Sunday January 29, 2023 a.d.Tobe 21, 1739 a.m.

He bruises, but He binds up (Job5:18)

The chastening of the loving Father

God loves His creation “…for God is love” (1 John 4:8), and He deals with His children with all the love, for “…He loved them to the end” (John 1:13). As a loving Father who has compassion and tender mercy toward His children, but He does not spoil them or overlook His part as a loving Father. In this St. Paul says, “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:6-8). Yes, and the Bible also says, “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole” (Job 517,18). It is not the revenge of a mighty God who avenges His servants, but a chastening of a Father to His beloved children to their benefit and their cure. A chastening that is void of cruelty, but is mingled with mercy, that is why it is said about Him: “For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole” (Job5:18).

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Fear Challenges Faith

“Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26)

These were the word of our Lord Jesus to the disciples when they were facing death… “And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep” (v. 24). What is strange is that Jesus was with them on the ship in the midst of this terrible situation, so how can they fear if He was with them?! Could the ship be destroyed while He was on it?! ... impossible. Even if He sleeps, would someone think that He does not know what befalls them? Or does He not care about what they are facing? Unfortunately, this was what they thought, and they even woke Him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” (v. 25), “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38), so He rebuked them, saying, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 8:26), “Why you are so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).

It is impossible for the ship be sunk or those on it be destroyed while the Lord is in the midst of it ... but our faith is weakened when the mind thinks, and fear overcomes and controls the person... Hence, Christ rebuking us said, “Where is your faith?" (Luke 8:25).

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Invitation for Repentance

God, the Lover of mankind, out of His love for His children is inviting them to repentance because “He desires all men to be saved” (1Tim2:4). It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet3:9). He says, ‘“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? Says the Lord God, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’” (Eze18:23). He may use different methods in order to lead them to repentance… Either by advice through His commandments e.g. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt2:3; 4:17), or by warning from the consequences of sin as in “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Lk13:5, 7), or by threatening “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place- unless you repent” (Rev2:5), or by fear “… others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire” (Jud1:23). He also could make use of someone to lead others to repentance as He used the sailors to call Jonah to pray, or to send someone to rebuke others for repentance as He sent Nathan to King David in order to lead him to repentance. He also could use nature to push someone to repent as it happened with Jonah who expressed his repentance from the belly of the whale, or to use disasters and tribulations as He used the famine to lead the prodigal son to return to himself and then to return to his father. He could also make use of diseases and pestilences, as in the saying of the Lord Jesus to the paralytic, “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you” (Jn5:14). He could also permit certain troublesome or a problem seams to be without any solution in order to come to Him with repentance before seeking His solution; even facing the moment of death, exactly as what happened with King Hezekiah who prayed with repentance, when he was near death, and he wept bitterly, so the Lord added to his age 15 years (Isa38:1-5). Thus, repentance is useful, whatever its method, whether by leniency or harshness.

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Tobit Represents Christ

Archangel Raphael with Tobit
  1. Tobit is a Hebrew name, meaning “Good God” or “Blessed or praise-worthy God.”
    The Lord Christ is our “good God” who incarnate for our salvation. He is the “good Shepherd” (Jn 10:9, 11), and the “good Teacher” (Matt 19:16). He is worthy to be praised and blessed from both the seen and unseen creatures.
  2. The son, Tobit, carries the same name of his father (Tobit 1:9). He also was very similar to his father, according to Raguel’s words to his wife, “How much like my cousin is this young man!” (Tobit 7:2).
    The Lord Christ says, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father… I and My Father are one” (Jn 14:9; 10:30). The Son is begotten from the Father (Matt 3:17, Jn 3:16-18; 6:69), and He is one with Him in essence of divinity, as the Lord Jesus says, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (Jn 14:11).
  3. Tobit was born as an alien at the land of exile away from his home land, Jerusalem.
    Christ was born in our land away from his heavenly place and He came to us from heaven “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (Jn 3:13).
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