Wise words from the book of Job

Ian Rees, Bath, England [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Part 5 of 11 of the series Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World

Precious Seed

‘I have escaped by the skin of my teeth’, Job 19. 20

The English idiom ‘escaped by the skin of one’s teeth’ is derived from this graphic expression in the book of Job. One of the main themes of the book is the problem of suffering. At the beginning of the book we find Job well blessed, with a large family, considerable wealth and great prospects. In the first and second chapters of the book,however, Job faces desperate grief as all his children die and he loses everything, including his health. Even his wife advises him to ‘curse God and die’. Job, however, remains resolute. In the face of bereavement, he bows his head and says, ‘the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’, and in response to the loss of everything he affirms, ‘though he slay me, yet will I trust him’. In doing so he shows us that suffering is sometimes brought upon us to prove that our faith is real and that we are not fair-weather believers, loving God only when everything is well with us. Sometimes suffering comes, too, so that our response of ‘faith-comewhat- may’ brings glory to God. In the end,God restores all to Job, and more besides.

To ‘escape by the skin of one’s teeth’ has been used for centuries to mean ‘to have a narrow escape’.Whether this is what the original Bible expression actually means is open to debate. It is, however, used in situations where survival or rescue is achieved at the last minute, or onlyjust. Perhaps someone misses a flight that subsequently crashes, or climbs out of the wreckage of a write-off. It could also be used of someone who leaves it to the very last minute to get right with God, and yet succeeds in doing so. When a man or woman, who has lived a life without God, repents just before they die and rests all hope of peace with God in the death of Christ on the cross, it can be said of them that they were saved by the skin of their teeth.This is simply because the Bible always tells us to get right with God the moment we believe He is speaking to us, calling us to faith in Him and warns us not to leave it until tomorrow.We do not know whether we will see tomorrow. ‘Now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation’, 2 Cor. 6. 2.

Two thieves were crucified with the Lord Jesus. One believed and trusted in Christ at the last moment. His experience shows that God can still receive a sinner who repents last minute, while there is yet life and consciousness, and asks to be saved from God’s judgement on sin; but only one was saved, so that no one should presume that such vital matters as gaining peace with God should be left to the last moment. Don’t bank on a death-bed conversion, will you? You may not be given one. If God is calling you, come now.

AUTHOR PROFILE: IAN REES saw an assembly planted in Francistown, Botswana, having served the Lord there for 13 years. Now based in the UK, he was in fellowship in Manvers Hall, Bath, one of his commending assemblies. He has now moved to establish a new assembly in Tenby, West Wales. He is married and has seven children.

There are 24 articles in
ISSUE (2005, Volume 60 Issue 2)

Christian Year Publications

Editorial

Evangelicals Then and Now

What the Bible Teaches -Exodus

The Fruit of the Spirit is Joy

What can God do?

The God of Peace

Godly Overseers

Gospel Work and other Activities

The House of God

How Can I Know the Will of God for My Life?

Mighty to Save

The Moral Maze

Prison Evangelism

Rebellion of Absalom

How to understand the Scriptures

The Secret of Joshua’s Success

Studies in 2 Thessalonians

Union Hall, Cowdenbeath

The Unknown Brethren

We Count Them Happy That Endure

Will You Die Well

Wise words from the book of Job

‘Wonna bet?’

There are 11 articles in this series

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Job

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 30 articles by this author

‘Wonna bet?’

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Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

What does God know?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Who made God?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

What does God look like?

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Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Is God ever unfair?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Job

Is God ever unkind?

Behaving ourselves in the house of God

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

IN MY PLACE

Abortion - The Moral Maze

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

Stepping stones . . . through the Bible day by day

A Brief History of the Authorised (King James) Version

How God Called Me to Full-time Service

Characters Around the Crucifixion

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Ciaphas who Sacrificed Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 3 - Peter Who Denied Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 4 - Herod who Mocked Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion. Part 5 Pilate Who Condemned Him

Characters Around the Crucifixion - Part 6 - Simon Who Helped Him