Florin Ianovici – Atac la Iubire – Video de la Conferinţa Tinerilor Kapfenberg, Austria 9 Martie 2013

Voi mai adauga predicile precum se afiseaza pe internet. Deocamdata avem prima parte de Duminica dimineata, cu multumiri fata de persoana care le-a postat – Marincean Melchior.

Deschiderea conferintei (vezi predica sub anunt)

El e Iehova (Cant Aleluia)

conf_tineret_regionala_Ianovici Austria Atac la iubire

ATAC la IUBIRE

Duminica dimineata 10 Martie 2013 (15 min)

Sa stiti ca in zilele din urma vor fi vremuri grele

2 Timotei 3 – Sa intelegem de ce suntem atacati la iubire. Biblia spune ca „in zilele din urma vor fi vremuri grele”. Un lucru rau in vremurile noastre e ca biserica nu se informeaza. Asteptam ca predicatorul sa ne aduca informatii. Sa stiti, iubitii Domnului, ca Biblia spune ca avem o responsabilitate sa ne informam si sa avem ochii deschisi asupra lucrurilor in jurul nostru. Cand Biblia spune: „Sa stiti”, este un avertizment. Noi nu suntem in necunaostere despre planurile diavolului. Realistic e ca cei mai multi suntem in necunostinta. De ce, de multe ori suntem in necunostinta despre ce Dumnezeu a pregatit pentru noi? Pentru ca nu citim Biblia. Nu va fi nici un crestin puternic care sa nu cunoasca Biblia. Cuvantul Domnului este viata. Cu fiecare cuvant citit, tu nu mai esti acelasi. Cu fiecare cuvant citit tu te schimbi. Cu fiecare cuvant te analizezi. Nu se  poate sa stai in fata televizorului si sa  te faci mai bun. Dar, ori de cate ori citesti din cuvantul lui Dumnezeu, Dumnezeu te croieste din alt material. Dumnezeu te ajusteaza, te face sa imbraci dumnezeirea Lui. De odata simti ca valorile tale se schimba.

2 Timotei 3:1-5 Să ştii că în zilele din urmă vor fi vremuri grele. Căci oamenii vor fi iubitori de sine, iubitori de bani, lăudăroşi, trufaşi, hulitori, neascultători de părinţi, nemulţămitori, fără evlavie, fără dragoste firească, neînduplecaţi, clevetitori, neînfrînaţi, neîmblînziţi, neiubitori de bine, vînzători, obraznici, îngîmfaţi; iubitori mai mult de plăceri decît iubitori de Dumnezeu; avînd doar o formă de evlavie dar tăgăduindu -i puterea. Depărtează-te de oamenii aceştia.

Nu vremurile sunt de vina. Biblia spune: Vremurile sut grele pentru caci oamenii le fac grele. Oamenii fac vremurile, oamenii fac zilele. In fiecare capitol din 2 Timotei veti gasi o pereche. A-ti auzit de perechea nesfanta. Sunt 3 perechi nesfinte. Primul il gasiti in 2 Timotei 1:15 – Ştii că cei ce sînt în Asia toţi m’au părăsit; între alţii şi Figel şi Ermogen. In fiecare capitol veti gasi aceasta drama. Stiti de ce? Pentru ca Satana intotdeauna are 3 forme cu care el ataca:

  1. Confruntarea. Acesta este primul atac care il da Satana, al confruntarii fata in fata. Tradarea are ceva ciudat in ea. Stiti care este problema tradarii? Totdeauna, ranile provocate de tradare sunt cele mai adanci, pentru ca atunci cand este vorba de dusmani, stai in alerta. Te ti la distanta si te protejezi. Problema cu tradarea este ca omul care te tradeaza, nu te poate trada decat daca si-a facut un loc in inima ta. Nu putem vorbi de tradare, daca nu i-ai fi acordat unui om un loc in inima ta. Atunci nu ar mai fi tradare. 

Predica FLORIN  IANOVICI

VEZI PAGINA Florin Ianovici PREDICI aici

Predicile cele mai recente:

Cantari de la Conferinta de tineri din 

Neudau – Gleisdorf – Klagenfurt – Graz

Marincean Melchior

Far Away Siberian wilderness – Documentary (subtitrat) – Siberia, cele mai îndepărtate colţuri

Sunset in Kuznetsk Alatau, South Siberia. Deut...

