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Counsel Three: Search for the Cause of Your Afflictions

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation and Counsel to Earthly Traders

Counsel Three: Search for the Cause of Your Afflictions}


Third, search for the cause of your afflictions. You will not find the remedy until you see the reason.1198I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; Let me know why You contend with me’” (Job 10:2 NASB). “Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins? Let us search out and examine our ways, And turn back to the Lord” (Lamentations 3:39–40 NKJV). The Lord may well say to the complainer, “Friend, I do you no wrong” (Matthew 20:13).1199 Or as David said to Eliab, “What have I done? Is there not cause for it?” (1 Samuel 17:29).1200 Has God consumed your earthly estate, bankrupted your business, and brought you down to only a morsel of bread? And, is there not cause for it? There are several sins that usually prove destructive to people’s earthly concerns. Some of these are listed below.


1198Both spiritual and earthly reasons must be considered. For example, not every inventory shrinkage event is a particular judgment from God; it may be prudent to increase security against shoplifting.

1199But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?’” (Matthew 20:13 NASB).

1200And David said, ‘What have I done now? Is there not a cause?’” (1 Samuel 17:29 NKJV). Ashwood rightly exhorts us to seek God and ask Him concerning the causes of our particular afflictions. But Ashwood uses the KJV rendering of this verse as a rather poor illustration. The Hebrew דָּבָר  [daw-baw´] has a wide range of meanings, but is most often translated word, thing, matter, cause, or similar. Due to the context, some other translations seem more appropriate: “But David said, ‘What have I done now? Was it not just a question?’” (1 Samuel 17:29 NASB). “And David said, ‘What have I done now? Was it not but a word?’” (1 Samuel 17:29 ESV).

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