The Wondering Wizard of Uz (No.4)

Wondering Wizard of Uz # 4

THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 4)

(Job 1:1)

In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our fourth visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this fourth article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).

LESSON FOUR. In lesson three we learned that “The most important thing on earth is not the things on earth”.  The things on earth (relationships, wealth, respect, reputation, or health) can change, be taken away, and/or destroyed. We learned that “The most important thing on earth” is to “trust in Him” (Job 13:15). When we go “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz” we should not miss this point. And in this final visit to the “land of Uz” we need to realize that “trust in Him” is not only “The most important thing on earth”, it is also “The most rewarding thing on earth”. This seems to be the main point God wants us to see when we visit Job. In James 5:11, James wrote, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Note that we are to see “the end intended by the Lord”. In the end “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42:17). The “end” is what God has in mind for us from the beginning. It is the finish that counts. God’s ultimate goal is to never leave us in a state of suffering, sorrow or in sin. He may permit it for a time but He will bless us in the end. In “the end” we will realize that God is “very compassionate and merciful” and this will never be more evident than when He takes us to heaven. The “sufferings of this present time” (no matter how bad they are) are “not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Roman 8:18). I guess Paul said it best: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT). All Christians have been “grieved by various trials” but they will be “receiving the end of your faith” which is the “salvation of your souls” (Read I Peter 1:6-9). Just as God blessed the latter end of Job’s life more than first, He has promised to do the same for us. Remember, God has never promised us smooth sailing in this life, but He has promised us a safe landing. It is in this hope that we have “as an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:18-19). Job’s faith paid off in the end and so will ours. God saves the best for last. In the end, we will fully comprehend that God has always been our very best friend.

Wayne Dunaway

The Mountain of God

The Mountain of God

GO REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN!

“Go Rest High on That Mountain” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Vince Gill. It was released in August 1995. (Wikipedia). I don’t know how many times I have heard that song in the last twenty years at funerals that I have attended. It is one of the best and most popular ever. “Heaven” is a “mountain” because it is where the “Father and the Son” are present which brings us to the following points.

THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD

The word “mountain” as used in many verses in the Bible serves to emphasize the Lord’s residence and/or reign; His presence and power.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. (Psalm 48:1).

Notice that God is in “His holy mountain.” The “holy mountain” is His dwelling place.
God has always been said to dwell in His “holy mountain.”

1. Heaven (God’s dwelling place) is called the “holy mountain of God.” God was speaking ultimately of Satan when He said:

You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.“By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:14-16). (See also Rev. 12:7-12, Lk. 10:18).

Observe that Satan was “cast out” of “heaven” (Rev. 12:7-9), but he was also said to be “cast out” of the “mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:16). Therefore God uses the word “mountain” to symbolize the “place” where He is present.

2. Mount Horeb was called the “mountain of God” because of God’s special presence and power that was manifested there. It was “holy ground” because of the presence of God in a special way.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:1-5).

Observe that the “place” was “holy ground” because God Himself was manifested there in a special way. It was not “holy” because of a pile of dirt, but it was “holy” because of the presence of Deity.

3. The mountain where Jesus was transformed was called a “holy mountain.” Peter was with Jesus when Jesus was “transfigured” before him on a certain mountain (Matt. 17:1-6). Peter later said that he was with Jesus on the “holy mountain.” What made it “holy”? It was the presence and power of Jesus. Peter wrote:

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18).

4. The Church is sometimes referred as God’s “holy mountain” because of God”s special presence in the church.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3).

Observe a number of things in these verses. First, the “mountain” of the Lord would be “established” in the “last days.” Second, this “mountain of the Lord” would be the “house of God.” Third, this “mountain” of the Lord” and “house” of God is called “Zion.” Fourth, the “house of God” is the church (1 Tim. 3:16-17) and Christians have “come to Mount Zion” which is the “church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:22). Why would the church be called the “mountain” of the Lord? For the same reason that “heaven” and “Horeb” and the “mountain” where Jesus was “transfigured” is called the “holy mountain”—because God’s presence is in the “church” (house/family of God) in a special way.