Sunset in Kuznetsk Alatau, South Siberia.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

See 5 National Geographic full length movie/documentaries about Siberia and Wild Russia here – http://www.youtube.com/user/japtca/videos?query=russia+siberia

Siberia, Kamceatka,10 000 de kilometri,cea mai mare ţară de pe pământ. Infinitele stepe, munţii Caucaz, Uralii, nenumăratele vulcane, multe încă active și ierni teribile unde temperatura poate ajunge până la -40 de grade, sunt minunat descrise în acest film documentar.
În ciuda braconajului și a capcanelor puse strategic,sunt încă multe vieţuitoare in această zonă. O lume neiertătoare a zăpezii si gheţurilor.
Un zbor deasupra Siberiei, până în cele mai îndepărtate colţuri ne dezvăluie mirificul vieţii. Întâlnim cele mai mari feline, mamifere, veşnic în căutarea hranei, unele erbivore precum zimbrul, păsări de pradă, reptile, până și ciudata cârtiţă de apă.

http://www.biztravelromania.eu Uploaded by BizTravel Romania

Vezi 5 filme documentare de la National Geographic cu Siberia si Rusia Salbatica aici – http://www.youtube.com/user/japtca/videos?query=russia+siberia

Jason Crabb – Please forgive me, I need your grace

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

My sleep is gone, my heart is full of sorrow
I can’t believe how much I’ve let you down
I dread the pain that waits for me tomorrow
When the sun reveals my broken dreams scattered on the ground

Chorus:
Please forgive me
I need your grace to make it through
All I have is you, I’m at your mercy
Lord, i’ll serve you
Until my dying day
Help others find the way
At your mercy, please forgive me

I can’t believe the god of earth and glory
Would take the time to care for one like me
But I read in the Bible that old story
How he plead for my forgiveness while he was dying on a tree

Repeat chorus 2x

Lyrics from: http://artists.letssingit.com/crabb-family-lyrics Video from  gospelhour

Please Forgive Me – The Crabb Family

Live at Brooklyn Tabernacle

Photo – I will live to enjoy the light

A key passageway to lower and central Appalachia, the natural junction was a site well-known to Native Americans throughout the centuries. Upon physician and explorer Dr. Thomas Walker’s praise, the pass was expanded by a team of loggers led by none other than Daniel Boone. Photo – all-that-is-interesting.com
sand-cave-cumberland-gap

Psalm 43:3
Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.

Psalm 36:9
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

Job 33:28
He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.

2 Samuel 22:29 
You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 97:11 
11 Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart.

(The Last Days) Don’t Get Drunk with Worldiness by Zac Poonen

Zac Poonen video messages from his visit to a Romanian church in Washington state –

  1. Sex is the biggest problem confronting teenagers – Sexul e cea mai mare problema cu care se confrunta tinerii – Zac Poonen la Biserica Penticostala Kenmore (Seattle)
  2. Zac Poonen – Promises of God – Promisiunile si Poruncile lui Dumnezeu (tradus)2012/11/14
  3. Zac Poonen – Q & A – Intrebari si Raspunsuri (1)2012/11/12
  4. Zac Poonen – Q & A – Intrebari si Raspunsuri (2)2012/11/13

photo via avbiblebaptist.org 

A lot of people are interested in escaping hell,

but, are not interested in escaping sin, while on this earth. 

Are you all about drinking, partying, shopping? Keeping up with the others? Then, that day is going to take you by complete surprise. It’ll spring on you, suddenly, like a trap. And, it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at the same time. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep spiritually. Keep alert at all times. Pray constantly. How do you do that? How can you be on alert at all times? It doesn’t mean we can’t do our job and the many responsibilities we have for our family. It’s a spiritual alertness, that’s always there, at the back of our mind, while we are doing many other things. In a computer, there are certain programs always running in the background, while the computer is working on other things. It’s checking out for viruses. Our mind is sharper than any computer. It’s really like a computer in one sense, but a million times better. And, there’s a lot of things that can go on in the background, while  we’re doing our other things, exactly like a computer. Like checking for earthly viruses that are coming in. How foolish to take care of a computer that lasts a little while, and you don’t take care of  viruses that can destroy your entire future.

