Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

December 14, 2010

Volume 9 Number 24

Things Too Wonderful for Me

What do Peter, David, and Job all have in common? Each of them was a servant of Yahweh and each of them loved Him. However, Yahweh allowed Satan to afflict each of them through terrible trials and tribulations. In doing so, He prepared each of them to be of greater service to Him for His glory!

Yahshua (Jesus) told His disciples that they were the ones that had continued with Him in His temptations, which means in His trials. They, those that had continued with Him in His trials, were also the ones that would be appointed to commune and reign with Him in His Kingdom (see Luke 22:28-30). After He had made this promise, Yahshua told Simon (He did not call him here by his other name, Peter) that Satan had asked for permission to put Simon through a sieve, as one might use to separate the pure kernel of wheat from the unwanted chaff:

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: -Luke 22

Yahshua did not say, "I will pray that Satan stays away from you." Instead, since the permission had apparently already been granted to Satan to afflict Simon, Yahshua said that He would pray that Simon keeps his faith as he is put through his impending trial. Then, He told him, once "you are converted," which might be understood as meaning "once you are put back on the right track," use that experience to help your brethren to be stronger in their faith:

32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. -Luke 22

Almost sounding as though he was insulted by the suggestion that he would be vulnerable to the influence of Satan, Simon boldly proclaimed his readiness to pass any test!

33 And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death. -Luke 22

Simon failed his test, not once, but three times in one night as he openly denied Yahshua! Satanís sifting helped to purify Simonís heart. After his third denial, Simon, now called Peter, was convicted of his sin and was apparently moved to the kind of bitter weeping that often accompanies the repentance of a broken and crushed heart:

62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. -Luke 22

When Yahweh chose David to be the King of Israel, He sent Samuel to anoint David with oil. "From that day forward," the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David:

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brothers: and the Spirit of Yahweh came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. -1 Samuel 16

However, this joyous occasion for David was the beginning of his troubles. Just as the Spirit of Yahweh came upon him, Yahweh removed His Spirit from King Saul and replaced it with an "evil spirit:"

14 But the Spirit of Yahweh departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Yahweh troubled him.

15 And Saulís servants said to him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubles you. -1 Samuel 16

The "evil spirit" used Saul to try and destroy David:

9 And the evil spirit from Yahweh was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

10 And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saulís presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. -1 Samuel 19

As David fled from the hand of Saul, he was confused. Like most of us who are hated and afflicted without cause, David could not understand what he had done to merit Saulís hatred toward him. He asked his friend, Jonathan, who was also Saulís son, "What have I done? What is my iniquity?"

1 And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? what is my iniquity? and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life? -1 Samuel 20

David became a fugitive, running and hiding from the raging King Saul. That was when he was able to see more clearly what was in his heart, which he wrote in many of his Psalms. It was during times of seemingly unbearable trouble that Yahweh taught David to totally depend upon Him. David learned that the righteous suffer many afflictions, but that Yahweh is always faithful:

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but Yahweh delivers him out of them all. -Psalms 34

David also learned that the key to being delivered from his afflictions was to humble himself, praise and exalt the name of Yahweh, and to ask Him for deliverance:

1 I will bless Yahweh at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

2 My soul shall make her boast in Yahweh: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

3 O magnify Yahweh with me, and let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought Yahweh, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

5 They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

6 This poor man cried, and Yahweh heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. -Psalms 34

This lesson was not only for David. It was for all of us. In our humility we learn to fear Him and trust Him:

7 The angel of Yahweh encamps round about them that fear him, and delivers them.

8 O taste and see that Yahweh is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.

9 O fear Yahweh, you his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. -Psalms 34

Whether David could see it or not, these afflictions were helping him to fix his heart firmly upon Yahweh:

7 My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. -Psalms 57

Through his trials, David was learning to trust and love Yahweh with all of his heart, soul, and might:

5 And you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. -Deuteronomy 6

We are first introduced to Job as a "perfect and upright" man who "feared God, and shunned evil!"

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and shunned evil. -Job 1

Diligent in his desire to maintain his position in the eyes of God, and perhaps in the eyes of man, Job even offered sacrifices for his children, just in case they might have sinned:

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. -Job 1

As Job went about his life trying to do that which was right, Yahweh brought him to Satanís attention. Describing Job as perfect and upright, Yahweh asked Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?"

8 And Yahweh said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and shuns evil? -Job 1

Yahweh was not asking Satan to consider Job for his wickedness, but for his apparent righteousness! While requiring that Satan preserve Jobís life, Yahweh turned him loose on His "perfect and upright" servant! Satan used that opportunity to afflict Job beyond imagination. Job lost everything, including his possessions, his family, (see Job 1:13-19) and even his health (see Job 2:7).

Nevertheless, through his entire trial, Job could not see what he had done to deserve the evil that was brought upon him. Job thought he understood more about Yahweh than he did. Yahweh ask him:

2 Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? -Job 38

It was only after Job had endured major struggles in his life that he finally realized that he still had much to learn. Even though he thought he had the things of Yahweh all figured out, he finally realized that those things were too wonderful for him to comprehend. Job said to Yahweh:

2 I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from you.

3 Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. -Job 42

It was Jobís affliction by Satan that brought him to realize more fully the greatness of Yahweh. It was also that affliction that caused Job to humble himself before Yahweh and to repent of his religious pride:

4 Hear, I beseech you, and I will speak: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me.

5 I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you.

6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. -Job 42

Yahweh allowed Satan to afflict Peter, David, and Job to teach them to take their eyes off themselves. Yahweh taught each of them to fix their hearts wholly upon Him so that they could accomplish His purpose for their lives. Even as we think were are firmly in Godís will, are our hearts firmly fixed on Him in love? Or do we utter things that "I understood not" and things "too wonderful for me," still needing to be taught?

 

 

 

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