The most important thing for a Christian to do is to keep his or her relationship with God fervent. The best way to do that is with a consistent devotional life, a life of prayer and Bible study. We suggest that a Christian pray everyday, read the Bible and study it. Here we have listed for you several different programs to help you read through the entire Bible in a year. You can read straight through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, read it through in order of events (chronologically), or a few other ways, but whatever way you choose - READ THE BIBLE! Click on the title to download that program in PDF Format. Most "Through the Bible" methods were taken from backtothebible.org
Read the events of the Bible as they occured chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis since Job lived around the same time as Abraham.
Read the books of the Bible as they occured in the Hebrew and Greek traditions (the order in which they were written). For example, the Old Testament books in the Hebrew Bible do not occur in the same order as they do in our English Bible. The New Testament books are arranged according to their date of writing as well.
Read the Old Testament and New Testament together. Your knowledge of the Old Testament will be enhanced by what you read simultaneously in the New Testament.
With this guide there are no surprises. You simply read through the Bible from start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation.
This Through The Bible Plan was written by the Scottish preacher Robert Murray McCheyne for his congregation. The readings in the left hand column are to be read by the entire family as a family. The readings on the left are individual (or "secret" as McCheyne called them) readings. They are meant to be read during personal devotion time.
We are Made Better by God's Chastening!
INTERESTING FACTS : Timothy Pickering, REVOLUTIONARY GENERAL; JUDGE; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; POSTMASTER GENERAL UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE WASHINGTON; SECRETARY OF WAR UNDER PRESIDENTS GEORGE WASHINGTON AND JOHN ADAMS; SECRETARY OF STATE UNDER PRESIDENT JOHN ADAMS
"Pardon, we beseech Thee, all our offences of omission and commission; and grant that in all our thoughts, words, and actions, we may conform to Thy known will manifested in our consciences and in the revelations of Jesus Christ, our Savior."
DAILY READING : JOB 5 - 7
TEXT : Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: Job 5:18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
THEME : GOD'S DISCIPLINE
As Job's afflictions begin, his friends - ironically called "comforters," are anything but a comfort to him. Still, we find wisdom in some of their words although their assessment of why Job is under the hand of God's judgment [read - discipline] is suspect. Again, some of their perceptions [as with Job's] display insight and wisdom. One example of such wisdom is found in chapter 5 beginning at verse 17. It is the subject of what is the result of God's discipline in the life of one of His children.
"happy is the man whom God correcteth - This verse commences a new argument, designed to show that afflictions are followed by so important advantages as to make it proper that we should submit to them without a complaint. The sentiment in this verse, if not expressly quoted, is probably alluded to by the apostle Paul in Heb_12:5. The same thought frequently occurs in the Bible: see Jam_1:12; Pro_3:11-12. The sense is plain, that God confers a favor on us when he recalls us from our sins by the corrections of his paternal hand - as a father confers a favor on a child whom he restrains from sin by suitable correction. The way in which this is done, Eliphaz proceeds to state at length. He does it in most beautiful language, and in a manner entirely in accordance with the sentiments which occur elsewhere in the Bible. The word rendered "correcteth (יכח yâkach) means to argue, convince, reprove, punish, and to judge. It here refers to any of the modes by which God calls people from their sins, and leads them to walk in the paths of virtue. The word "happy" here, means that the condition of such an one is blessed (אשׁרי 'ēshrēy); Greek μακάριος makarios - not that there is happiness in the suffering" [Albert Barnes]
In the best sense of the word, we are not "happy" when God afflicts us. It is after the discipline is removed that we discover we have been made better. Therefore, we understand happiness to be joined to the result not the event.
"Happy — not that the actual suffering is joyous; but the consideration of the righteousness of Him who sends it, and the end for which it is sent, make it a cause for thankfulness, not for complaints, such as Job had uttered (Heb_12:11). Eliphaz implies that the end in this case is to call back Job from the particular sin of which he takes for granted that Job is guilty. Paul seems to allude to this passage in Heb_12:5; so Jam_1:12; Pro_3:12. Eliphaz does not give due prominence to this truth, but rather to Job's sin. It is Elihu alone (Job 32:1-37:24) who fully dwells upon the truth, that affliction is mercy and justice in disguise, for the good of the sufferer." [Jameson, Fausset, and Brown]
Job is corrected through many sufferings as we are at times. However, we have the added measure of the Word of God, the Spirit of God, preaching and teaching, etc. in our time to reprove us and correct us.
"Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth,.... Reproves, rebukes, convinces by his word, which is profitable for correction of men's minds and manners; and by his messengers, the prophets and ministers, who are sent as reprovers of the people, and to rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in their principles, and sober in their conversation; and by his Spirit, which makes the correction of the word and ministers effectual, and who reproves and convinces of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and sometimes this is done by afflictive providences, by blows as well as words, which are the rod of correction God makes use of with his children; for this is not the correction of a judge reproving, condemning, and chastising malefactors and criminals, but of a father correcting his children, in love, in judgment, and in measure, for faults committed; Pro_3:12; so God's corrections are for sin, to bring his people to a sense of it, to humiliation and repentance for it, and to an acknowledgment of it; and often for remissness in duty, private or public, and when they set too high a value on the creature, and creature enjoyments, trust in them, and glory of them, to the neglect of the best things." [Adam Clarke]
Further, we are taught not to "despise" His discipline. The reason is clear - we are made better for God's chastisement when it is done. This is not appreciated during the trial, only after. Therefore, we must be cautious of how we speak of our trials when God is the Author of them. To despise His chastisement is, in a sense, to despise God who is perfect in all His ways!
"Eliphaz gives to Job a word of caution and exhortation: Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty. Call it a chastening, which comes from the Father's love, and is for the child's good; and notice it as a messenger from Heaven. Eliphaz also encourages Job to submit to his condition. A good man is happy though he be afflicted, for he has not lost his enjoyment of God, nor his title to heaven; nay, he is happy because he is afflicted. Correction mortifies his corruptions, weans his heart from the world, draws him nearer to God, brings him to his Bible, brings him to his knees. Though God wo unds, yet he supports his people under afflictions, and in due time delivers them. Making a wound is sometimes part of a cure. Eliphaz gives Job precious promises of what God would do for him, if he humbled himself. Whatever troubles good men may be in, they shall do them no real harm. Being kept from sin, they are kept from the evil of trouble. And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them." [Matthew Henry]
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "WE ARE MADE BETTER BY GOD'S CHASTENING!"
The primary mistake made by Job's friends is there insistence that only wicked men suffer. They have no reference for the purpose of evil in the life of the righteous. Like many Bible teachers today - if it is good, it is God, and if it is bad, it is sin. However, such a position holds the lines of truth tighter than their appointed bounds. In other words, bad things do happen to God's people even if it is not because of sin. In Job's case, Satan certainly was involved. Yet, it was God who gave permission. Therefore, we see a broader spectrum of truth concerning evil in the life of truly righteous people. In short, it is for the purpose of making the Christian better - morally, and many times intellectually and perhaps physically. In all, God cannot do wrong, but ordains suffering for the purpose of making us more spiritual and therefore "happy."
"In this chapter Eliphaz goes on to prove, and further confirm and establish, what he had before asserted, that not good men, but wicked men only, are afflicted of God, at least greatly, so as to have their substance wholly destroyed and perish, which was Job's case; and this partly from the case, state, and sentiments of all the saints, Job_5:1; and from his own observation and experience, Job_5:3; and then he proceeds to give some advice; and seeing afflictions do not come by chance, but are of God, it is right in such circumstances for a man to seek to the Lord f or pardon and salvation, and commit his cause unto him, Job_5:6; who does many great things in a providential way to the good of man in general, and to the disappointment of wicked crafty men, and to the serving of the poor in particular, Job_5:9; so that it is best patiently to bear the afflicting hand of God, and it is an happiness to be corrected by him, since he delivers such out of all their troubles, and preserves them from many evils, and bestows many good things on them; which would be Job's case particularly, if he behaved according to the advice given, and which is left with him to consider of, Job_5:17." [John Gill]
"Eliphaz proceeds to show that the wicked are always punished by the justice of God, though they may appear to flourish for a time, Job_5:1-8; extols the providence of God, by which the counsels of the wicked are brought to naught, and the poor fed and supported, Job_5:9-16; shows the blessedness of being corrected by God, in the excellent fruits that result from it; and exhorts Job to patience and submission, with the promise of all secular prosperity, and a happy death in a mature and comfortable old age, Job_5:17 -27." [Adam Clarke]
There is an encouraging counterpart to the truth of suffering found in Job 5:17 - 27. In Ecclesiastes chapter 7 we read -
Ecc_7:2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Ecc_7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. Ecc_7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
Here we see the same principle as in Job 5. Suffering has purpose. Moreover, suffering when handled properly, produces a better countenance or "happiness." Needless suffering such as in any self-inflicted wound produces little if any benefit. However, ordained trials and tribulations coming directly from the hand of God is of eternal profit. Further, we benefit here on earth as well since we know God through experience rather than [mere] precept. In addition, we are encouraged to know God will supply all our needs - both internally and externally.
"Reputation for piety and honesty is more desirable than all the wealth and pleasure in this world. It will do more good to go to a funeral than to a feast. We may lawfully go to both, as there is occasion; our Saviour both feasted at the wedding of his friend in Cana, and wept at the grave of his friend in Bethany. But, considering how apt we are to be vain and indulge the flesh, it is best to go to the house of mourning, to learn the end of man as to this world. Seriousness is better than mirth and jollity. That is best for us which is best for our souls, though it be unpleasing to sense. It is better to have our corruptions mortified by the rebuke of the wise, than to have them gratified by the song of fools. The laughter of a fool is soon gone, the end of his mirth is heaviness." [Matthew Henry]