5. The “new heaven and new earth” that God is going to “create” is referred to as God’s “holy mountain” because God Himself will dwell there in a special way.

For behold, I create, new heavens and a new earth…..they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” (Isaiah 65:17 & 25).

Observe that the “new heavens and a new earth” (vs. 17) are called God’s “holy mountain” (vs. 25) because He will manifest Himself there in a special way. The “holy mountain” here in Isaiah 65:17ff is not the church (kingdom) on this earth, but rather the kingdom where God will dwell with His people in the “new heaven and new earth.” This is where the “tabernacle (dwelling place) of God” will be with men (Rev. 21:1-3). But what makes it a “holy mountain”? God’s presence!

The dwelling place of God is always a “holy mountain.” Our loved ones who have died and gone to heaven really do “Go rest high on that Mountain” because that is where God is. Thanks, Vince Gill, for this amazing song.

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

A Servant Girl Who Changed His World (II Kings 5)

A SERVANT GIRL WHO CHANGED HIS WORLD
Introduction: 2 Kings 5:1-3
A. Most of the time when we study from Second Kings chapter five we concentrate on Naaman and his cleansing.
B. He was a man who was “captain of the host of the king of Syria” (2 Kings 5:1). He learned from a little Israelite maid that he could go over to Elisha the prophet in Israel and be cured of his leprosy. He went and was cured (2 Kings 5:2-3).
C. Many lessons have been preached about Naaman having to dip seven times in Jordan before his “flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child” (2 Kings 5:14). One preacher had a sermon entitled, “Seven Ducks In A Muddy River.”
D. However, in this study I want us to concentrate on the little maid who told him about the prophet in Israel who would cure him of his leprosy.
E. While we do not know her name, we do know some things about her nature. We don’t know her family, but we do know something about her faith.
F. She served his wife and helped change his life. She was a servant girl.. who changed his world. She was God’s helper for Naaman the leper.
G. In this study we will notice three things about her:
I. Her Contentment.
II. Her Confidence.
III. Her Concern.
I. HER CONTENTMENT (5:2). She was a contented captive.
A. The text says, “She waited on Naaman’s wife.”
B. She could have been bitter and refused to serve Naaman’s wife. I mean, after all, she had been “brought away” out of her homeland and was a “captive” in a strange land. Most would say she surely had a right to be bitter and resentful in that situation.
C. However, she made the best of the situation rather than letting the situation make the best of her. She had gotten a lemon in life, but she made the best of it.
Turn failure into victory, don’t let your courage fade
And when you get a lemon, just make some lemonade.
D. She reminds us of Joseph, who although he was a captive in Potipher’s house, “served him; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand” (Gen. 39:4). Later, when he was falsely accused and put into prison even then, he acted in such a way that “the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison.” (Gen. 39:22).
E. She reminds us of Daniel, who even though he was a captive in Babylon, made the best of his situation and was highly respected by both the Babylonian and Persian governments (Daniel 1-6).
F. She reminds us of Paul who, even though he was a prisoner, wrote to the Philippians saying “I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11).
G. Of course, it was the Lord’s presence and providence that helped them be content in those situations (Psalm 46:1; Gen. 39:2-3; 21-23; Dan. 1:9; Phil. 4:13).
H. But notice that Paul says that contentment is something we learn. He said, “I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content” (Phil. 4:11).
I. One of the things that will help us learn content­ment is to realize that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
J. We also need to learn to count our blessings instead of our bruises.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
 And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
K. Into each life some rain must fall, but God’s still with us and He’s over all.
L. Not only do we have many physical blessings to count, but we have far more and far greater spiritual blessings than the little Israelite maid had (Eph.1:3; Heb. 8:6; 11:40).
M. We need more members like this maid. We need more Christians like this captive. We need more saints in the world like this little servant girl (Heb. 13:5-6).
N. She was willing to be a “Helper for a Leper” because she was content.
II. HER CONFIDENCE (5:3). She was a confident captive.
A. In verse three we learn that she was confident. She said that if Naaman were with the prophet in Samaria he “would recover him of his leprosy.”
B. Observe that she did not say he “might” or “may” or “should” – she said he “would.”
C. We do not really know how God got the message to the maid about curing Naaman. We know for sure that God had to tell her in some way (dream, vision, voice, etc…). Why? Because Elisha was not known for healing lepers. In fact, according to Jesus, even though there were many lepers in Israel, none of them were cleansed except Naaman (Luke 4:27).
D. Regardless of how God got the message to her she believed it. She was confident that God would cure him.
E. Her faith had come from “hearing” and she helped to provide his “curing.” Like Paul, she could say, “I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).
F. We need more members today like this maid. We need more Christians like this captive. We need more people in the church who are fully convinced that God will do what He says. We need more people who know and know that they know. We need more confidence (II Tim. 1:12; I John 2:3; 5:13-14; Heb. 4:16; Rom. 1:16).
G. She believed that God would heal this leper. Do we believe that God will heal the lost?
H. She was God’s helper for Naaman the leper. But what about our presence around others? Do we really want to be a helper to those around us? Do we have enough confidence in God and His Word to tell them what He will do for them?
III. HER CONCERN (5:3). She was a concerned captive.
A. Not only was she contented and confident, she was also concerned. She really cared about Naaman and his condition.
B. Think about it. Even in her strange position she still cared about his condition.
C. She was practicing what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:44 long before He came to the earth to teach it.
D. Like Jesus she was “moved with compassion” when she saw one in need (Matt. 9:36).
E. Think about how her contentment helped her be concerned about others. She was not thinking only of herself, but also about the needs of others. Had she not been content she would, no doubt, have spent her time thinking about herself and engaging in self-pity and selfishness.
F. But confidence in God and contentment in life provided the ground for being concerned about Naaman.
G. In the same book where Paul talked about how he had “learned to be content” (Phil. 4:11), he also said “let each esteem others better than themselves” and “look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others” (Phil. 2:3,4). Why? Because it is being content ourselves that helps us be concerned about others.
H. In the book of Hebrews the writer talked about confidence (Heb. 3:6), and contentment (Heb. 13:5), and being concerned about others (Heb. 3:13; 10:24).
I. In the church today we need more members like the maid. We need members who are concerned about the needs of others – especially the spiritual needs.
Others, Lord, yes others, may this my motto be.
Help me to live for others, that I may live like thee.
J. She was a servant helper for a Syrian leper.
CONCLUSION:
In this study we have focused on God’s helper for Naaman the Leper. She was a contented captive, a confident captive, and a concerned captive. A servant girl who changed his world. May the Lord help each of us to be more like her and more like our Lord in these ways. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).
Wayne Dunaway

