Friday, January 23, 2015

Advice from Zophar the Naamathite

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

I have been reading through Job again in my morning devotions. It’s gut wrenching to read about a righteous man going through such calamity. During his time of trouble, “friends” visited him to offer “comfort,” often in the form of advice. But since much of their counsel was about his supposed sinfulness [most of us don’t look at Job that way because God declared him a blameless and upright man 1:8], I have overlooked their exhortations. However, my attention was drawn this morning to something Zophar the Naamathite said:

Job 11:13-19

13  “If only you would surrender your heart 
and lift up your hands to him in prayer! 
14  Get rid of your sins, 
and leave all iniquity behind you. 
15  Then your face will brighten with innocence. 
You will be strong and free of fear. 
16  You will forget your misery; 
it will be like water flowing away. 
17  Your life will be brighter than the noonday. 
Even darkness will be as bright as morning. 
18  Having hope will give you courage. 
You will be protected and will rest in safety. 
19  You will lie down unafraid, 
and many will look to you for help. 

Even if that didn’t apply to Job, it is really good counsel for you and me. Within those seven verses, Zophar said there are things we can expect, if we do certain things. What should we do?

1. Surrender our hearts to God
2. Earnestly pray
3. Confess and forsake our sins

What can we expect?

1. You won’t be ashamed
2. You will be strong
3. Your fear will subside
4. Your misery will be like water under a bridge
5. Your darkness will be made light
6. You will have hope
7. You will be courageous
8. You will rest because you are protected

I’m not a Naamathite, but let me offer some advice. Write this verse on a card and put it in a place where you will see it throughout your week. Or, put is as a note on the desktop of your electronic devices. Let is serve as a reminder to surrender you heart to God, turn to Him in prayer, and confess and forsake your sins. If you do, you can expect the love of God to fill your heart, casting out anxiety and fear!

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. 1 John 4:18a

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