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~ Day Eighteen ~
No Other Name
The Book of Job ~ Chapter Eighteen
"Surely such are the dwellings of the wicked,
and this is the place of him who
does not know God."
(Job 18:21)
As we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles this week, may we receive comfort and encouragement from our Lord Jesus in the daily reminder of His promise to us: "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5b). The tabernacle in the wilderness was a visible reminder of the Lord's presence among His people. He wanted His covenant people to take courage in His constant presence, so they would continue in their journey toward the promise land and receive the full blessings He had prepared for them. Moses even prayed that they would not take another step unless they had the promise of God's presence with them; he acknowledged that they had no ability to undertake such a journey unless the Lord was there to guide and protect them. "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, You people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth" (Exodus 33:15, 16).

"Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
they are ever praising You.
Blessed are those whose strength is in You;
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage."
(Psalm 84:1-5)

The tabernacle in the wilderness was a portable tent that did not rest on a man-made foundation. It was continually dismantled and rebuilt upon the dry and rocky ground of the desert wilderness to provide a vivid picture of our temporal nature apart from the solid rock foundation of Jesus Christ. "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). With every step that His people took in their wilderness journey the Lord was strengthening and training their feet to stand on solid ground, so they wouldn't lose their footing when they met with all the temptations they would surely face in the promised land. Ultimately, a greater internal work would be accomplished within the hearts of His people through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and each person would become a tabernacle to testify to the presence and power of God in their lives. "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16). The presence of God no longer dwells in a tent in the wilderness, that tabernacle has been taken down; He dwells within His people in the person of the Holy Spirit, and is setting up His eternal kingdom within. "The Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands" (Acts 7:49). The patriarchs and pilgrims, who all lived by faith, knew that this world was temporary, and no matter how dark or uncertain or difficult their days were, as they followed God's plan in the birth and building of a nation, they persevered and endured because they trusted and believed in the better, more permanent home that was waiting for them in the presence of God. May we be found doing the same as we yield to the Spirit's soul sanctifying work within, and labor to preserve that true foundation upon which men alone are saved. "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).

"These all died in faith,
not having received the promises,
but having seen them afar off were assured of them,
embraced them, and confessed that
they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such things declare plainly
that they seek a homeland.
And truly if they had called to mind that country
from which they had come out,
they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better,
that is, a heavenly country.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for He has prepared a city for them."
(Hebrews 11:13-16)
Read: Job Chapter Eighteen

"The light of the wicked indeed goes out,
and the flame of his fire does not shine.
The light is dark in his tent,
and his lamp beside him is put out."
(Job 18:5, 6)

As Job was forcibly dragged into the ring for a second round of pummeling by his friends, we can't help but see a picture of our own earthly journey coming more clearly into view. We have all walked through seasons where troubles never cease; where it seems the storm clouds have made a permanent residence over our heads, and our greatest longing is simply for a little relief. We pray for a momentary reprieve, just long enough to catch our breath before the other shoe drops. "My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him" (Psalm 62:5). The longer our pilgrimage journey is in this world, the more we understand that seasons of bliss are only temporary and are soon to be turned into the next test or trial. While Bildad's second speech was filled with terrorizing words intended to paralyze his friend in fear, the Lord has graciously provided us with the model example of His servant Job to encourage us in the worst of circumstances and to remind us to keep going and to not give up, remembering that He is always working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). When the blows of life come at us, we may find ourselves saying, "Haven't I been here before?" Not unlike cruel Bildad, who began his second speech in the same manner that he began his first (8:2; 18:2), we turn the next chapter of life hoping things will be different, only to find out it is just more of the same old sad story. But before we get distracted by that fairy tale going on next door, let us remember that the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence; so don't even think of coveting your neighbors lawn. If our neighbors' life appears to be going so well, it's probably because they've planted artificial turf. For the believer, fake foundations and counterfeit supports are the very thing the Lord is working to weed out of our lives when He permits the next trial or sends the next test, so that He can plant our feet more firmly on the solid ground foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), and move us closer to the promised land with His perfecting love. Let us trust the faithful hands of the One who is guiding us and transforming us into His more glorious image to finish the work He has begun. The light of the wicked will indeed go out and his house will soon be dark and empty, but the light of the righteous will shine even brighter with each passing trial and bathe the city streets with the light and love of Jesus, so that every pilgrim passing by will find their way home. "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in..." (Matthew 25:34, 35)

"By faith Abraham obeyed
when he was called to go out to the place
which he would receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he dwelt in the land of promise
as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,
the heirs with him of the same promise;
for he waited for the city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God."
(Hebrews 11:8-10)
"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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"Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord - that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful" (James 5:10).

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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.