Always alert- and prayer means having a dependence on God, all the time. Saying, „Lord, I don’t have the strength to overcome all these things. Lord, I don’t have the strength to overcome deception, because it’s so subtle.” Jesus said, „Deception will be so subtle, that even, perhaps, the elect could be deceived. Imagine what Jesus said in Matthew 7:22-23 about people doing miracles in Jesus’s name, and people casting out demons in Jesus’s name, and people prophesying in Jesus’s name- Many! And He’ll say to them, in the last day, „Depart from Me. I never knew you.” (Not, once upon a time, I knew you, and you backslid). But, „I never knew you.” Because you never gave up sin in your life. You read that in Matthew 7:22-23, that in the last day when you will stand before the Lord, He’s gonna say that to many people. I don’t want him to say that to me. (These 2 paragraphs were excerpted from the full message – Read in FULL below the video)

One of the mistakes that early church missionaries made in China was that they told the Christians there that Christ will come before the tribulation. And so, everybody was ready for that, and instead of Christ coming, the communists came and took over the country. And, some of those Chinese leaders said, „The reason why so many Chinese christians renounced Christ and forsook Him at that time was because they were not prepared. It’s important for us to be ready, it is much more important than the details of His second coming. (3:00) Then we can ask, „Why has God given vague details, which people can interpret in various ways?…  All types of things have gone on in the name of Christ, particularly in the last 150 years. But, you’ll never go wrong, if you listen to what the Lord says: To be ready for His coming. And, it doesn’t matter when it is.

Be on guard

LUKE 21 34 Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”

Luke 21 Straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draweth near. I take it like this: A true disciple of Jesus has got his head lifted up at all times. It’s never hanging down in defeat, and in depression, and gloom, and occupied with earthly things. Look around at animals, always having their heads down. For them it is food, sex, and sleep. When you pursue only food, sex, and sleep, I am sorry, but you reduce yourself to the level of an animal. Unfortunately, you see a lot of human beings whose heads are not lifted up; their heads are down. One of the first questions God asked a man (Cain), outside the Garden of Eden, was, „Why is your face fallen?” Cain had something wrong in his heart towards somebody else. But, Jesus said, „We must walk with our heads lifted up, because He is our glory and the lifter of our head. If your head is not lifted because of some earthly reason, ask the Lord to lift up your head. It is not only those who have no problems. It has pleased the Lord to take me through many trials, but He’s taught me to lift up my head, and not sink because of those trials, but walk on top of the water, because that is His power that can keep us. We can’t do it without Him.

Luke 21:34 „Be on guard.” He said that often in relation to the last days. Jesus said His coming will be so sudden. He said His coming would be like a thief in the night. So, we have got to be on our guard. That’s why the Bible says that, we, God’s people, are not going to find Christ coming like that of a thief. I want to show you in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 „You, yourselves know full well, that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. And while everyone in the night is saying peace and safety, destruction will come”. Suddenly, everything will fall apart. You know, we’re living in a world, and it’s coming into the cities in India too, where people have become rich and they say, „Hey, we’ve got it made now, finally. And now we can take it easy. Suddenly, everything is going to fall apart. Now, be ready for that. The Lord said that a lot of people who put their trust in currency and bank accounts, and stock markets, in real estate, and in their secure jobs- I wanna tell you: Everything’s gonna fall apart. I’m not trying to scare you; I’m just trying to get you ready for that day- to keep your head lifted up and trusting in the Lord and things will not fall apart in your life, no matter what happens around you. So, when people say, „Finally, we’ve got it made now. Suddenly, everything will fall apart. It will come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs of a woman. She knows she’s going to deliver, but the actual moment of delivery comes suddenly. Verse 4 – But, you brethren are not in darkness, that day should overtake you like a thief. So the coming of the Lord like a thief in the night is for the unbelievers. We read that the wise virgins, physically they were asleep, but their lamps (spiritually) were burning.

