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Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
The Tree of Life from the week ending 08/16/09
In our study of ROM 9:19 we have, You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”We have now come to the second debater’s qestion: “For who For who resists His will?”
In the original language it begins with the inferential use of the postpositive conjunctive particle “gar” translated “for,” used here in order to bring out the inferential concept. This is an inference from the previous debater’s question, “Why does He still find fault?” With this is we have the dative singular indirect object from the Greek noun “boulema,” which refers to will, a plan or project or purpose, a goal or intention. His purpose or intention includes the concept of His mercy or severity, which we have seen is given in verse 18.
Paul anticipates from these two debater’s questions the blasphemous attitude of the racial Jew as well as the nerve of any member of the human race to even question God. Many people, even believers have asked if God hardened Pharaoh’s heart how can God then blame Pharaoh or condemn Pharaoh for what he has done? In fact, when Job was going through his personal suffering, we read in Job 8 about a debate he had with his friend Bildad. We have a so-called friend contributing to Job's personal suffering which is also a part of Job’s testing. From his self-righteous arrogance, Bildad implies that Job is getting what he deserves.
In JOB 8:1 we read, Then Bildad the Shuhite answered, Bildad's name means the confused mixed up lover. Many believers are just like this, they really don't know how to operate in love. The Biblical subject of love begins with learning how to love. Biblical love is not an emotion or a feeling; it is a system of thinking. Whether it's personal or impersonal love, concentration and doctrinal love is needed, therefore true Biblical love is something that needs to be taught (1JO 4:16; ROM 5:5; PHI 1:9; 1TH 1:9).
JOB 8:2, “How long will you say these things, And the words of your mouth be a mighty wind [or a lot of air].” Bildad starts out judging Job and stating some true facts but they do not apply. Verse 3, “Does God pervert justice or does the Almighty pervert what is right?” Of course the answer to that is No. However, like most religious self-righteous individuals, Bildad assumes that any suffering is because of divine discipline, which is an erroneous assumption.
Then he not only judges Job, but he judges his entire family, this is the blindness of arrogance. Verse 4, “If [or in reality when] your sons sinned against Him, then He delivered them into the power of their transgression.” In his terrible legalism, he implies that Job's children all suffered and that they died the sin unto death. So now Job's self-righteous and legalistic friend is going to give an altar call.
Verses 5-6, “If you would seek God and implore the compassion of the Almighty, If you are pure and upright, surely now He would rouse Himself for you and restore your righteous estate.”
In other words, just plead your case before God and beg God to stop. Confess your sins to Him. Bildad is getting his opinions from false doctrine, which is the doctrine of demons.
Verse 7, “Though your beginning [of this event] was insignificant, yet your end will increase greatly.” Little does Bildad know that Job's beginning was not insignificant at all. In reality, Job is being given the opportunity to glorify God in the historical trial of the angelic conflict. Bildad is implying that everything will be restored if Job just gets right with God. Then Bildad makes an appeal to for Job to learn from former generations.
Verses 8-9, “Please inquire of past generations, and consider the things searched out by their fathers. For we are only of yesterday and know nothing, Because our days on earth are as a shadow.” Sounds so humble doesn't it? Pseudo-humility always accompanies the self righteous believer.
Verses 10-11, “Will they not teach you and tell you, and bring forth words from their understanding?Can the papyrus grow up without marsh or water from the swamp? Can the rushes grow without water?” These are all agricultural descriptions of natural and biblical principles that simply do not apply to Job’s current situation.
Verses 12-13, “While it is still green and not cut down, Yet it withers before any other plant. So are the paths of all who forget God, and the hope of the godless will perish.” Notice he assumes that Job has forgotten God. Here again we see the self-righteousness of the religious crowd. The legalist is always judging the mature believer (see GAL 4:29).
Job is a believer who is far more advanced in the spiritual life than Bildad, but Bildad calls him godless or carnal. Verses 14-15, “Whose confidence is fragile, And whose trust a spider's web. He trusts in his house, but it does not stand; He holds fast to it, but it does not endure.” He is saying that Job was leaning on a spider's web which literally refers to Job's home. Bildad is accusing Job of materialistic lust, and apparently Bildad's jealousy of Job's prosperity is being brought out. This illustrates that you can have a lot of doctrine and still be a mixed up believer. Bildad is saying that the wicked put their trust in their home, or in the things that they have built. That is a true statement, but it does not apply to Job.
Verse 16, “He thrives before the sun, and his shoots spread out over his garden.” Bildad says Job, you looked like a plant, well watered in the garden with a lot of beauty and prosperity, but now we are seeing you for what you really are. Oh how people rejoice in other people's failures. However, Impersonal unconditional love (1CO 13:6) does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; Lest the Lord see {it} and be displeased, And He turn away His anger from him,” (PRO 24:17-18).
Verse 8:19, “Behold, this is the joy of His way; And out of the dust others will spring.” Bildad is saying that this is the inevitable result of someone who trusts in his riches, as if Job did. What a great friend to have at a time like this? However, our attitude should be to answer and understand questions like ROM 9:19, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” We should not be occupied with the opinions of others. However, remember the principle, in time of disaster you discover who your real friends are. It is very difficult for a mature believer like Job to have real good friends. You have to find individuals who have their priorities straight and will not be competing and comparing.
