this was part of a discussion they were having already, and it is questioning her to create doubt in Eve.  But more interesting is this creature had the ability to reason and to speak in a way Eve understood.

She then answers the creature by saying they can eat of any tree in the garden except from the one tree in the middle of the garden, for God has told us we will die if we do.  At this point she still believed what God told her.  Then the serpent counters what God told her.  “You surely will not die!” Genesis 3:4 However, it throws in another idea which, as we will see, caused her to doubt what they were told.  “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5. Aha, it has now told her that God was withholding something from her.  They would not die; in fact, they would actually become like God Himself if they did eat.

So, Eve began to mull this over in her mind.  According to the serpent, they would not die, for the fruit was good for food.  It was lovely and looked incredibly delicious and would allow them to gain in wisdom to the level of God.  These were the things she, and no doubt Adam also, desired.  So she ignored the warning God gave them regarding the fruit and ate it, also giving one to Adam so he could enjoy the same blessing the fruit would impart it on her.

Well, it did not turn out that well for them.  Yes, their understanding increased, but not as they hoped for.  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” Genesis 3:7. They understood they had done wrong and disobeyed God.  They felt the need to cover themselves with the leaves of the fig tree.  They now lost the peace they had with God.  Not only did they not want to see God, but they hid from Him hoping He would not know.

Satan does the same thing with us today.  We see many of the rules placed upon us by the Word of God as not really meaning what we had always understood.  Satan tempts us by saying, “God really did not mean these things were wrong.  Besides, they are enjoyable and will benefit you as well.” And because we see these things as pleasing to our flesh, we have to make a decision.  Do we obey God, or do we assume we do not truly understand and, like Eve, partake in the sin.  The world does this all the time.  However, many Christians are also tricked into partaking because they also fall prey to the ‘I know more than God’ syndrome.  We may not think specifically we do, but that is the result of pondering the words spoken by the serpent just as Eve did.  And I hate to say we all do this occasionally, with no exception for myself.

It is important that we not listen to the words of the enemy.  We must become so familiar with God’s Word that we do not fall for the serpent’s cunning ways.  We must understand what is acceptable and what is not and stand firm when tempted to go against what God has said.  The enemy tempts us with our self-indulgent sinful desires. We need to understand this and tell him, as Jesus did, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan.’  We must use scripture and our desire to please God to defeat the serpent just as Jesus did in His moment of temptation.  This must be our goal.  We may fail at times, but these times must become less frequent.  And when we do, we need to do as John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. We must remember the words of Solomon when he said, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12. For just as Eve listened to the serpent and did what she chose which led to death, so will our choosing to do what we want that is contrary to God’s will.

Study God’s Word and know what it says and choose at all times to follow it.  It will help in your battle against the temptations of the enemy.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Mark 7:25.

Verse of the Day Devotion.  Mark 7:25

“But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, immediately came, and fell at His feet.” Mark 7:25.  

Jesus now goes to the region of Tyre and Sidon. These were ancient cities of Phoenicia which are mentioned several times in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus mentions Tyre and Sidon in Luke 10 in the context of judgments He was pronouncing against the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida. We read in Luke the following, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment, than for you.” Luke 10:13-14. They were considered some of the most sinful cities, however, it was said of both Bethsaida and Chorazin that it would be better for Tyre and Sidon, both cities known for their idolatrous ways, in the last days then for Bethsaida and Chorazin.

We read in Mark the following, “And from there He arose and went away to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.” Mark 7:24. There is no indication as to why Jesus did not want others to know He was there, but I believe He was so well known they could not keep this hidden. However, see what comes up next. “But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.” Mark 7:25-26. She heard that He was there, and undoubtedly knew about the great works He had done. Therefore she went to Him with the purpose of Jesus helping her daughter be freed from the demon. Now she was a Syrophoenician. She was not a Jew but was someone from the borders near Tyre and Sidon. According to Matthew, she was a Canaanite. And when she arrived, she fell at His feet, prostrate before Him, asking for help for her daughter. Prostration was an indication of both grief and reverence. And she did not stop asking Him, for she so wanted her daughter to be delivered.

Then in the next verse, we see His response to her. “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Mark 7:27. In the Greek the word for dog can refer to a ‘puppy’ or ‘dog’. Jews often used the word dogs to refer to Gentiles. Even though it seems out of character for him to have done so, Jesus almost certainly used it in the same way. The obvious meaning is that Jews took precedence over Gentiles during the ministry of Jesus. Even Paul later adhered to a similar principle. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16. But now notice her response, which shows the faith she had in Jesus. “But she answered and said to Him, Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” Mark 7:28. The woman did not deny the precedence of Israel over the gentiles but commented that this did not exclude the Gentiles, for the leftovers were theirs. And she referred to Jesus as Lord. This would not have been as significant if a Jew had called Him Lord, but this was a gentile who used this eminent title for Him.

