Gospel News · January - April 2019

ot only knowledge, but also every
other gift, which we call the gifts of
fortune, have power to puff up earth: af-
flictions only level these mole-hills of
pride, plough the heart, and make it fit
for wisdom to sow her seed, and for grace
to bring forth her increase. Happy is that
man, therefore, both in regard of heav-
enly and earthly wisdom, that is thus
wounded to be cured, thus broken to be
made straight; thus made acquainted
with his own imperfections, that he may
be perfected.
| Francis Bacon
with what the person really is saying and their
actual location in reality.
Making men offenders for a word
Job did say wrong things; but he makes won-
derful statements of faith too. In 19:25-
29, Job declares his ecstatic joy at the
prospect of his personal, future salvation, but
Zophar is so proud and angry that all he can
do is lash out at Job straight afterwards (20:1),
totally ignoring Job’s faith, hope and ap-
peal. God’s final judgment is that Job has spo-
ken what was right about Him. We are
stunned. For Job has shaken his fist at God at
times. God overlooked all that, and looked to
the essence. We need to do likewise, not pay-
ing attention to every word spoken, recogniz-
ing humanity in both ourselves and others.
Which is how the story ends.
How it ended
At the end, God did engage with the words and
arguments of Job and the friends; and Job’s
response to Him constantly quotes God’s
words. This is what restoration is about -
engagement, fellowship, and seeing each
others’ face with joy, praying for and enabling
each others’ salvation, as Job did for his
friends. This is the final “end of the Lord” in
the story of Job, and of our lives; but we can
live the spirit of it now.
| Duncan Heaster
Blessed is the man whom Thou
chasteneth, O Lord
“But he that does the will
of my Father...”
| Bro Neil Todd (New Zealand)
here are no more important words in this
world than those spoken by Jesus Himself.
They have the authority of God and the power
of truth. We could look hard at ourselves in
the light of this one challenging statement.
In full it reads, “Not everyone who says to Me,
‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of God.
But he who does the will of My Father in
heaven.” (Matt 7:21-22). The prospect of a
heavenly selection process, excluding some is
not popular!
It was written before of the Christ, “Lo (see,
behold) I come to do Thy will, O God.” (Psalm
40:7/Hebrews 10:7).
This is the singular mindset of our Lord. The
record of Jesus’ life (the little we have of it)
is of His 100% attention to this goal. It could
be suggested that His motivation was one of
‘a slave-like obedience’ - true as He was ‘the
servant’ spoken of in Isaiah’s prophecy. How-
ever, this NOT the case! Christ was pleased to
reach out, to rejoice and to smile as He went
about doing good!
Psalm 40:8 goes on to add (or predict) that it
would be a much greater, more superior mo-
tive that would drive Messiah.
“I delight to do Thy will, O God.” It is the dif-
ference between ‘I MUST do’ or ‘I WANT to’ the
heart’s desire. Jesus set the highest of motives
for our own Christian service... twin ideals of
desire and urgency. Can we make the upgrade
from merely, ‘doing’ to one of ‘truly delighting’
in our daily service to the Lord, our Lord?
Sadly organised religion has a habit of reducing
Divine directives to strict ritual - not “the Way
of the Lord”!
If this sort of compliance attitude is what our
Heavenly Father ‘expects/desires’ then He
would not have made His Word so clear to the
prophet (Micah 6:6-8). “Do I want thousands
~ continued ...