Spiritual drunkenness

When it says, „Be on guard,” how do I ensure my light’s going to be burning, and my head’s going to be lifted up? „Be on guard, so that your heart will not be weighted down with drunkenness.”  Now, I can understand physical drunkenness- let none of us ever get drunk- but, there is another drunkenness Jesus speaks about- of the heart. How can you tell a man is drunk? Externally, you can see that he can’t walk steadily. He can’t walk a straight line. Spiritually also, it’s something like that. You know your drunk with the world when you can’t walk straight with the world. There’s a bit of crookedness in your life. You can’t walk straight, you can’t have your eyes fixed on the things above. You are sometimes here and sometimes there. And then you know you’re drunk. (12:30)

Another characteristic of a drunken man is that he really doesn’t know what’s happening around him. You can steal his money and he won’t even know it. He’s so drunk, that he’s in another world. The real world is not real to him. If this were written today, it would be: Don’t get drugged in your heart. When a person is on drugs, and he is on a high, he is living in another world. The real world is not real to him. And, when a Christian lives in a way, where the real world (the real world, by the way, is in heaven) is not real to him; but, another world which is unreal (this earthly world) is real to him, you know he’s drunk.  I made that rule for myself: That when the things of this earth are more real to me than the things of heaven, I’m drunk. And, I never want to be drunk. Are you drunk? You say, „Only once in a while.” Well, most drunken people are not drunk every day. They’re drunk only once in a while.

Are you drunk spiritually? He’s speaking about your heart’s weighing down with drunkenness. The heart- you can’t walk steady anymore. A worldly christian doesn’t say: This world’s gonna pass away. He says: I’m gonna live for this world. I don’t believe that there’s another world. Even the religious people, they just ease their conscience by going to a church, or a temple, or a mosque- just in case. To keep God happy, by giving Him a tip every now and then. To most people, their religion is like that. I tell you, most Christians are like that too- they’re reading the Bible, or going to church, or whatever they do is like giving a tip to God. Just keep Him happy, cause one day, after you die, He’s gotta help you. That’s not christianity. Far from it, and if any of you think that by doing that, it makes you a Christian, (you are) living in a world of delusion, deluding yourself. Jesus only spoke of whole hearted, radical disciples, for whom God is everything. When God created man, the very first commandment  is „Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.” And Jesus says, „If you don’t keep that, what’s the use of keeping all these other things?” (18:00)

Are you all about drinking, partying, shopping? Keeping up with the others? Then, that day is going to take you by complete surprise. It’ll spring on you, suddenly, like a trap. And, it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at the same time. So, whatever you do, don’t go to sleep spiritually. Keep alert at all times. Pray constantly. How do you do that? How can you be on alert at all times? It doesn’t mean we can’t do our job and the many responsibilities we have for our family. It’s a spiritual alertness, that’s always there, at the back of our mind, while we are doing many other things. In a computer, there are certain programs always running in the background, while the computer is working on other things. It’s checking out for viruses. Our mind is sharper than any computer. It’s really like a computer in one sense, but a million times better. And, there’s a lot of things that can go on in the background, while  we’re doing our other things, exactly like a computer. Like checking for earthly viruses that are coming in. How foolish to take care of a computer that lasts a little while, and you don’t take care of  viruses that can destroy your entire future. (21:00)

Always alert- and prayer means having a dependence on God, all the time. Saying, „Lord, I don’t have the strength to overcome all these things. Lord, I don’t have the strength to overcome deception, because it’s so subtle.” Jesus said, „Deception will be so subtle, that even, perhaps, the elect could be deceived. Imagine what Jesus said in Matthew 7:22-23 about people doing miracles in Jesus’s name, and people casting out demons in Jesus’s name, and people prophesying in Jesus’s name- Many! And He’ll say to them, in the last day, „Depart from Me. I never knew you.” (Not, once upon a time, I knew you, and you backslid). But, „I never knew you.” Because you never gave up sin in your life. You read that in Matthew 7:22-23, that in the last day when you will stand before the Lord, He’s gonna say that to many people. I don’t want him to say that to me. Photo via http://missionventureministries.wordpress.com

Depart from Me, you who called My name, but were living in sin

I’ve gone around in different countries, prophesying in Jesus’s name, teaching God’s word. I don’t want Him to say, „Get away from Me, you who lived in sin.” Sin. Your attitude to sin is going to be the most important thing to matter when you stand before the Lord. The Bible says, „Let everyone who names the name of Christ, depart form sin.”That’s the mark on God’s seal. Let me show you what’s written on that seal: 2 Timothy 2:19, where it speaks about a firm foundation of God. God certifies a firm foundation with a seal.

