A Nugget from New Life Network
Scripture for the Day March 4, 2019
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? (John 14:9)
The next two questions (Question 5 and 6) that we posed in our first devotional concerning The Book of Job were as follows:
5. Does the Book of Job and Satan define God, or does Jesus define God?
6. What is the difference between God taking the things the enemy intends for harm and turning them to the good compared to God orchestrating the harmful event himself?
It is my opinion, based on 36 years of ministry observations, that people often take bits and pieces out of the Old Testament (with the Book of Job being a prime example) to help them define God. That can lead to a lot of misconceptions and outright falsehoods about God’s goodness.
In many instances we are allowing Satan to define God by going this route. It’s not that we can’t learn from the Old Testament. It’s not that the Old Testament doesn’t contain a lot of wisdom, but we now have a New Testament and a better covenant. We now have Jesus himself, who is the exact representation of the Father. When you see Jesus, you see the Father. We now have a better look at the enemy than we ever did in the Old Testament and we should be able to see some of the misguided ways some Old Testament people tended to define God.
Because we have Jesus and the New Testament, we need to reverse course in the way we define God. We need to let Jesus do the defining! We need to look at Jesus, His heart, His actions, and His statements to help us know the Father. Jesus is God and God is Jesus. They are one and the same! If we will do that, it will bring more clarity and understanding to what istranspiring in the Old Testament. It will also bring into focus the spiritual warfare that is taking place in the Old Testament and the misconceptions people had about what was going on.
Let’s use the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) as an example. Joseph had two dreams that basically showed that he would be exalted to a high position and that his family would bow down before him. He told those dreams to his brothers and family and was hated and scolded for it. His brothers eventually threw Joseph into a pit and later sold him into slavery and told his father that he was dead. Joseph was taken to Egypt as a slave and eventually rose from a slave to Pharaoh’s right hand man. Years later, in a time of famine, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for help and miraculously found themselves bowing down to their own brother.
Now, there are a lot of twists and turns to Joseph’s story that you can read in Genesis but here is the bottom-line as it relates to our study. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph addresses his brothers that did him wrong and said this:
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Here is the problem in how we look at this scripture. Some Christians believe that God controls everything so they think God orchestrated this entire mess. But if you know the actions of the enemy, that are clearly defined in the New Testament (John 10:10), then you know that evil (Satan) is the one that initiated this mess but God took the things the enemy meant for harm and turned them for the good.
There is a huge difference in thinking God initiated the attacks against Joseph versus Satan (evil). What that does is sow doubt in a person’s mind about the true goodness of God.
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Matthew 7:17-18)
We get back to the attack on the goodness of God. God is good, all the time! Satan is evil, all the time! He is a liar and the Father of lies. I heard a person say just yesterday on national television that he had lied about a particular situation but he was not a liar. He said he had done some bad things but he wasn’t a bad man. Those statements alone are lies. If you lie, you are a liar! That kind of twisted logic is what we are dealing with in our culture today. It’s the same logic that Satan has always used. He will always try to shift the blame onto God so that God’s reputation will be negatively affected. Satan does not want us to realize the true indescribable, unmeasurable, undefinable goodness of God!!!
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)