Summary: A study of the book of Job 26: 1 – 14

Job 26: 1 – 14

It’s Not Talking About Prehistoric Beasts

1 But Job answered and said: 2 “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? 3 How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many? 4 To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you? 5 “The dead tremble, those under the waters and those inhabiting them. 6 Sheol is naked before Him, and Destruction has no covering. 7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it. 9 He covers the face of His throne, and spreads His cloud over it. 10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at His rebuke. 12 He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm. 13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. 14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”

Today’s study makes me think about charitable giving. – ‘Have you helped him who is without power’. Are you aware that there is actually a day on our calendars dedicated to giving to the needy? It is called ‘Giving Tuesday’ and it is on November 29th. Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.

I use to do income taxes for people. It became embarrassing to ask or discover what the total amounts of charitable contributions that were given.

At church around January and February we receive a lot of calls from people who want to donate items for ‘needy’ people. If you are familiar with the tax code you then know that you can deduct the value of items given to charity. Each individual not the charity is responsible for assigning a value to the items that are given. Sadly, we have a term for this giving. It is called ‘Junk for Jesus’. You would be amazed at what fast ones people try to pull. On one occasion someone had a washer and dryer for the church to give to a needy family. Not only were they broken but they had holes. Cars are so bad that we actually had to pay the junk yard to take them. The caller told me that they wanted to bless the church with a grand piano. After we picked it up we saw that it was missing keys. Wire [strings] and legs. We had to call for a special pick up to empty the garbage container. I wonder what value the donors listed on the items that they gave to the church to help a poor and needy people. I could go on and on. It is shameful.

I found it quite interesting that Christians give twice as much as secular people. Out of total income the percentage given is 1.8% by Christians to .9% [that is less than 1%] secular. You will certainly note that these statistics are low. Of note there isn’t much of a difference between believer and non-believers relative to the percentage amount that is spent on entertainment which is at 5.6%.

What are some of the reason why people do not give as they could – or should and what are some statements to these excuses?

1. Misinformation or Lack of Information – ‘If you understand everything then you must be misinformed.’

2. Lack of Input – ‘life seems like a test I didn’t study for.’

3. Income –‘I do not check my bank account because I do not want to be reminded how poor I am.’

4. Employment Situation –‘Don’t underestimate your ability, that’s your boss’s job.’

5. Past Experience – ‘Never let your past experiences harm your future. Your past cannot be altered and your future doesn’t deserve the punishment.

6. Wrong Methods –‘If you can’t convince them, confuse them.’

7. Priorities – ‘In order to say yes to your priorities, you have to be willing to say ‘no’ to something else.’

8. Ignorance – ‘The opposite of love is not hate; the opposite of love is ignorance.’

9. Failure to Believe God – ‘Not once does the Bible say, ‘worry about it’, ‘stress over it’, or ‘figure it out’, but over and over it clearly says, ‘Trust God.’

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