I want a foundation in my life with God’s seal on it. There are two sides to a seal- the upper and lower sides. Here’s what’s written on the side that God looks at: „The Lord knows those who are His.” He’s not fooled. As He looks at all of us, this morning, the Lord knows those who are His. I don’t know. Sometimes I’m fooled by some who come to our church regularly and I could be mistaken, in the final day I will discover He never belonged to the Lord at all. He was just a first class hypocrite who fooled me for many years. What can I do? I warned them. But, it’s absolutely certain that the Lord knows who are His. That’s the upper side of the seal. I can’t see it. If I could see the upper side, I could easily say who are the Lord’s, right now.  (25:00)

I can see the bottom side of the seal. And, that’s how I know. On the bottom side of the seal, it says, „Everyone who names the name of the Lord (like when a person says: I’m a christian- that’s the name of the Lord),  every christian is to stay away from sin. That’s all I can know. So, when I see a person hating sin, and staying away from it, that’s how I know. I don’t know the Godward side. And, if a person’s not staying away from sin, and he’s not seeking to keep others from sin, all he’s interested in is doing miracles and casting out demons, and preaching, well, I’d say: He may be saved. But, he may not be, also. This is primary. (26:00)

What are the things that God wants us to escape?

It’s gonna come like a trap, be alert, praying, so that you may have strength, to escape these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. What are the things that God wants us to escape? Now, here is where every christian is tested. When he reads this verse, he will say, „See, I told you that we’re gonna escape the tribulation,” because that’s the most important thing in his life- to escape suffering. You know, it depends on what you’re looking for. I’ll tell you what I’m looking for- to escape sin. I read this verse completely differently. Escape. Escape what? To escape sin. I am not even interested in escaping hell. I’m just interested in escaping sin. If I escape sin, I automatically escape hell.

A lot of people are interested in escaping hell, but, are not interested in escaping sin, while on this earth. „Pray constantly, that you may have strength…” Strength for what? I’m gonna have Jesus come and rapture me before the tribulation. So, strength for what? What do I need strength to escape? I want to have help to escape denying the Lord, in the time of tribulation. I wanna have strength to escape sin, to avoid the temptation which is pretty powerful. I’ll tell you that. I wanna have strength to escape the forces of this world that seek to swallow me up, that seek to make me drunk, cause that’s the context. The context is not: You’re gonna suffer. The context is: Your heart is gonna be weighted down by drunkenness, with the cares of this world, and the worries of this life. Pray, that you’ll have strength to escape these things.

A bad habit of christians is to have favorite verses, or sometimes, half a verse, and they don’t even read the paragraph. Verse 34- there’s drunkenness, there’s dissipation, being occupied with worries of this life… That’s what I wanna escape. So I can stand before the Lord. So that His coming does not find me like a thief, because I belong to the day. So, why should he come like a thief for you? Make sure that the world doesn’t get inside your heart. Pray that you’ll have strength to keep the world outside (your heart). What does he mean, the world? He doesn’t mean the people of the world, because „God so loved the people of the world”. And I’ve gotta love the fellow who hates me. I’ve gotta love the boss who is harassing me day and night. In christianity, you’re not permitted to hate anybody. You’re not permitted to keep an unforgiving spirit to anyone, no matter what they did to you. (31:00) It’s tough and that’s why we have to pray to escape these attitudes towards people. Don’t just say, „It’s tough brother.” I know it’s tough.