Jesus was astounded by her answer to His comment. “And He said to her, because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter. And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having departed.” Mark 7:29-30. Jesus commended the woman for her humility and, I believe, her faith. Although her faith is not explicitly mentioned, I am certain she trusted in Jesus that He could and would deliver her daughter. We need to see the power of coming in faith and humility to God as we are and letting Him make true His promises to those weak and unclean. If the woman had responded, who are you calling a dog, she would not have been humble toward Him and may not have received healing for her daughter. Her humble, faith-filled submission to Jesus brought the victory. This should be our attitude when coming to God. We must not order Him or come across as someone who deserves all we ask for. We must come to Him as someone who trusts God that He knows what is best and will bring what is best, according to His will, to fruition. God loves us. The question is do we love and trust Him enough to let Him decide what is best?

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

Genesis 3:15

Verse of the Day Devotion Genesis 3:15 

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” –  Genesis 3:15

Up to Christmas day, I will be looking at the different prophesies to foresee the coming of the promised Messiah, Jesus the Christ.  He came here in order to offer the means of salvation for all.  An important idea to remember is that God knows everything and forgets nothing.  “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,” Isaiah 46:9-10.

Our focus verse today regards the fall of man.  In Chapters 1 and 2, God’s work of creation is recorded, of which it says, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31. Chapter two is a more detailed account of man’s creation which is included in the declaration of ‘and behold, it was very good’.

Now, in chapter three we see that story of man’s fall.  “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. But the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:2-5.  The serpent here is very cunning and is able to deceive Eve, and eventually Adam, by stating God was keeping information from them.  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.”  Genesis 3:6. And at this point, mankind sinned by dis-obeying God.

However, God knew this would happen and already had a means to address this issue.  And we see this in our focus verse.  “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. Here begins the judgement. 

Sentence is pronounced upon the serpent in the presence, no doubt, of Adam and Eve. The serpent is not examined, first, because it is a dumb unreasoning animal in itself, and therefore incapable of judicial examination, and it was the serpent only that was palpable to the senses of our first parents in the temptation; and, secondly, because the true tempter was not a new, but an old offender.  Yes, the serpent itself was punished. “The LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:14. But then God moves on to pass sentence on Satan as well in our focus verse. Again, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

The idea of ‘seed’ refers to descendants or offspring.  This hostility is not just between the snake and the woman in the garden but applies to all demons/evil offspring and the specific future offspring from a woman.  Notice there is no reference to a man here, therefore this no doubt refers to a woman who has a child apart from a man, which could only be Jesus, the Messiah.  No doubt this is a prophecy of Jesus’ ultimate defeat of Satan. God announced that Satan would wound the Messiah “you shall bruise His heel”, but the Messiah would crush Satan with a mortal wound “He shall bruise your head”.  

It is the birth of the one, the only one, who could address our sins.  Jesus would live a perfect and sinless life so that He “could” pay the penalty for our sins.  The only one who can pay for another’s sins is one who has no sins to pay for.  Remember what Paul wrote to the Church in Rome.  “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” Romans 3:21-25.  This is the reason for Christmas; for the Son of God to be born to a woman, be sinless, and then die for our sins.  And this is why we should be excited for Christmas, not necessarily for the gifts under the tree, but for the gift of God, Jesus, who would make it possible us to also become Children of the Father.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.

Matthew 13:33

Verse of the Day Devotion Matthew 13:33 

“He spoke another parable to them, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened.” – Matthew 13:33

Today we will look at the Parable of the Leaven.   It is one verse long, which we have as our focus verse, therefore we will not put it here again. He repeats the formula of verses 24 and 31 where He says, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like”. This time He gives us a picture of a woman at work preparing food. Bread was commonly made at home and was not purchased from a store or bakery, and therefore Jesus uses this idea, describing a woman working at home to perform this task.

This parable of Jesus is similar to the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and in fact comes right after it.  There are some who look at leaven as always describing evil or sin, however, to use the phrase “The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven” discards this idea.  In this parable it refers to the unperceived power and efficacy of the gospel, pervading, transforming, and renewing the mind, heart, and life of people. In fact, Moses refers to it as used in sacramental bread. “‘With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.” Leviticus 7:13. That in some contexts it may be used as a symbol for evil forces does not mean that in others it cannot stand for what is good.

Jesus speaks of the woman as putting her piece of leaven into three measures of flour until the whole was leavened. The leaven was but a small amount, but in time it changed the large quantity of flour by causing it to rise; just as the mustard seed, which is smaller than all other seeds, “when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.” Matthew 13:32b.  This parable, as does the parable of the mustard seed, brings out the contrast and the continuity between the small beginnings of the kingdom and its great consummation. The little group of disciples might be despised as preaching a kingdom too insignificant to be noticed, but as surely as a tiny piece of leaven had its effect on a large mass of dough, so surely would the kingdom have its effect throughout the world. The parable also makes the point that the power that effects the change comes from outside the dough; the mass of dough does not change itself.

