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~ Day Thirty-One ~
MAGNIFY
No Other Name
The Book of Job ~ Chapter Thirty-One
"I have made a covenant with my eyes."
(Job 31:1a)
MORNING MEDITATION
Oath
Job took the stand and presented his "oath of innocence" before the Supreme Court of heaven. In ancient times, an accused person would swear his innocence at a trial, much like when we take an oath in court, saying, "so help me God," and call upon the greater Witness for the lesser. The full oath formula used by the accused began with an "if I" statement, and was followed with a curse to be imposed "if" the person was found guilty of the crime. "If my land cries out against me, and its furrows weep together; if I have eaten its fruit without money, or caused its owners to lose their lives; then let thistles grow instead of wheat, and weeds instead of barley" (vv. 38-40). In the Book of Hebrews, the Lord reminds us of His promise to Abraham, which He confirmed with an oath, and because their is no greater Witness than God, He swore by Himself and has given us assurance of salvation as Abraham's seed so we can have hope (Hebrews 6:13-20)! May we therefore have confidence each day to submit our case before our great Witness, going boldly and going often before the throne of grace, applying our human weakness to His divine strength, and not letting go until we receive grace for ourselves and others in our time of need. He is the anchor for our soul! "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19).

"Does He not see my ways, and count all my steps."
(Job 31:4)

In the Book of John, the Lord Jesus proclaims several "If I" statements which confirm the unchanging nature of God and provide believers with the encouragement we need to trust Him in times of uncertainty and turmoil like these with the knowledge that God cannot lie and He cannot go back on His promise of life for His people (Romans 8:31-39). As we come to the final days of our journey with Job, may our ears be tuned to the voice of our Shepherd as He invites us to listen in on some key conversations, beginning with Nicodemus, that we may be strengthened in these last days to remain steadfast in the faith, to grow into spiritual maturity, and to advance His kingdom in the world. [Feast upon this added portion today: Read John 3:1-21]"If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?" (John 3:12). The religious leaders of Jesus' day (not unlike the "miserable counselor's" of Job's day) had a lot of knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures - they knew a lot of Scriptural facts and claimed to follow the Law of Moses - but they were in the dark concerning Scriptural truths. As Jesus spoke with Nicodemus about spiritual birth the spiritual blindness of one of Israels most well-educated religious leaders became evident. "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?" (v. 10). The Lord came into this dark world to give spiritual light, so that men would no longer live in darkness. Jesus shows us, through the example of the spiritual blindness of the religious leaders of His day, that, one of the reasons men have trouble coming out of their dark and depraved sinful state, is because they will not submit to the authority of the witness of Christ (v. 11). There is no greater Witness! "And this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:19, 20). Without spiritual birth, we cannot perceive spiritual things. Because the religious leaders were not spiritually-minded they refused the teachings of Christ, and therefore remained spiritually-blinded to the truth that would have set them free (John 8:32, 36). "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (John 12:43). The door they slammed in Jesus' face was in fact closed to them, because they refused to submit to His authority. "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11). May we never be satisfied with our present spiritual condition, but continually hunger and thirst for the things of God as we feed upon the rich, nourishing manna of His Word, so we can grow up into spiritual maturity and walk in ever-increasing light as we spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. The Lord was leading Job and his friends, as well as all the people, into a realm of revelation of heavenly things, but they were too distracted by the disaster and disease that inflicted the man who was once a pillar in their community to see the greater work He was doing. May the Lord give us spiritual eyes to see those extraordinary moments of light that break through the darkest hours of our day and reveal the beauty of the Lord when we need it the most to encourage us to keep standing and fight the good fight of faith. "Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together" (Psalm 34:3).

"Thus God,
determining to show more abundantly
to the heirs of promise
the immutability of His counsel,
confirmed it by an oath,
that by two immutable things,
in which it is impossible for God to lie,
we might have strong consolation,
who have fled for refuge to lay hold
of the hope set before us.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
both sure and steadfast,
and which enters the Presence behind the veil,
where the forerunner has entered for us,
even Jesus,
having become High Priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek."
(Hebrews 6:17-20)
AFTERNOON DEVOTION
Read: Job Chapter Thirty-One

"Oh, that I had one to hear me!
Here is my mark.
Oh, that the Almighty would answer me,
that my Prosecutor had written a book!
Surely I would carry it on my shoulder,
and bind it on me like a crown."
(Job 31:35, 36)

In his final defense before the Judge of all the earth, Job submitted an oath of innocence. Confident that he would be acquitted, Job presented a series of statements in full oath format that began with the words: "If I", and were followed with a corresponding curse if he were to be found guilty of any of the crimes. Job opened his summary argument with, "I have made a covenant with my eyes" (v. 1a), and went on to present an overview of his life and relationships to prove his innocence, thereby challenging God to vindicate him or condemn him if he was in any way wrong. Job provided a detailed case showing how he had kept his integrity intact despite the discouraging words of his wife and the defaming words of his friends. Through all their attacks he refused to compromise his integrity in any way. He was still the man the Lord said he was at the beginning of the trial of his life: "Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity..." (Job 1:8; 2:3). He had no secret lusts, nor sexual sins; he didn't commit adultery; he was not deceptive in his business practices: "If I have walked with falsehood, or if my foot has hastened to deceit, let me be weighed on honest scales, that God may know my integrity" (vv. 5, 6); he didn't abuse his power and influence, but treated his employees fairly; he showed compassion to the widows, orphans, and the poor: "If I have raised my hand against the fatherless, when I saw I had help in the gate; then let my arm fall from my shoulder, let my arm be torn from the socket" (vv. 21, 22). Job worshiped the Lord, not his wealth; his confidence was in the Lord, whom he trusted would vindicate him. And with that, Job rested his case (v. 40b). Neither he nor his friends had anything more to say. "...till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live" (Job 27:5, 6). When all was said and done, Job stood fast in his integrity. A lesser man would have felt defeated if he had to endure all that Job did, but not Job, he withstood the overwhelming pressure from all sides and found his strength from within and became more determined than ever to have his day in court where he could have his innocence proven. Then he could wear upon his shoulders the proof of his innocence for all to see (v. 36). Let us offer a prayer of gratitude to the Lord, thanking Him that the heavy burden of our sin rests upon His mighty shoulders and His government of peace reigns within our hearts because He nailed our sin to the Cross (Isaiah 9:6, 7)."Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:29, 30).

"Again you have heard that it was said
to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely,
but you shall perform your oaths to the LORD.'
But I say to you, do not swear at all:
neither by heaven, for it is God's throne;
nor by the earth, for it is His footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Nor shall you swear by your head,
because you cannot make one hair white or black.
But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your "No,' be 'No.'
For whatever is more than these is from the evil one."
(Matthew 5:33-37)
EVENING PRAYER
"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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MAGNIFY No Other Name
A 45-day devotional prayer and fasting journey through the Books of Job and Joel
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Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New King James Version,
copyright (c) 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.