Some people talk about the sermon on the mount and say, „Brother, it’s difficult to live up to that sermon.” I say, it’s not difficult, it’s impossible.” As long as you think it’s difficult, you’re going to try. When you realize it’s impossible, you’re not gonna try, you’re gonna say, „Lord, you’d better help me.” Some of you folks are trying, and trying, and constantly failing. Why not recognize that it’s impossible and come to the Lord for the power of the Holy Spirit, so you’ll have strength, and then you’ll be able to keep those commandments. Then, you’ll be able to live according to God’s standards. To have strength to escape these things that seem to come into my heart.

I don’t wanna get drunk. Jesus said the last days are going to be like Noah. And, God’s people are going to be like Noah. If you wanna live like God wants you to live in the last days, you’ve got to live by faith.  ANd it’s not this third rate faith for getting a better house or a better car, that is preached by tv preachers, no. It’s another type of faith that Noah had. Don’t be deceived by these preachers. The faith that we need is the faith of Jesus Christ. The Bible says He is the author of our faith. That means, every single letter of faith in my heart was written by Jesus, not by some tv preacher. Every single word in my heart, I want written by Jesus Christ, and not my any man. Then as it says in Hebrews 12 we’ll be able to sun the race and overcome. Then we won’t have these third rate christians hanging their head down, with depression and gloom, and still losing their tempers, and still watching internet pornography, and coming to church and pretending to be holy people. They are first class hypocrites. Why? Because Jesus is not the author of their faith. They’re listening to all this rubbish from other people. They don’t stay away from sin, they love the world so much, that their faith is only interested in getting things for themselves. (37:00)

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. Noah heard a word from God and he had tremendous reverence for it. He had only one verse in his Bible: „I’m gonna destroy this world. You had better make an ark and save yourself and your family.” That was the word that he got, and he got it once. He didn’t have a preacher to remind him over and over again. He heard it once and kept it in his mind for 120 years. That’s faith. When you hear something from God, you won’t be interested in what man has to say to you, after that. Man shall not leave by bread alone, but, by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. Noah prayed with his family and built the ark to escape. (42:00)

The devil knows that Christians today don’t know the Bible. I thank God that I studied the Bible so I can have my faith in Jesus, and have a clear picture of Jesus and how He lived his earthly life. Noah had a reverence for God. I want to encourage you, my brothers and sisters to have reverence for God. I sent a circular (letter) to my elders (at the other churches) and I said, „See if the song you sing in the church have reverence in them. There are a lot of worldly songs creeping into the church. What do I mean by worldly? Written by people who don’t have reverence themselves for God, written by people who are more interested in money. Tell me honestly, would you listen to a preacher who only preaches to you to get your money, and he’ll only preach that sermon if he thinks he can copyright that sermon and make some money out of it, get royalties? Or would you rather listen to someone who says, „Hey this is free, you don’t have to pay for it, there’s no copyright on it, you can preach it too, elsewhere.” Which of these two, do you think would have a word form God?

The same goes for music. That is why I love the old hymns, written by people who never made money off of it. Another thing. These sentimental songs, „Hold me close, never let me go,” you don’t know who they’re singing it to, written by these half converted cowboys who wrote these  songs to their girlfriends and now they write them to Jesus. Just see if there’s a spirit of reverence in it, that brings you close to God. Or if it’s just soppy emotion that makes you think you love Jesus with teary eyed  eyes on Sunday morning and you go and watch internet pornography on Monday. Why? That’s sentimental rubbish. If you’d really love Jesus, you’d keep His commandments. He said that in John 14:15 „If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  That’s reverence. I want to sing songs that keep me close to God on Sunday, but also keep me close to God on Monday, and Tuesday, and …

Noah prepared an ark. He said, „I’m gonna built the ark.” He didn’t give up his earthly living. Noah was a full time worker for God, but he supported himself. And then, first of all, he was interested in saving his family. If your children are not saved, they are not born again, they are not disciples of Jesus, Fathers especially, it’s probably because you’re not too serious about it. Noah was the head of his home. He didn’t let his sons wander off whichever way they liked. Don’t give up control of your home. A lot of children would like to take up control from their parents. Noah did not permit it.