 

gandpministries.org

My Notes on Job # 1 & 2


My notes on the BOOK OF JOB (No. 1)

A Suffering Man Who Did Not Understand

Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does God save bad people?
In one sense there are no good people:
None does good, no, not one (Rom. 3:12).
No one is good but One that is God (Matt. 19:17).
Not a just man on earth (Ecc. 7:20).
No one living is righteous (Ps. 143:2).

Why did Job suffer? We could ask, “Why didn’t he suffer more?” He actually should suffer the torment of hell forever like the rest of us. God could have “justly” sent him to hell—he was a sinner like everyone else. This much we know before we start.

Brief Outline:

I. DISASTERS of Job (Chapters 1-3)
II. DISCUSSIONS with Job (Chapters 4-41)
III. DELIVERANCE of Job (Chapter 42)

LESSONS:

1. What he ENDURED was PAINFUL (James 5:10)
2. What he LEARNED is PRICELESS (Job 42:2-6)
3. What he TEACHES is PATIENCE (James 5:11)

A. Job was holy and human.

1. Job was blameless, upright, feared God and shunned evil (1:8). Ezek. 14:14, 20.
2. Satan accused Job of serving for salary. Take away his fortune and you will take away his faith. Take away his good life and you will take away his great love. You crush him and he will curse you (1:8-11).
3. Job admitted that God has right to do what He wants to fulfill His purpose (42:2).
4. He did not charge God foolishly at first (1:20-22).
5. He did not sin with his lips at first (2:10).
6. But that attitude did not last. Job was as human as the rest of us.
7. He spoke without knowledge—he didn’t know what he was talking about (38:1-3)
.
B. Job admits that he had sinned (42:1-6).

