Bible Characters, Volume 5

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In order to prove to the Israelites that God is the only true God, Elijah gathers the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, where for the main event each deity is given a pile of wood with a bull on it. The god who can produce fire and consume the sacrifice wins. When their efforts fail, Elijah prays to God, who immediately sends fire down from the sky and consumes the sacrifice. The Israelites rededicate themselves to God, and they kill the prophets who deceived them into worshiping Baal. Later, near the Jordan River, a fiery horse-drawn chariot descends from the sky and takes Elijah to heaven, but not before he appoints a successor named Elisha.

Isaiah is one of the most influential prophets in the Hebrew Bible. During his career, Isaiah advises several kings of Judah, helping them to avoid being destroyed by the mighty Assyrian Empire around B.

Betrothed to Joseph at a young age, Mary becomes pregnant under mysterious circumstances. Much of what Christians believe about Mary arose after her lifetime and highlights theological differences between Catholics and Protestants. For Catholics, Mary maintained her virginity throughout her life. Look at the specific lessons we can learn about responding to trials as revealed in the book of Job. One of the most overwhelming things about a severe trial can be the sense of isolation. In Job I we are given a behind-the-scenes look at events of which Job was completely unaware.

God, however, was very much aware of Job and of the wholehearted obedience he sought to render.

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Christ reminded His disciples in Luke —7 that God, who even takes detailed note of the sparrows, is much more deeply interested in the affairs of His own children. The Father is aware of everything about us down to the smallest detail. Even the hairs of our head are numbered. When we are struck with personal tragedy or persecuted for obedience, we can be sure that God knows. This is vitally important to keep in mind to counteract the sense of isolation and loneliness that will often beset us at such times.

But Jesus Christ does! We have a faithful High Priest who was tested in all ways like us and is therefore able to empathize and give us the needed help Hebrews — Though Job could not begin to understand why all of these things were happening to him, he knew God was aware of it.

He did not react, as Satan had predicted, by cursing God. The story recounted in chapters 1 and 2 makes us privy to actual conversations between God and Satan!

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When we begin reading the book of Job we learn that, while God allowed Satan to afflict Job, He set limits beyond which the devil could not pass. Later, He allowed Job to be personally stricken, but insisted that his life be spared. In all of this we have an advantage over Job. At the time he was going through adversity, Job knew nothing of the conversation between God and Satan.

He knew nothing of any limits God had pre-imposed upon his trial. God has established the limits of our trial, but we just do not know what those limits are! What we as Christians experience is not generally time and chance. God is involved in every test that we undergo and He has established preset limits beyond which Satan cannot go. Neither the duration nor the intensity of the trial is completely open-ended. Ultimately, God is in charge! This is perhaps one of the hardest lessons to keep in mind. Job wanted God to vindicate him in the eyes of his friends.

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People ridiculed him , 9 and that can be hard to take. When Elihu began to answer Job on behalf of God in chapters 32 through 37, he pointed out that Job had been wrongly focused during much of his trial. In Job —22, Elihu explains that God instructs and chastens in various ways.

God has His reasons for how He deals with us.

Our Top 10 Favorite Bible Characters - Rambling Ever On

And sometimes they are beyond our understanding. Job was so certain of his innocence and of the injustice of his afflictions that for a long time he was unable to see beyond that. He tried to defend himself from the false conclusions of his friends and in so doing was unable to see areas of needed growth in his life. Again, God has reasons for allowing whatever happens—though we are often at a loss to fathom what they are. In our trials and tests, James encourages us to ask God for wisdom James If we do so in faith, He will surely give it.

Whatever the trial or test, there is always growth that can be achieved.

Bible Characters, Vol. 5

God wants us to grow. Therefore, we must undergo periodic pruning to stimulate that growth John Humanly, we like everything to be neatly pigeonholed. We want the world and the events in it to make sense. But in trying to give an explanation for everything we sometimes miss the point. Or where were the upright ever cut off?

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