Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 112 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Job 42 today and our focus is on the power of intercession. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Job is a fascinating book of the Bible, and acclaimed as a classic work of literature, even by secular and atheistic authorities. The theological truths it teaches are incredibly deep. We read it through on the podcast last year, but have only read the first and last chapters this year. Allow me to summarize the situation. In Job 1 and 2, God points out Job as a great man of character and godliness, and Satan scoffs at Job, saying he is only good because he is blessed. God allows Satan then to basically destroy Job’s life, his kids, his wealth and his health. Satan expects Job to curse God and turn away from him, and even Job’s wife tells him to curse God and die, but Job does not sin. He questions. He struggles. He laments. He makes many wrong statements, as we’ll see today. But he does NOT sin, according to God. Job’s three friends, however, are quite a different story. They come to Job and speak falsely about his situation and about God. Though they have no idea of the real truth, they confidently claim that Job’s troubles are likely the result of some kind of sin. They jump to conclusions and are miserable comforters to Job – making things worse, rather than better. Listeners: don’t be like Job’s friends. If you know somebody going through a tragedy, just be there for them. You don’t have to solve the mystery of why. You don’t have to tell them why God has done what He has done. You don’t have to make things up, and spout them out confidently. You will be no help when you do this, and you may, as we will see in a moment, kindle God’s wrath against you for your pride and lies. Sadly, his three friends started out in a great place, as Gotquestions.org notes:
Job’s friends did at least three things right that can be seen in Job 2:11–13. First, they came to him when he was suffering. Second, they empathized with him: “they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads” (verse 12). Third, they spent time with him. Verse 13 states they were with him for seven days before they offered their advice. They commiserated with their friend in silence.
But…they had to open their mouths and give their opinions – sometimes that is a dangerous business.
If you’ve read the book of Job before, you’ll know that there are actually FOUR friends of Job who talk to him. Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar are the three that are condemned by God, and barely spared at the end of the book. But there is one more friend – one who is NOT condemned by God. His name is Elihu, and he rebukes Job’s friends, points out where Job was mistaken, and offers a wonderful defense of the goodness and justice of God, saying such things as, ““It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, / that the Almighty would pervert justice.” (Job 34:12) Elihu’s name means “My God is He,” and, though his speech in Job is the longest, he is not condemned by God for his words in Job 42. Some have speculated that Elihu was a Christophany – a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus, but that is a speculation.
Note: Job is blessed greatly in the end of the book. It sounds like Job’s three friends were set to be punished greatly, but God tells Job to intercede for his friends, and then God forgives them. Intercession is powerful, and not a topic that is talked about enough in certain parts of the church. When we engage in intercession, as Job did, we intervene on the part of another. Over and over in Scripture, we see examples of how powerful intercession is. As James tells us, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful in its effect. Intercession makes a difference. You and I should intercede for people more – praying on behalf of people. It is a command:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, (1 Timothy 2:1)
and when we intercede, we join with Jesus in His current and ongoing work for His church – because He is always living to intercede for us, as Hebrews and Romans 8 tells us:
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34
Let me close with some great quotes on intercession to help encourage us to the wonderful duty and call and joy of prayer:
O PRICELESS grace; if thou, O believer, knowest how to ask by faith, thou mayst hand out to thy brethren wealth more precious than the gold of Ophir; for intercession is the key of the ivory palaces wherein are contained the boundless treasures of God. Saints in intercession reach a place where angels cannot stand. Those holy beings rejoice over penitent sinners, but we do not read of their being admitted as suppliants for the saints. Yet we, imperfect as we are, have this favour, we are permitted to open our mouth before the Lord for the sick and for the tried, for the troubled and for the downcast, with the assurance that whatsoever we shall ask in prayer believing we shall receive.
C. H. Spurgeon, Flashes of Thought (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 230.
“Pray for “all men.” We usually pray more for things than we do for men. Our prayers should be thrown across their pathway as they rush in their downward course to a lost eternity.” E.M. Bounds
Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first, and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!”
There are certain elements that always come out in all the great biblical prayers, and the first characteristic of Moses’ prayer is its boldness, its confidence. There is no hesitation here. There is a quiet confidence. Oh, let me use the term, there is a holy boldness. This is the great characteristic of all prayers that have ever prevailed.
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1987), 195.
Some of you are like Abraham. The Lord reveals to you how he will deal with impenitent sinners, but you have fled to Jesus and are accepted. It is your part to intercede like Abraham for others—to mourn for sin and to stand in the breach while there is yet hope.
John Newton and Marylynn Rouse, 365 Days with Newton (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 2006), 291.
Beware, in your prayer, above everything, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what He can do. Expect unexpected things, above all that we ask or think. Each time you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do, of how He delights to hear Christ, of your place in Christ, and expect great things.
“Do not let us think of prayer as the coaxing or the conquering of a reluctant friend, but rather as the confident appeal to One who is always wise, and always willing to give us what is best for us.” (Theodore Cuyler)
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
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