Job 20-21

Why do the wicked prosper while good men remain poor? That’s Job’s question, and it’s also the one asked by many.

Some have an idea that God is “running the earth” to His liking, deciding who will be rich and who will be poor. But this concept totally overlooks the free will of men.

We are not puppets on the earth, with our Father pulling the strings. We are all free – wicked and righteous alike – to pursue our lives with the way we see fit.

Yet there are laws by which the earth runs. Vision, hard work, and diligence are all attributes which contribute to success and these are free to all. Besides that, families sometimes benefit from the vision and diligence of their ancestors. If an ancestor was very rich then the descendants might be also.

Being rich or poor does not in itself indicate a relationship with God. However, the rewards of vision and diligence can be multiplied by the blessing of the Lord.

There are many of God’s people seeking His Kingdom to such a degree that their diligence is in a vocation which doesn’t produce earthly wealth. Take a look at someone like Mother Teresa, for instance. Certainly she implemented all of the skills and virtues which would have made for wealth, if that were her pursuit. Yet that was not her pursuit, and her rewards from God came in a different way.

In my mind, the rewards of love, peace, and joy in a person’s life far out-rank any kind of material blessings.

One more note: when I talk about the free will of men, I don’t mean that God isn’t involved in our lives. He definitely is involved, and the more we seek Him, the more we will see His hand at work. In fact, when our lives are totally His, He will direct our paths, as we trust Him. And sometimes the trials we face cause us to seek Him in a deeper way.

Acts 10:23-28

Cornelius is excited! At the same time the Lord is giving Peter a vision and directing him to go to Cornelius, an angel appears to Cornelius and tells him to send for Peter. So the two are connected.

Cornelius really demonstrates his appreciation for the event in that he gathers his household, relatives, and close friends. This centurion truly values God’s gift of salvation. He wants it desperately, and he is about to get it!

“Now then we are all here present before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” And Peter replies, “I most assuredly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him”(V. 33-35)

The outcome astounds those who have come with Peter. After Peter has proclaimed the gospel, the Romans believe and the Holy Spirit is poured out upon them as on the day of Pentecost. They begin to speak with other tongues and exalt God, having been transformed by God’s power.

This is a one more monumental day in the new dispensation. Now not only the Jews may receive Jesus, but it is obvious that the gentiles may receive Him also. It’s mind-boggling to the Jews. They are continually amazed at the Lord and all that is happening in this new season.

I can’t leave this passage without making one more note. If we take another look at Acts 10:38, we get a compelling view into the life of Jesus and the intentions of our Father.  We see that Jesus “was anointed with the Holy Spirit and power” and He healed all that were oppressed of the devil.

So who was oppressing them? The devil. Who healed them? Jesus. How many did He heal? All that came to Him.

This shows us the will of God – that all would be healed. It also shows where the sickness and disease come from. The devil. Sometimes we come across traditions of men which try to deny these principles, but the Word is what I believe. If there are traditions which contradict the word, I want to discard them – and stick with God’s Word.

God is good – all the time. Jesus came that we might have life and that more abundantly! That’s the gospel in a nutshell, and I believe it. Don’t you?