The Clarion, Aug. 2022
The middle of July to the middle of August is known as the dog days of summer. The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “diēs caniculārēs” or “dog days.” The name came about because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius. Sirius was known as the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog).
Well, dogs are man’s best friend, so we should take their example and be a friend.
Do you have a neighbor or maybe someone at your church or even a relative, who is elderly or handicaped, that could use your help, or maybe just someone to talk to? Maybe they have just lost a loved one, or they don’t get to see their children. So many people need someone just to take the time for them. You know dogs love people unconditionally, and we should, too. Why not begin this August.
I think you will see that it will change you and you will be glad for those “dog days” of summer.
The Testings of the Lord
I think that we all know the story of Job, but maybe not as well as we should. Job was no different than you or me. We go about our daily lives until one day things begin to happen in our lives, things that disrupt our daily course of living, things like sickness, or poverty, and even death. We lose our identity, and purpose in life. We begin to doubt God and in fact we even get angry at God. Our family and friends begin to judge us and lecture us and even condemn us. Well, this is the story of Job.
Job 1:1-3 tells us about the wealth of Job. “ In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.”
We will pick up the story in verses 6-12, “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.”
The story goes on that Job loses his children and his livestock all in one day. He goes from riches to poverty. When things happen in our lives, we often blame God. We for sure ask “Why? Why me? Why has this happened?” And maybe it was caused by the hand of another, a lie, an accusatory remark, a fatal accident, an injustice. We not only blame God, but we vow revenge, and we allow hatred and unforgiveness to rule our hearts and our actions. We never stop to think that what is happening may result in our favor, like out of this tragedy I was able to relate to others. Now I can see what others go through and now I have empathy, another step closer than sympathy. Or this has made me a stronger person and even yet, from this, I have now started a new ministry. We see that Job had a different response.
Job 1:20-22 tells us this, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Job makes this remark in Job 7:18, “What is man that You exalt him, and that You are concerned about him, that You examine him every morning and put him to the test every moment?”
God must have thought that Job could withstand such a trial in his life or else God would not have allowed Satan to press him so hard.
1Cornithians 10:13 tells us this, “No trial has confronted you except what a person can stand. God is faithful, and he will not allow you to be tried beyond your strength. But together with the trial He will also provide a way out and the strength to bear it.” (NCB)
Psalm 17: 3 says, “You have put my heart to the test; You have visited me by night; You have sifted me and You find nothing; my intent is that my mouth will not offend.”
In Jeremiah 17:10 God says this, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, to give to each person according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.”
In Zechariah 13:8-9 God also says this, “And it will come about in all the land,” declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
1 Corinthians 3:12-13 says this, “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each one’s work.”
So we see from these few Scriptures; that God puts everyone to the test and yes, these tests can be like going through the fire.
1 Peter 4:12-13 also tells us this, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though something strange were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that at the revelation of His glory you may also rejoice and be overjoyed.”
James 1:2-4 says this, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete.”
Romans 5:1-5 tells us this, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Messiah Yeshua, through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
James 5: 11 “You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.”
For several chapters God questions Job, and asks him if he was there at Creation, and if he had more wisdom and knowledge than God.
Then in Job 42:1-6 Job says, “I know that You can do all things, and that no plan is impossible for You. ‘Who is this who conceals advice without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.‘Please listen, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, and I repent, sitting on dust and ashes.”
Job admits to God that he had no knowledge or understanding of things, but now he saw God for who He was, and he realized that through it all, God was not only in control of all things, but that God knew what was best for him and he repents. We know that God totally restores Job and blesses him with more than what he had before. Today as you may be going through your own trials, know this, that God tests us to see if we are faithful. He also tests us to make us stronger in our faith. James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
Recipe Corner: Creamsicle Cheesecake by Delish
INGREDIENTS: FOR THE CRUST
24 whole Golden Oreo cookies, crushed 6 tbsp. melted butter Pinch of kosher salt
FOR THE FILLING
1 (3-oz.) box orange Jell-O
1 c. boiling water
2 c. whipped topping
2 (8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. sour cream
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
1 c. whipped topping
1 clementine, peeled and separated into segments
In a large bowl, whisk together orange Jell-O and boiling water until Jell-O is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool completely.
Make crust: In a medium bowl, mix together Oreo crumbs, butter, and salt. Press into the bottom of an 8″ springform pan and up the sides.
Make filling: In another large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth, then add powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. Fold whipped topping into cream cheese mixture, then pour half of mixture into cooled Jell-O. Whisk until smooth.
Onto the crust, alternate pouring 1/4 cup dollops of cream cheese and Jell-O mixtures until both mixtures are used up. With a butter knife, gently swirl the layers. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm.
To serve: When firm, pipe dollops of whipped topping around the outside of the cheesecake. Top each dollop with a clementine segment, garnish with orange zest, and serve.
Hebrew Corner: The Month of Av
The month of Av is the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar counting from Passover. Av is the most tragic month in Hebrew History, it starts with the first day of the month with the death of Aaron (Numbers 33:38). On the 9th day of the month, God said that this generation would not enter into the Promised Land. Also throughout history both the first and the second temples on the 9th day were destroyed. Starting with the 17th day of the fourth month, with the breaking of the stone tablets, to the worship of the golden calf, and to the 9th day of Av, with the destruction of the temples, this time of sorrow is called the “Three Weeks of Sorrow.” It is a solemn time of reflection, fasting and mourning to this day. There are no weddings or parties during this time. The time from Pentecost, which is the last of the Spring Feasts, to the first Feast of Fall, which is Rosh Hashanah, represents Yeshua, first coming to His second coming. For Believers in Messiah the time in between the two is considered the time in which the Bride is preparing for the Bridegroom. We are to use this time figuratively to prepare ourselves for the Messiah’s coming, for we do not know the day or the hour that He will come. The Parable of the Ten Virgins speaks to this coming and how five were ready and five were not (Matthew 25:1-13).
I’m sure it will not be in the month of Av but Revelation 7:14 says, “I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Revelation 19:6-9 tells us this, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
Let’s take this time during the month of Av to also reflect on our lives and if we need to repent, then repent, if we need to draw closer to God, then let’s get closer to God, but whatever it is, let’s prepare for the Lord’s coming. Romans 13:10-11 days, “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law. Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we first believed.”