1. Things he accused God of:

a. Shooting him with poison arrows (6:4).
b. Scaring and terrifying him (7:11-14).
c. Trying him every moment and not leaving him alone for a moment (7:17-20).
d. Multiplying wounds without cause and filling him with bitterness (9:17-18).
e. Destroying the innocent and laughing at them (9:21-24).
f. Destroying the hope of man (14:19).
g. Delivered him to the wicked and made a target out of him (16:11-14).
h. He has wronged me (19:6-11).
i. He treats me unjustly (27:2).

C. Job did not always speak what was right (42:3).

a. He condemned God that he may be justified (40:8).
b. Job wanted to contend with (argue/correct/criticize) God (40:2).

Wayne Dunaway  gandpministries.org


 My notes on JOB # 2

I. Job may have suffered patiently, but he did not suffer quietly. He suffered severely, but not silently. He had a lot pain and thought he had a right to complain. Observe the following:

a. Job 6:11 I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
b. Job 23:2-5 He demands to understand.
c. Job 19:21-22 He thought God was directly responsible for his suffering.
d. He lost his fortune and his family. Satan took Job’s fortune and family. Satan tortured Job’s flesh and turned Job’s friends.
e. He lost his wealth & health. He went from plenty to poverty, much to misery, and riches to rags.

II. He suffered physically, mentally and emotionally.

A. Note not only the things he said, but extent of his physical suffering:

1. Painful boils (2:7).
2. Endless itching (2:8).
3. Changed appearance (2:12)
4. Sleepless nights (7:4).
5. Worms and running sores (7:5.
6. No hope (7:6-7).
7. Nightmares (7:13-14).
8. Weeping and dark eyes (16:16).
9. Loss of weight (19:20).
10. No rest from pain (30:17).
11. Skin black & fever (30:30).
12. Months of pain (7:3).

B. Note the mental anguish.

1. Wife turned against him. (2:9:19:17)
2. Brothers, relatives, close friends and those he loved turned against him (19:13-19).
3. Younger men hated him, avoided him, and spit in his face (30:1 & 9-10).

III. He asked “why” and he wanted to die. Is it right to do this? Maybe so or maybe not, but it is human.

A. He asked, Why?

1. Why did they not carry me from the womb to the tomb (3:11-12).
2. Why was I not like a stillborn child? (3:16)
3. Why is light given to a miserable man? (3:20)
4. Why is light given to one hedged in by God in pain? (3:23)
6. Why me Lord? (7:20)
7. Why do I labor in vain? (9:29)
8. Why do You contend with me? (10:2)
9. Why regard me as an enemy? (13:24)
10. Why do wicked prosper? (21:7-15)

B. He wanted to die.

a. He longed for the grave (3:21)
b. He wanted to be cut off (6:8-9).

IV. Satan took Job’s family & fortune. He tormented Job’s flesh. But he did not and could not take away his faith (13:15). Satan destroyed Job’s reputation and turned his relatives, but never convinced him to renounce his Redeemer (19:25). He took away his happiness and his health. But he could not take away his eternal hope (19:25-27).

V.  If seeking to be righteous exempted one from all problems and pain in this life then people would try to do right not because of God, but because of what they get from God. See John 6:24-26.

VI. We must learn to profit from suffering. Instead of just asking, “When am I going to get out of this?” Try, “What can I get out of this? Here are a few things we can get from suffering:

1. Patience (Jam. 1:2-3, 5:110-11; Rom. 5:3)
2. Sympathy (Heb 2:17-18, 2 Cor. 1:3-4)
3. Humility (2 Cor. 13:7)
4. Preparation (2 Cor. 6:16-18)
5. Salvation (1 Peter 3:18)
6. Closer to God (Job 42:5)

VII. The main lesson of all is this is in Job chapters 38-41. In the questions God asked we learn the three things that Job learned about God and the problem of human suffering:

1. God CREATED the world.
2. God CONTROLS the world.
3. God CARES about His world.

This is all that we really need to know! God does not have to explain to us all that he does or why He does it! This is what we need to tell others because this is what we need to know ourselves! God is too loving to be mean. He is too powerful to be manipulated. God is too wise to be mistaken.

