Guest post by Jeanette Andrade
June 6 Scripture Selection: Job 40-42
Food for Thought: Job 42:7-10
This concept of interceding on behalf of someone who has done wrong goes far beyond one forgiving another. Forgiveness involves releasing a demand on another for harm done. And, yes, it is essential. Unforgiveness actually causes the victim even greater harm. Because Jesus forgave and forgives us, we can forgive others through His love in us. However, there exists an action between the offended and the offender that goes beyond the healing that takes place in the offended: intercession.
Beyond words of forgiveness for not ministering to him in his time of need, Job demonstrated the willingness to intercede on behalf of his friends as God had asked him to do. Job was asked to pray for them as they offered up burnt offering sacrifices because God was holding them responsible for speaking ill of Him during Job’s most difficult times (misrepresenting God’s character as His supposed “spokesmen.”)
He’s not the only one to pray for people who caused great harm. Stephen manifested great love and compassion for those who were stoning him to death. He said, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin (Acts 7:60).” The apostle Paul also expressed similar words when discussing those who had abandoned him “in his first defense” when he had been arrested and was being judged (II Tim. 4:16). And the best example of all was that of the Lord Jesus Himself Who, on the cross in the midst of His agony, said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Luke 23:34).” He interceded for the very people who put Him on the cross. Had He not, salvation would not have been possible or accessible to them, showing that there is absolutely nothing we could do that would exempt us from His salvation.
In Matthew 5:43-45, Jesus expresses this loving attitude that really goes the extra mile: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” He loves all mankind the same, and, because we have the Father’s divine nature in us, we, too, can do this. As the expression goes, “Like Father, like son.”
Digging Deeper (What scriptures can further enhance today’s reading?):
Getting Personal (What has God shown you in today’s reading?):
Confession of Faith (Example: Lord, based on Mat. 1:21 and 23, I understand that Jesus is God, and I receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior.):
Important Events on This Day (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.):