Thus Far and No Further
I said, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.” (Job 38:11)
We arrive, again, at the end of another year. For some, looking back on 2021, will bring rejoicing at memories of the year gone by. It has been, largely, a year of new joys, surprises and happiness. But for others, it has been a year of trials and difficulties in their many shapes and forms. You may even be dreading entering another year which, stretching forward, all you can see is a repetition of the pain that you have known in 2021.
The children of Israel, as they sat in exile in Babylon, must have experienced this. The forced detention of the Jews in Babylonia commenced with the Babylonian conquest of the kingdom of Judah in 598/7 and 587/6 BC. The years stretched on in captivity, hope of deliverance fading with each year that passed. The future looked bleak, dismal, hopeless.
However, some years prior to captivity, Isaiah had prophesied that a King called Cyrus would arise and he would bring an end to the captivity. (Isaiah 45:1-3). The long awaited dawn of hope came in 538 BC when the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, Cyrus the Great, gave the Jews permission to return to Palestine. God had seen the pain of His people. There was a limit to what He would allow. He said said ‘thus far and no further’.
Centuries prior to this we read these words, “There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area.” Job 1:1-3 NLT.
This ‘blameless’ man, finds his life changing in an instant as he is bereft of his children, his livestock and eventually his health. No-one would willingly swap places with Job. However, although his sufferings increased, there was a point at which God said to Satan, what He said to the sea, “This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt.” We know that Job’s days of suffering came to an end, there was a limit to his suffering, and a new day of light dawned for the man of integrity.
As we read through the Book of Revelation, we read of many battles and wars, strange armies and creatures, plagues and pestilences. However, we just need to skip to the last few chapters to discover that it has a happy ending! As Billy Graham once said, “I've read the last page of the Bible, it's all going to turn out all right.”
Friends, whatever trial or difficulty you are facing today, as you maintain your integrity and trust in God, there will a limit to your time of suffering also and God will tell the devil what he told the sea ‘This far you may come and no farther“ and, you too will find that, as you wait patiently, it will turn out all right in the end.
Pauline Ann Anderson
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