Saturday, August 21, 2021

LISTEN

Today’s Reading: Job 20-21

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

These are some of the ruins of ancient Laodicea in present-day western Turkey. The city was founded by Seleucid King Antiochus II in honour of his wife, Laodice. Laodicea became a prosperous Roman market town on the trade route from the east, famous for its woolen and cotton cloths. The city was an early centre of Christianity and one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 3:14-22). It was to the Laodicean church that the Lord said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.” God is knocking on the doors of the hearts of Job and his freiends.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Job 21:2

Listen carefully to my speech, and let this be your consolation.

 

Job’s counsel in the sentence above is excellent advice for us. The contrast between Zophar’s words in chapter 20 and Job’s words in chapter 21 is obvious. To Zophar, “The triumphing of the wicked is short.” To Job, “The wicked live and become old.” In his efforts at grief counselling, Zophar approaches life in a negative way. Job is beginning to be more positive. He’s on his way to healing and restoration.

Job tells us to “listen carefully.” The word “consolation” could also be translated, “comfort.” Most of us are better at speaking than we are at listening. Many of our conversations are monologues. We sometimes wait impatiently for the other person to finish so that we can speak. God often had to say, “Hear, O Israel” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Jesus says to the churches, “He that has an ear to hear, let him hear” (Revelatoin 2:7). We need to learn to listen to God, and if we are to be true friends, we must also learn to listen. Only when we truly “hear” and understand, should we attempt to give counsel.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

God…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, may I listen with great care to You as I read Your Word each day, and I quietly wait before You, listening for the whisper of that “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13). May I also listen much more carefully to people, particularly before I attempt to give counsel. In the Name of the One who listens to my prayer, the Lord Jesus, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Yesterday I read the plea of Job, “How long will you … break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:2). Perhaps the first couplet I ever learned as a child was, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I thought it was true, and it became a defence against bullying. Now I know it’s a false statement. Words can destroy a person. Many suicides are the result of “words.” Crossroads has a resource addressing suicide, particularly among young people (click here to watch the Inside Teen Suicide documentary trailer).

Yours for learning to listen more before we speak,

David

One of the many buildings that remain of ancient Laodicea.

5 thoughts on “Saturday, August 21, 2021

  1. Praying David’s prayer. Grieving is different for each person just as depression, suicide and illness are. Because someone is Christian does not mean they don’t go through such painful experiences. It is often suggested if a person just utilized scripture they would be all better. We are grateful as Christians because we have Jesus to cling to for comfort and strength in our pain but that doesn’t take away the process we still go through. Grateful for today and wishing all saints a blessed day in the Lord. Amen.

    Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV

    Light of the World lyric video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MmRGSEG2LM

    • Love that piece, Beverlee, and the following one. I was surprised to come across some folk singing a blessing over Afghanistan early in the pandemic. “Afghanistan sings blessing over their country @ beginning of COVID”. I sang it with them (English words included). Blessings all.

  2. I know very well about grief.It was the reason for my poetry and is the greater part of my testimony.I spent about 1 1/2 yr in Grieving Mothers (about 10 years ago) where I was led, unwillingly.Many had lost their child to suicide.It makes no difference whether the child was young or an adult.I felt …..’He’ shared their grief with me but every time I was at the point of tears He would lift me.(Barbara Spurgeon Karrer,the site owner is a descendant of Charles Spurgeon.)Suicide was sometimes the cause of death.I wrote several poems (of comfort) on suicide but the one with the biggest impact on me was before I knew of any grieving sites.Here are 2 with attached notes that explain:
    ” A beautiful Irish lady in a poetry site asked me to write
    a poem for her close friend whose adult son took his
    own life.She was having a hard time.I wrote the first
    one and she made a second request for a prayer.
    This was before I was led to or knew of any
    grieving sites.”

    # 1….. 09.10.2011, 4:27
    A Note To you

    I could not convey the pain inside
    For it is a fire we choose to hide
    And God knows that a sorrowful mind
    Is on a quest for what it can not find.

    We must carry the pain for others
    For we are stronger than our brothers,
    But sometimes Satan slips on through
    Past our defences no matter what we do.

    No one can prevent what can’t be seen;
    What is well hidden you could not glean,
    I was well loved and love you still,
    I am still here just over the hill.

    Be not of sorrow and do not cry long
    For I will be happy,you must be strong,
    Nothing you said or did was so wrong,
    So continue your journey singing a song.
    G W (Bill) Marshall

    # 2…..» 09.10.2011, 4:30

    Also a Friend

    Oh Lord,my God let Your love heal
    A shattered heart ,this is my appeal,
    For a life cut short by a tragic end,
    You are our God but also a friend.

    Human words fail me to convey
    Please Lord grant me words to say,
    For you know Lord that the blame
    Goes to Satan and his deadly game.

    Though darkness gathers all around,
    It’s your grace that is to be found,
    That allows your love without bound
    To come like thunder without sound.

    Let it be known in hearts that grieve
    That a loved one gone is just a leave
    For they await you can believe,
    And on His promise you can cleave.
    G W (Bill) Marshall

    Several months later she wrote back to say
    that the poems helped her friend …and they
    also helped her deal with her own brother’s
    suicide back in 79.I cried.

    This is one that spells it out quite well:

    The Devil’s Son
    (Suicide/overdose)

    I did not want to go but sorrow won,
    For we feel grief when there is none,
    We ache until it’s over and done,
    That is depression,the devil’s son.

    He is a constant companion each day,
    I don’t want him but each step I make,
    He’s right behind me along the way,
    And follows me down each path I take.

    There is not a thing you can or could do,
    It’s up to us to find the door,
    I tried but could not find my way through,
    I searched until I could search no more.

    But now I am free,the pain is gone,
    And now I can see what I missed;
    For I missed the nights and a new dawn,
    I missed the baby I never kissed.
    G W (Bill) Marshall/Friday,Sept14, 2012
    They are killing the pain,not themselves.
    May God bless each day

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