D. A. Carson – Job: Mystery and Faith (5) Job’s Happy Ending

I am indebted to Adrian for pointing me to this treaty on Job. Any dedicated believer, who has suffered deeply, or has seen a loved one suffer is fascinated with the mechanics of Job’s dialogue with God in the midst of his own deep suffering and the wisdom, peace, and understanding that can be derived from it. You can read this article in it’s entirety, in pdf form here (18 pages) –

http://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/2000_Job_mystery_and_faith.pdf

d a carsonD. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of numerous commentar- ies and monographs, and is one of this country’s foremost New Testament scholars. Among his books are Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility (John Knox Press, 1981; reprint, Baker, 1994) and How Long, O Lord?: Per- spectives on Suffering and Evil (Baker, 1990).

The topic is divided into
  1. READ Job chapters 1 – 3 Job’s Sufferings and Initial Reaction here
  2. READ Job chapters 4 – 31  Job’s Plaintive Outrage and His Miserable Comforters 
  3. READ Job chapter 32 – 37 Job and Elihu
  4. READ Job chapter 38 – 42:6 Job and God 
  5. READ Job chapter 42:7-16 Job’s Happy Ending (article below)

Here are some excerpts from the last section:

photo www.bibleartists.wordpress.com Job’s Despair by Blake

Job chapter 42:7-16 Job’s Happy Ending

These verses may be divided into two parts. The first, which we have already glanced at, reports God’s wrath with Eliphaz and his two friends for not speak- ing of God what was right, as Job did (42:7-8). They are required to offer sacrifice to God, and Job, whom they have despised and abused, must pray for them, for God will accept his prayers for them (and, by implication, not their own!).

In the second part (vv. 10-17), after Job prays for his friends, the Lord makes him prosperous again. His siblings and acquaintances gather around him and provide gifts, presumably to help him start up again. He sires another family, seven more sons and three more daughters, and gains herds twice the size of what he had before. No women were more beautiful than his daughters, and Job left them an inheritance along with their brothers—further evidence of Job’s com- passionate and enlightened treatment of those traditionally squeezed to the periph- ery of life (cf. chap. 31). He lived to a ripe old age, seeing his children and their chil- dren to the fourth generation. Eventually he died, “old and full of years”—an epi- taph reserved for the choicest or most favored of God’s servants (Abraham [Gen 25:8], Isaac [Gen 35:29], David [1 Chron 29:28], and Jehoiada the priest [2 Chron 24:15]).

If some critics are displeased with God’s answer to Job out of the storm, even more are incensed by this “happy ending.” The story, they argue should have ended with Job’s repentance. Whether he was restored is irrelevant; in any case it is untrue to the experience of many, who suffer at length without reprieve. To end the story this way makes the doctrine of retribution basically right after all. The conclusion is therefore anticlimactic at best, contradictory at worst.

This is, I think, a shallow reading of the text. Perhaps the following reflections will help unpack the purpose of this conclusion a little:

(1) We must beware of our own biases. One of the reasons why many people are dissatisfied with this ending is because in the contemporary literary world ambiguity in moral questions is universally revered, while moral certainty is almost as universally despised. The modern mood enjoys novels and plays where the rights and wrongs get confused, where every decision is a mixture of right and wrong, truth and error, where heroes and antiheroes reverse their roles.

Why this infatuation with ambiguity? It is regarded as more mature. Clear-cut answers are written off as immature. The pluralism of our age delights in moral ambiguity—but only as long as it costs nothing. Devotion to contemporary moral ambiguity is extraordinarily self-centered. It demands freedom from God so that it can do whatever it wants. But when the suffering starts the same self-centered focus on my world and my interests, rather ironically, wants God to provide answers of sparkling clarity.

(2) Throughout his excruciating suffering, Job has demonstrated that he serves the Lord out of a pure heart. True, he has said some stupid things and has been rebuked; but at no point does he simply curse God and turn his back on Him. Even his demand that God present himself before Job and give an answer is the cry of the believer seeking to find out what on earth God is doing. Even while sitting in the ashpit, Job trusts God enough to express extraordinary confidence in him, and for no ulterior motive.

In that sense, God has won his wager with the devil. Job may utter words that darken God’s counsel, but he does not lose his integrity or abandon his God. Is it there- fore surprising that there should be full rec- onciliation between God and Job? And if the wager has been won, is there any rea- son for Job’s afflictions to continue?