What we can take from this parable is that the effect of God’s Kingdom will be complete, just as the leaven works until the dough has completely risen. The nature of leaven is to grow and to change whatever it contacts. When we accept Christ, We grow in the grace of God and our heart is changed from the inside out. As the gospel transforms lives, it exerts a pervasive influence in the world at large. As we reflect the Lord’s glory, we are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Acts 16:14

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Acts 16:14 

“A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” – Acts 16:14

Many people who read this verse simply see a woman of Thyatira who was a seller of purple.  As a side item, purple was the most valuable color, which was obtained from shellfish.  It was chiefly worn by princes and the rich, and the traffic in it would be very profitable.  So based on this, we can assume she was well off regarding her financial situation.  Yes, Lydia is the focus of this verse, but not her profession or her income.  The most important idea in this story is her religious fervor.

As we read further in our focus verse we see she was a worshipper of God.  It is probable that she was a proselyte to the Jewish religion.  She worshipped the true God, the God of Israel and not the many gods of the gentiles.  She was listening to what Paul was saying about Christ, “and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” Acts 16:14b.  She was so desirous of knowing the truth, God opened her heart to understand and ultimately respond to the truth of the gospel.  Then in the next verse we read, “And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.” Acts 16:15. Her and her household were saved and baptized.  Paul himself believed she was being faithful to God and accepted her invitation to stay with them. 

Now, Paul did not go directly to her and preach the gospel.  She was simply one of several who had gathered together where Paul and several others had gone to a place to pray.  “And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled.” Acts 16:13.  However, in his speaking to the women there, God used Paul to help Lydia understand the truth of the gospel. 

Now I have a similar story regarding a young man who had left the church and his home, thus turning away from God.  I was at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant around 2:00 AM buying breakfast and speaking with a man who was hitchhiking and I had picked up to take him home.  As we were eating, I was presenting the gospel to him, and when I mentioned the church I attended, The Rock Church in Homestead FL, a young man came over to me and asked me if I was a member.  I told him I was and he told me he had gone to the Rock Church in Virginia Beach, VA but when his family moved here, he went to church for a time but then had a falling out with his dad and he left the church and moved in with a drug user and began using them himself.  He then asked me to take him home, so we all left, dropped off the other man who was not interested in hearing about God, and then this young man and I walked along the beach behind his apartment for a couple of hours discussing his situation.  To make a long story short, his dad had nothing to do with him after He left and the only friends he had left were those who took drugs with him.  I convinced him to call his dad and ask him if he could move back home.  I told him he had to move out of there and give up all drugs and go back to church.  After we prayed for a while, I left and he assured me he would follow through. 

I had no contact information and thus lost contact with him.  One evening, about a year after meeting with him, God placed him on my heart and I asked God to show me that he had done as was promised.  Well, that weekend the Christian band I worked with as the sound and lights person was performing in a park in North Miami.  When we were setting up, a young man ran up to me, and it turned out to be the person I met at Howard Johnson’s and spoke to about going back home.  He said he did what he promised.  He made amends with his father and started going back to church, leaving the drug life behind.  He was attending a church in the area with a leader who used to attend the Rock Church but was now a leader in the church the young man was currently going to.  I was so thankful and praised God that this young man came back to God.

It is important that we take every opportunity to be a light in dark places, showing the truth of the gospel to as many as possible.  And as with Lydia and Paul, and this young man and myself, you never know how God will use these opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others through us.  So even though you are speaking with one or several people, be open to who God is speaking to through you, and ensure you are open to helping them to develop a strong and joyous relationship with Christ.  There is no greater joy you will ever experience in this life.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Genesis 3:13

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Genesis 3:13

“Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me, and I ate.” – Genesis 3:13

So, one thing about Christmas we need to understand is why did Jesus come in the first place?  What was the impetus that got Him to leave heaven and come to earth?  The basic answer is that man listened to Satan rather than God.  And the reason this happened was because Satan is a great deceiver.  And because they fell for his lies, this sin was passed on to all people, hence the need for a Savior.

Let us start by looking at the initial deception.  “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” Genesis 3:1-3.  Eve here is answering Satan’s question with the truth.  He did limit which fruit they could eat.  “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17.  Eve told Satan the truth.  They were free to eat of any tree in the garden but one.  And if they were to eat of that tree, they would die. They may not die immediately, but they would eventually die, for their unending life would ultimately end. 

