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~ Day Seventeen ~
No Other Name
The Book of Job ~ Chapter Seventeen
"My spirit is broken, my days are cut short,
the grave awaits me."
(Job 17:1)
Dwelling Place
When the Lord gave Moses the divine blueprint for the construction of the tabernacle, He instructed His servant to carefully build it according to the pattern he was given (Exodus 25:40), for it would serve as "the copy and shadow of the heavenly things" (Hebrews 8:5). The tabernacle was to provide a place where God might dwell among His people, and be a constant testimony of His presence among them no matter where they went. "And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it" (Exodus 25:8, 9). However, it was never meant to be a permanent dwelling place for the Lord, for "the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands" (Acts 7:48). The Lord was teaching His people from the very beginning the lesson of what it meant to truly tabernacle with Him, so they would be prepared for the future day when He would tabernacle within them and they would never be without His presence.

"In My Father's house are many mansions;
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself;
that where I am, there you may be also."
(John 14:2, 3)

We all have a natural longing for a permanent and secure place. We spend our lives building and acquiring things, just so we will have something tangible and measurable and lasting to hold onto, and maybe in the process, leave our mark on the world. This is true, not just in material matters, but in spiritual matters also. In time, however, all our work will soon perish and turn to dust, and be forgotten - sometimes in an instant like was the case of Job's life. "How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before a moth? They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; they perish forever, with no one regarding" (Job 4:19, 20). With each new crisis or trial, we are continually being reminded of our mortality and the temporal and fragile nature of our human existence. Through the lesson of the tabernacle, the Lord was constantly reminding His people that the only thing permanent and of lasting value in this life is their relationship with Him. As He faithfully guided them through the wilderness, He humbled them with "fasting" and daily provided them a "feast" of heavenly manna, so they would learn that their life was dependent upon Him alone. "...that you might know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD" (Deuteronomy 8:3). Every step of their journey was met with new challenges and new opportunities for growth in their faith in the Lord; and each new victory brought them a little bit closer to the promise land. Along the way the Lord required His people to dismantle the tabernacle and suspend the priestly service until they settled in the next appointed place, so they would not be tempted to enshrine their worship by putting their God in a box, like all their idolatrous neighbors had done. Throughout history's turnings, the Lord has seen fit at appointed times to dismantle our human undertakings, in all manners of industry, government, and religion, to remind us that He is the One who is in control! When we see Him work on a global scale, as He has this past year, we need to give pause and pray, as we reverently consider and humbly submit to the miraculous plans He is executing, which requires His people to go through this necessary "undoing," in order that we might be prepared to receive an unexpected blessing like His servant Job did at the end of his trial. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" Selah (Psalm 46:10,11)."Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).

"For we know that if our earthy house, this tent,
is destroyed, we have a building from God,
a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
For in this we groan, earnestly desiring
to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened,
not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed,
that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
Now He who has prepared us for this very thing
is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee."
(2 Corinthians 5:1-5)
Read: Job Chapter Seventeen

"Where then is my hope?
As for my hope, who can see it?"
(Job 17:15)

At this point in our journey, Job has reached a new low. Life (and his friends!) had become so unbearable that he thought his only hope for rest and peace would be in the grave. "My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me" (Job 17:1). His life had come to resemble so well the refuse site he was living in, that his friends didn't seem to have a problem with dumping all their garbage on him. "But He has made me a byword of the people, and I have become one in whose face men spit" (v. 6). The stench of their scorn and accusations had finally taking their toll - Job had had enough! Job had sat so long and low in the dirt that he began to look to the grave as a house that would provide him welcome relief and was willing to embrace the worm as his only family (maybe a few of them had become his friends and he had given them names!) (v. 14). But it is important to note, that at no point did Job consider taking his own life; he knew that life was God's most sacred gift, and like everything else the Lord had given him, it was His alone to give and to take away. "The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:2ab). Job would not dishonor God by doing the very thing that Satan said he would. Job had surrendered his life long ago to be a vessel in the hands of God to bring glory to His name; it didn't matter how much the devil and his evil company tried to tempt Job to turn away and become the instrument they could use to take their shot at God. They could take everything else from Job, but they couldn't take his faith. The Lord knew this from the start when He accepted Satan's wager; and He had abundant blessings waiting for His servant at the end of his trial. The true rest that Job was looking for is not found in the grave, it is found in God's grace. Suffering makes us groan with longing for our glorious home in heaven, because the true home our weary souls long for is the One that God has provided for us in His Son Jesus Christ. "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance" (Romans 8:2-25). In Jesus Christ we find all the hope we will ever need, even in our sorrows. Ours is a living hope, because Christ has conquered the grave (1 Peter 1:3)! Let us pray fervently for the perserverance of the saints (Ephesians 6:18)! "You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance" (Psalm 32:7).

"What shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written:
"For Your sake we are killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Romans 8:35-39)
"LORD, I know that You can do everything,
and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You."
(Job 42:2)

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Setting the World on Fire for Christ ~ One Heart at a Time!
MAGNIFY No Other Name
A 45-day devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Books of Job and Joel
copyright (c) 2020 Traci A. Alexander. All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version,
copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.