It is widely thought that the Book of Job is the oldest of all the books of the Bible. I don’t know if that is so but I do know that Job is packed full of fantastic counsel, guidance and life lessons from chapter one onward. In Chapter 12, which I hope you’ll turn to, we take our guidance for this week: Verse 7 says “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: 8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. 8 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. Psalm 31:15 tells us that our times are in God’s hand. Hebrews 9:27 tells me that I have an appointed time and that time is in the hand of God. I am then of the resolute opinion that my days, my heartbeats, my breaths and my appointed time are all in the palm of God’s hand. It has been said that “although I do not always understand what God’s hand is doing, I know I can trust God’s heart”. When things don’t make sense to me, it is only because I cannot see or know what God see’s and knows. I know also that if I were on an operating room table with the top 20 doctors standing in line, they would all be powerless to alter my appointed days, times, breaths, and heartbeats. I would of course want them to try to help but the results belong to the Lord. Now, with that said, let me point out that in 1st Samuel 23:1-12 David was in a precarious “what if” situation. He had to make a decision and lives depended on which decision he made. Our forefathers referred to this as “holding a wolf by the ears”. Letting go being as dangerous as holding on. So, David asked God to tell him what would happen IF he ‘did this’ and what would happen IF he ‘did that’?  God answered that IF you do this – the result will be ‘such and such’, but IF you do that, the result will be ‘such and such’. This and many other verses tell me that I am responsible to make careful decisions and those decisions have consequences. Life is too precious for a cavalier attitude. However, when I add Job’s counsel to this I am left with this solid foundation: I do what I think wise. I lock my doors, wear my seatbelt, exercise, and take my vitamins. I don’t do things that lean toward a hospital visit, However, after I have done what is in my power to do, I leave the results to the majestic providence of God’s will, trusting that He alone has set the boundaries  of what comes into my life and when. “…Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” [Job 1:21] In these precarious days, be cautious and wise, but remember “in whose hand your soul is”. Pastor Malcolm Harrison is the pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Palestine on the loop across from the Pizza Hut 903-729-5924. Come bring the right heart and hear the right message!