Now, in the next couple of verses, we see the incredible deception Satan told her.  “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5.  Here are the several frauds Satan pushed on Eve, and eventually Adam.  First, he told them they would not die.  The truth is, they may not die immediately, but their unending life will end at some point.  And the second fraud was they would be as God, knowing good and evil.  What he was saying was not that they would necessarily understand what was good or evil in itself, but what is good or evil for them, humans.  The main deception is not that they would understand what was inherently good and evil, but they would be like God, deciding what is good or evil to them based on what is helpful or harmful.  The theologian C. Westermann puts it this way.  “In Hebrew good and evil always have the primary meanings of helpful and harmful … there is no intention of opposing actions because of their moral difference, but rather of bringing things together by virtue of their polarities according to which they are helpful or harmful to people.”  By this, the serpent was saying that they could essentially decide what was good or evil based on what was helpful or harmful for them.

And they fell for this lie from Satan.  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6.  And because of this, God sent His Son into the world in order make a way for mankind to be saved. 

The prophecy of Christ coming into the world is found in a later verse.  “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15.  First the seed of Eve, and ultimately the seed of Abraham, is Christ.  “Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, And to seeds, as referring to many, but rather to one, And to your seed, that is, Christ.” Galatians 3:16.  Next, the seed of the serpent are those who follow after him.  Jesus alludes to this by calling the Jewish leaders of His day children of Satan.  “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44.  This is not specifically saying they are Satan’s seed referred to in Genesis 3, however, it makes sense in their context.  So, based on this, Genesis 3:15 is saying that Jesus will come and defeat Satan and his works.  “Little children make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” 1 John 3:8. 

This was the only way that man could be redeemed for man carried on the sin that initially caused Adam and Eve to fall, and ultimately all of mankind.  “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:2-3.  And this is because Satan is spreading his lies and deception throughout the world.  But God made a way for us to be reconciled with Him, and that is through Jesus.  “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13. 

This was the reason Christ came here, to pay the penalty for our sins and to give us the means to be God’s children.  Without Him coming here, we would be eternally lost and separated from God.  But because He loved us beyond understanding, He sent His Son.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17.  This is why He came, and why we celebrate Christmas, for by it came the means of salvation of mankind to all who believe.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Job 2:10

Verse of the Day Devotion: Job 2:10 

“But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.” – Job 2:10

Job was a man of great wealth.  “His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east.” Job 1:3.  He also had seven sons and three daughters, as well as his wife.  They were very, very prosperous.

However, after a time, Satan speaks to God and tells Him success is the reason for his devotion.  “Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” Job 1:9-11.  So God tells him to do what he wants with what he has, but do not touch him.  When you read on, you will see that all his possessions were lost, all his servants and animals.  He also lost his house which collapsed because of a wind storm which killed his children.  And what was Job’s response?  “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” Job 1:20-22.  Notice that it was said of him he did not sin or blame God.

Satan goes to God again and tells God “Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. “However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” Job 2:4-5. Satan came back and said, well man will give everything for his own life, however, seriously affect his own body and health, and he will curse you.  So God says, So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.” Job 2:6  So what was Satan’s response?  “Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And Job took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.” Job 2:7-8.  These were extremely painful, and it became worse as he scraped on them with a broken piece of pottery.  He did this either to bring some relief or to cut himself as a sign of mourning. “Since you are the people of the Lord your God, never cut yourselves or shave the hair above your foreheads in mourning for the dead.” Deuteronomy 14:1. 

Job’s wife responds with a sarcastic rhetorical question.  In essence she says, “After all that has happened are you still faithful?” or put another way, “In spite of all the suffering, are you still loyal to God?”  However, Job entirely rejects her advice.  In our focus verse, we read Job’s response in the form of a question.  “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?”. 

This is a hard question to answer.  We love getting good things from God.  When God blesses us with a sum of money, we willingly give thanks to Him.  But when adversity comes, such as losing a job, we choose not to give Him thanks.  Back in March of 2018, I was laid off from my job in order for them to cut their costs.  It was definitely sooner than I was ready for.  And what made it worse was not finding another job.  However, it is amazing how God has worked in my life.  I am now doing what I always wanted to do,  working in ministry through True Devotion Ministries. 

When good things come your way, consider it a blessing and give thanks to God.  And when adversity comes, consider it also a blessing and give God all the thanks, and look forward to the blessings God will provide on account of this adversity.  Remember, God does not allow hard times to come unless He has a good reason, and we must always trust God that He knows what He is doing.  All things that God has us experience is for our good.  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.  So, instead of focusing on what is happening, we should focus on what God has in store for us in the future.

And spoiler alert.  “The Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the Lord increased all that Job had twofold. … The Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had 14,000 sheep and 6,000 camels and 1,000 yoke of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys.  He had seven sons and three daughters.” Job 42:10, 12-13.  And to close out, “After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations. After this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons and his grandsons, four generations.”  Job 42:16

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.