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org

My Notes on Job # 3 & 4

My notes on JOB # 3
(Job’s Friends)
Job predicament.
A. 7:3 Months of pain.
B. 7: 11 Spoke out.
C. 7:20 Why me Lord.
D. 6:8-9 Wanted to Die.
E. 19:19 Those he loved turned.
F. Satan took Job’s fortune and family.. He tormented Job’s flesh. He turned Job’s friends.
G. God is said to have done it because He allowed it.
1. 2:3 Although you “incited Me against to destroy him without cause.”         
2. 42:11 It was “for all the adversity the Lord had brought on him.”
3. 1:12; 2:7 But Satan was directly responsible for what happened.
H. He had three friends:
1. 2:11 They are called friends at beginning of book.
2. 42:10 They are his friends at the end of the book.
I. THEY ARE TO BE COMMENDED.
A. They CARED about Job.
1. 2:12 When they saw him they wept.
2. Proverbs 18:24 There is a friend that sticks closer than brother (Job 19:13-15).
3. Many would say “Have you heard about Job & his problems?” “That is bad. Poor old guy. That’s tough. Bless his heart.
4. Luke 10 Like priest and Levite we pass by on the other side.
5. Luke 18:24 To have friends must be one.
6. Psalm 142:4 Sad when one feels that “no one cares for my soul.”
7. I went out into the world to find a friend and couldn’t find one there. Then I went out to be a friend and friends were everywhere.
B. They CAME to Job.
1. 2:11 They heard and they came.
2. Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times.
3. They were not fair weather friends. They were friends in prosperity and poverty. When he had much and when in misery.
4. When the roses loose their fragrance and the world seems at an end. When the day has lost it’s gladness, what a blessing is a friend. One who takes you as he finds you, caring not who is to blame. One who knows all of your shortcoming, but who loves you just the same. Heaven sends a gift each morning of a bright new day to spend. What a joy it is to share it with one who is a trusted friend. (Unknown).
5. Too many times we care but we don’t come. We are too busy. Too much to do. Too wrapped up in our own lives to come to help others.
6. Life’s a busy crowded way. Good intentions go astray. I had a friend the other day. I haven’t now because he passed away. I meant to phone, to write, to call, but he didn’t hear from me at all. I just hope somehow that he could see, just what his friendship meant to me. Life is a busy crowded way, good intentions go astray.
7. 2:11 They wanted to morn with and comfort him.
8. 2:13 They sat down with him.
9. 2:13 They didn’t say a word for seven days and nights. Sometimes when you have nothing to say the best thing to say is nothing. There is a ministry of presence and silence that says all that really needs to be said.
C. They COMMUNICATEDwith Job.
1. The said some awful things. They said his sinning had caused his suffering.
2. 4:7-9 Eliphaz said he was reaping what he had sown.
3. 8:13 Bildad called him a “hypocrite”
4. 11:6 Zophar said he was suffering less than he deserved.
5. They said what they had to say to him and not to others about him.
6. We all have a tendency to gossip.
JOB # 4
 (Job’s Friends: Condemned)
II. THEY ARE TO BE CONDEMNED (2:11, 16:2 Miserable comforters.)
A. Wrong in what they TAUGHT
1. 4:7 Eliphaz: only the wicked suffer in this life. (Told of visions)
B. Wrong in what they THOUGHT.
1. 5:27 Eliphaz thought they knew it all. (15:9)
2. 12:2-4 Job accused them of that.
C. Wrong in what they SOUGHT.
1. 8:13 Bildad accused Job of forgetting God & being a hypocrite.
2. 8:20 God will not hurt blameless nor uphold evildoers.
3. 22:4-10 Eliphaz even specifies the sins Job has committed.
4. Matthew 7:1-5 Job’s friends sought to find fault with him without the facts.
All real friends are like Job’s three friends in many ways. We are all wrong about some things and we all make mistakes in dealing with friends. But we are there when they need us and we “rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15).