“I am a companion of all those who fear or reverence Thee, And of those who keep Thy precepts.” (PSA 119:63)
“A man of {many} friends {comes} to ruin,” (PRO 18:24)
The Bible does warn us to be very careful in the selection of friends. Friendships are the types of relationships which can sneak up on you and take advantage of you. That's why David tells us to be careful of the familiar friend who you think that you can trust and then you find out you shouldn't have (PSA 41:9). Remember that you know you have a true friend when he or she knows a lot about you and still likes you. However, if that person is an opportunist, one who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve a personal goal, you will be shocked at how fast they will take advantage of you. That's why the word of God warns us about the friend who will take advantage of you and deceive you for personal gain as Jonadab did to Amnon in 2SA 13:3. Amnon listened to the advice from Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was exceptionally streetwise. When Amnon told Jonadab that he was in love with his half-sister Tamar, Jonadab gave him some terrible advice.
Jonadab said, "Here's what you do, Go to bed and pretend you're sick. When your father comes to visit you, say, 'Have my sister Tamar come and prepare some supper for me here where I can watch her and she can feed me.'"(2SA 13:5)
David sent word to Tamar who was home at the time: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal for him.” (2SA 13:7)
When she took the cooking pot and served him, he wouldn't eat. Amnon said, “Clear everyone out of the house,” and they all cleared out. Then he said to Tamar, “Bring the food into my bedroom, where we can eat in privacy.” She took the nourishing dumplings she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she got ready to feed him, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, sister!” “No, brother!” she said, “Don't hurt me! This kind of thing isn't done in Israel! Don't do this terrible thing! Where could I ever show my face? And you, you'll be out on the street in disgrace. Oh, please! Speak to the king, he'll let you marry me.” But he wouldn't listen. Being much stronger than she, he raped her. No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her, an immense hatred. The hatred that he felt for her was greater than the love he'd had for her. “Get up,” he said, “and get out!”(2SA 13:9-15)
Then in 2SA 13:28-29, Absalom commanded his servants to kill his half-brother Amnon, and they did. So, the word of God warns us about the friend who will take advantage of you and deceive you for personal gain as Jonadab did to Amnon in 2SA 13:3.
Be careful for those who become your friend because of what they can get from you )PRO 19:6). Remember this principle: Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. Then, we all need to learn about those so-called friends who flatter you with their speech as the friend in PRO 27:14. We all better learn that principle to be able to objectively answer ROM 9:19, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” Or we will subjectively be occupied with people and forget such passages like2CO 5:16 Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
There are also friends who will forsake you and flee from you when you need them the most as in MAR 14:50, And they all [all of our Lord's disciples] left Him and fled. This is very difficult at times because sometimes the unkindness of our friends is a greater trial to us then the hatred of our enemies (Psa 55”12-14). Don't you ever be surprised at someone who is close to someone in authority and uses their own position of authority and power to turn on the one in charge. Don't you ever be so naive to say “Well, they were close to the one in authority so they must be justified in what they're doing!” There are many illustrations of this:
- Lucifer was the Messiah's personal angel in authority.
- Joseph's brothers sold Joseph into slavery.
- Korah, the cousin of Moses attacked Moses.
- Prince Absalom attacked King David, Judas was very close to TLJC.
Jeremiah was the victim of a conspiracy from his friends and notice what he tells us in JER 20:10, For I have heard the whispering of many, “Terror on every side! Denounce {him;} yes, let us denounce him!” All my trusted friends, Watching for my fall, say: “Perhaps he will be deceived, so that we may prevail against him And take our revenge on him.” If there is anything that is priceless and rare to have in life, it is true friends.
When you have a true friendship, remember that friends are not designed to be deceived. Anyone to whom you must give a false impression can never be a true friend. That's why the Bible teaches that all forms of hypocrisy destroy friendship. In fact, some people never have true friends because they are arrogant and proud of their hypocrisy and their ability to deceive others.
There is a verse in the Apocrypha in the book of Wisdom which says “A friend cannot be known in prosperity: and an enemy cannot be hidden in adversity.” When you go through adversity, you will discover who your enemies really were. However, instead of wondering who your enemies are or “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” Keep your mind upon TLJC and being occupied with the plan of God, 1PE 1:8.
Capacity to love someone who is invisible requires a tremendous amount of information in the right lobe of the soul. The capacity to love Jesus Christ comes only from metabolized doctrine converted into problem solving devices stationed on the FLOT line of your soul. Those who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ have made a role model out of our Lord. These are the believers with true happiness, and who are spiritually self-sustaining. Having the thinking of Christ results in occupation with Christ in contrast to preoccupation with people.
There are two divine commands with regard to occupation with Christ. HEB 12:2, Be concentrating on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of the exhibited happiness, He endured the Cross and disregarded [use of the problem solving devices] the shame [imputation of our sins], and He sat down at the right hand of God.
The second one is 1PE 3:15 But sanctify [set apart as more important than anything else] the Lord Christ in your hearts.
God makes a direct positive demand on your will and volition to be occupied with Christ, which is a mandate to be consistent in the metabolization of doctrine (PHI 2:2,5; 2CO 5:14, 2CO 5:15).
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