(3) No matter how happy the ending, nothing can remove the suffering itself. The losses Job faced would always be with him. A happy ending is better than a mis- erable one, but it does not transform the suffering he endured into something less than suffering. A survivor of the Holo- caust has not suffered less because he ultimately settles into a comfortable life in Los Angeles.

(4) The Book of Job has no interest in praising mystery without restraint. All biblical writers insist that to fear the Lord ultimately leads to abundant life. If this were not so, to fear the Lord would be stupid and masochistic. The book does not disown all forms of retribution; rather, it disowns simplistic, mathematically precise, and instant application of the doc- trine of retribution. It categorically rejects any formula that affirms that the righteous always prosper and the wicked are always destroyed. There may be other reasons for suffering; rewards (of blessing or of destruction) may be long delayed; knowledge of God is its own reward.

Job still does not have all the answers; he still knows nothing about the wager between God and Satan. He must simply trust God that something far greater was at stake than his own personal happiness. But he has stopped hinting that God is unjust; he has come to know God better; and he enjoys the Lord’s favor in rich abundance once again.

photo wikipedia Job restored to prosperity by Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656)

(5) The blessings that Job experiences at the end are not cast as rewards that he has earned by his faithfulness under suf- fering. The epilogue simply describes the blessings as the Lord’s free gift. The Lord is not nasty or capricious. He may for vari- ous reasons withdraw his favor, but his love endures forever.

In that sense, the epilogue is the Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament anticipation of a new heaven and a new earth. God is just, and will be seen to be just. This does not smuggle mathemati- cal retribution in through the back door. Rather, it is to return, in another form, to the conclusion of chapter 8 of this book.

(6) Although I have repeatedly spoken of God entering into a wager with Satan, or winning his wager with Satan, I have done so to try to capture the scene in the first chapter. But there is a danger in such language: it may sound as if God is capri- cious. He plays with the lives of his crea- tures so that he can win a bet.

Clearly that is not true. The challenge to Satan is not a game; nor is the outcome, in God’s mind, obscure. Nothing in the book tells us why God did this. The solemnity and majesty of God’s response to Job not only mask God’s purposes in mystery, but presuppose they are serious and deep, not flighty or frivolous.

Nevertheless, the wager with Satan is in certain ways congruent with other biblical themes. God’s concern for the salvation of men and women is part of a larger, cosmic struggle between God and Satan, in which the outcome is certain while the struggle is horrible. This is one way of placing the human dimensions of redemption and judgment in a much larger framework than what we usually perceive.

(7) We are perhaps better situated now to understand precisely why God says that his servant Job spoke of him “what was right,” while the three miserable com- forters did not. True, Job is rebuked for darkening the Lord’s counsel: he became guilty of an arrogance that dared to demand that God give an account of his actions. But Job has been genuinely grop- ing for the truth, and has not allowed glib answers to deter him. He denies neither God’s sovereignty nor (at least in most of his statements!) God’s justice. Above all, so far as the wager between God and Satan is concerned, Job passes with flying colors; he never turns his back on God.

Contrast the three friends. Although they are trying to defend God, their reductionistic theology ends up offering Job a temptation: to confess sins that weren’t there, in order to try to retrieve his prosperity. If Job had succumbed, it would have meant that Job cared more for prosperity than for his integrity or for the Lord himself; and the Lord would have lost his wager. Their counsel, if followed, would have actually led Job away from the Lord; Job would have been reduced to being yet one more person interested in seeking God for merely personal gain.

This is, at the end of the day, the ulti- mate test of our knowledge of God. Is it robust enough that, when faced with excruciating adversity, it may prompt us to lash out with hard questions, but will never permit us to turn away from God? But perhaps it is better to put the matter the other way round: the God who put Job through this wringer is also the God of whom it is said that, with respect to his own people, “he will not let [them] be tempted beyond what [they] can bear. But when [they] are tempted, he will also pro- vide a way out so that [they] can stand up under it” (1 Cor 10:13). God could not trust me with as much suffering as Job endured; I could not take it. But we must not think that there was any doubt in God’s mind as to whether he would win his wager with Satan over Job!

When we suffer, there will sometimes be mystery. Will there also be faith? 

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