 

Wayne Dunaway                                                                           gandpministries.org

Wondering Wizard of Uz # 1

THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ  # 1
(Job 1:1)
Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Wizard is a fictional character who lived in the Land of Oz. The film about “The Wizard of Oz” is ranked by some among the top ten best movies of all time. Dorothy and her friends (a Dog, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion) travel the Yellow Brick Road to the Land of Oz. They were “off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” In this article, we are “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz.” Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz.” A “Wizard” is a very smart, very clever, or very skillful person. The first chapter of his book shows that Job was a “Wizard” (clever, smart, and skillful). He was a “Wondering” Wizard because he “wondered” about his fate. (Why were all of these bad things happening to him?). He “wondered” about his future (How long was he going to suffer?). He “wondered” about his Father (Why was God punishing him? What had he done?). Satan had taken Job’s fortune and his family, tortured Job’s flesh, and turned Job’s friends. And even though he lost his family, his fortune, and most of his friends, he never lost his faith. This is why we need to visit this “Wondering Wizard of Uz”. He is an example for us all (See James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this article, and maybe one or two others, we will just mention a few lessons we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON ONE: God wants man to love and serve Him because of who He is and not simply because of what He gives. And this “Wondering Wizard of Uz” shows that some men will do just that. Satan accused Job of serving God for salary (Ch. 1:9-11). But Job proves that some will serve God for nothing. Some will love and trust Him simply because He is God. Some will serve God even if they are not blessed physically, socially, or materially. God’s people are to love Him and trust Him, come what may (Job 13:16). The book of Job also teaches us that man can, and sometimes does, lose things that are near and dear to him. It teaches us how important it is to: “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). It illustrates how man will always be tested as long as he is on this earth and how important it is to maintain our faith in God no matter what happens to us or around us. Job shows us that faith that can be trusted can also be tested.
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org

Wondering Wizard of Uz # 2

THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 2)
(Job 1:1)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our second visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (See James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this second article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON TWO. God can allow a righteous man to suffer and still be just Himself. This “Wondering Wizard of Uz” proves this point without question. Job proves that God can, and does, sometimes allow righteous men to suffer in this life for no apparent reason. Of course, one thing I have wondered is: “How can God keep us from suffering as much, and as many times, as we all fail to live up to what He expects?” As one popular song says, “Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known?” The amazing thing is how God keeps us from suffering! Why does He, or why should He, bless us in any sense considering how sinful we all are? If any of us, who are responsible people, got what we deserve we would probably suffer as much, and maybe more, than Job did (and some will).
 I realize that this does not solve the problem or answer the question concerning human suffering. But, in my judgment, it raises a valid point. Why does God bless us? One answer is: “Because He is God”. How can God allow good men to suffer? One answer is: “Because He is God”. Of course, when it comes to suffering in this life, there is no answer that will satisfy or relieve those of us who suffer. I know that some suffer because of their own sins (II Peter 4:15). Some suffer because of the sins of others (Joseph, Gen. 37-50). Some suffer because we live in a world of suffering as a consequence of sin entering the world (Genesis 3:16-19). Some suffer because of chastisement (Hebrews 12:6-11). Some suffer for righteousness sake or because they are Christians (I Peter 4:16). Some suffer in order that the works of God may be revealed (John 9:3). Some suffer for other reasons. And no explanation applies to every sufferer and no explanation relieves the suffering. But this “Wondering Wizard of Uz” teaches us that: “Patience involves, not only trusting God’s timing, but also trusting God’s judgment.”  A truth that Job had to learn the hard way. Remember that God is too loving to be mean, too powerful to be manipulated, and too wise to be mistaken.
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org 

Wondering Wizard of Uz # 3


THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 3)
(Job 1:1)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our third visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this third article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON THREE. One of main lessons we learn from Job is this: “The most important thing on earth is not the things on earth.” The most important thing on earth is “trust” in God. Job lost the things that most people consider most important, but he never lost his “trust” in God. Remember his statement “though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15)? This is the one thing that Satan could not take away. This is the one thing that Job did not lose. There are many things that are important to us on earth. For example,
1. RELATIONSHIPS. All of us probably agree that earthly relationships are important. Job had some important earthly relationships. But he lost them. He had a relationship with his children, wife, friends and others. But all of his children died in one day. His wife, brothers, friends and others turned against him. And even the three friends who stuck with him accused him of some horrible things. Earthly relationships, as important as they may be, are not the most important thing on earth.
2. WEALTH. Some people consider riches as the most important thing on earth. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with being rich. It can be a blessing. Job had plenty of earthly riches. In fact, when it came to riches, he was the “greatest man in the East” (Job 1:3). Like Bill Gates, he was famous for his wealth. But he lost all of his wealth. It was all “taken away” (Job 2:21). Many in our day have lost all of the wealth that they had. Investors in Enron and other stocks have lost their fortunes. Others have lost their money in bad real estate investments, bad business deals and other ways. Riches can be important when properly used, but they are not the most important thing on earth.
3. RESPECT. Being respected is an important thing. Living in such a way that others respect us is a worthy goal for us all. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1). But “respect” is not the most important thing on earth. Job was respected and admired by those who knew him. But Job lost the respect of others. Satan was allowed to take it away. Job said, “even the little boys scorned me, when I appear, they ridicule me” (Job 19:18). Having others respect us is important, but it is not the most important thing on earth.
4. REPUTATION. Having a good reputation is important. Job had a good reputation. Job said that there was a time when “everyone listened to my advice” (Job 29:21). He was like E. F. Hutton, when he spoke, people would listen. But he lost his reputation. Satan destroyed it. Even the younger men mocked and made fun of him (Job 30:1). Having a good reputation is important, but it not the most important thing on earth.
5. HEALTH. Being healthy is important. God wants us to “prosper in all things and be in health” (III John 1:2). We are taught to “do yourself no harm” (Acts 16:28) and to “glorify God in your body” (I Cor. 6:20). Being healthy is important and we should all try to eat right, exercise right, and avoid things that destroy our health. Evidently Job was healthy for a long time. But he lost his health. After he was afflicted by Satan he lived for months in misery (Job 7:3). Having good health is important, but it is not the most important thing on earth.
Remember “the most important thing on earth is not the things on earth (relationships, wealth, respect, reputation, or health) because these things can change, be taken away, and/or destroyed. The most important thing on earth is to “trust in Him” (Job 13:15). When we go “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”, we should not miss this point. In our next visit to the “land of Uz”, we will learn some other reasons why “trust in Him” is the most important thing on earth.
Wayne Dunaway

 gandpministries.org

Wondering Wizard of Uz # 4

THE WONDERING WIZARD OF UZ (No. 4)
(Job 1:1)
In this article, we are again “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz”. Job was a “Wizard” and he lived “in the land of Uz”. This is our fourth visit to this “land of Uz”. He is an example for us all (James 5:11). But what do we learn from him? In this fourth article we will briefly mention another lesson we can learn from this “example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10).
LESSON FOUR. In lesson three we learned that “The most important thing on earth is not the things on earth”.  The things on earth (relationships, wealth, respect, reputation, or health) can change, be taken away, and/or destroyed. We learned that “The most important thing on earth” is to “trust in Him” (Job 13:15). When we go “off to see the Wizard, the Wondering Wizard of Uz” we should not miss this point. And in this final visit to the “land of Uz” we need to realize that “trust in Him” is not only “The most important thing on earth”, it is also “The most rewarding thing on earth”. This seems to be the main point God wants us to see when we visit Job. In James 5:11, James wrote, “Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” Note that we are to see “the end intended by the Lord”. In the end “The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42:17). The “end” is what God has in mind for us from the beginning. It is the finish that counts. God’s ultimate goal is to never leave us in a state of suffering, sorrow or in sin. He may permit it for a time but He will bless us in the end. In “the end” we will realize that God is “very compassionate and merciful” and this will never be more evident than when He takes us to heaven. The “sufferings of this present time” (no matter how bad they are) are “not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Roman 8:18). I guess Paul said it best: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Corinthians 4:16-18, NLT). All Christians have been “grieved by various trials” but they will be “receiving the end of your faith” which is the “salvation of your souls” (Read I Peter 1:6-9). Just as God blessed the latter end of Job’s life more than first, He has promised to do the same for us. Remember, God has never promised us smooth sailing in this life, but He has promised us a safe landing. It is in this hope that we have “as an anchor for the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:18-19). Job’s faith paid off in the end and so will ours. God saves the best for last. In the end, we will fully comprehend that God has always been our very best friend.
Wayne Dunaway

gandpministries.org 

The Mountain of God

GO REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN!

“Go Rest High on That Mountain” is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Vince Gill. It was released in August 1995. (Wikipedia). I don’t know how many times I have heard that song in the last twenty years at funerals that I have attended. It is one of the best and most popular ever. “Heaven” is a “mountain” because it is where the “Father and the Son” are present which brings us to the following points.

THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD

 The word “mountain” as used in many verses in the Bible serves to emphasize the Lord’s residence and/or reign; His presence and power.

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. (Psalm 48:1).

Notice that God is in “His holy mountain.” The “holy mountain” is His dwelling place.
God has always been said to dwell in His “holy mountain.”

1. Heaven (God’s dwelling place) is called the “holy mountain of God.” God was speaking ultimately of Satan when He said:

You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.“By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. (Ezekiel 28:14-16). (See also Rev. 12:7-12, Lk. 10:18).

Observe that Satan was “cast out” of “heaven” (Rev. 12:7-9), but he was also said to be “cast out” of the “mountain of God” (Ezek. 28:16). Therefore God uses the word “mountain” to symbolize the “place” where He is present.

2. Mount Horeb was called the “mountain of God” because of God’s special presence and power that was manifested there. It was “holy ground” because of the presence of God in a special way.

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:1-5).

Observe that the “place” was “holy ground” because God Himself was manifested there in a special way. It was not “holy” because of a pile of dirt, but it was “holy” because of the presence of Deity.

3. The mountain where Jesus was transformed was called a “holy mountain.” Peter was with Jesus when Jesus was “transfigured” before him on a certain mountain (Matt. 17:1-6). Peter later said that he was with Jesus on the “holy mountain.” What made it “holy”? It was the presence and power of Jesus. Peter wrote:

For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. (2 Peter 1:16-18).

4. The Church is sometimes referred as God’s “holy mountain” because of God”s special presence in the church.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3).

Observe a number of things in these verses. First, the “mountain” of the Lord would be “established” in the “last days.” Second, this “mountain of the Lord” would be the “house of God.” Third, this “mountain” of the Lord” and “house” of God is called “Zion.” Fourth, the “house of God” is the church (1 Tim. 3:16-17) and Christians have “come to Mount Zion” which is the “church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:22). Why would the church be called the “mountain” of the Lord? For the same reason that “heaven” and “Horeb” and the “mountain” where Jesus was “transfigured” is called the “holy mountain”—because God’s presence is in the “church” (house/family of God) in a special way.

5. The “new heaven and new earth” that God is going to “create” is referred to as God’s “holy mountain” because God Himself will dwell there in a special way.

For behold, I create, new heavens and a new earth…..they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.” (Isaiah 65:17 & 25).

Observe that the “new heavens and a new earth” (vs. 17) are called God’s “holy mountain” (vs. 25) because He will manifest Himself there in a special way. The “holy mountain” here in Isaiah 65:17ff is not the church (kingdom) on this earth, but rather the kingdom where God will dwell with His people in the “new heaven and new earth.” This is where the “tabernacle (dwelling place) of God” will be with men (Rev. 21:1-3). But what makes it a “holy mountain”? God’s presence!

The dwelling place of God is always a “holy mountain.” Our loved ones who have died and gone to heaven really do “Go rest high on that Mountain” because that is where God is. Thanks, Vince Gill, for this amazing song.

Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway
gandpministries.org