Just a Minute

Just a Minute is a collection of brief but meaningful meditations on Scripture. BJU Press has published a book by the same name with 96 of these devotional articles. Each chapter focuses on a Scripture verse or two, blending key facts about context with meditations on the truth of the passage. Find out how taking just a minute each day can change your life!
If you are interested, you can purchase Just A Minute, containing the first 96 printed articles.

The Morality of Fear (Just A Minute #119)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.'" (Job 28:28)

We often think of fear as merely an emotion or a state of anxiety brought on by some dangerous or potentially harmful situation we face. The word itself may stir up frightful memories of the past, and the terror, panic, or paralysis associated with them will be quite unpleasant to recall. If we are prone to struggle with fear, the mental anguish might be a daily and dreaded battle.

In this passage Job has been exploring the source and value of wisdom. He admits that no miner’s pick has ever touched it below the earth’s surface nor has any falcon’s eye seen it from above. Its worth, he says, is more than the rarest jewels or minerals.

However, perhaps the greatest surprise comes at the end of Job’s eloquent essay, when he concludes that the priceless virtue of wisdom is closely related to fear.

Fear?! Isn't this an ugly enemy that should be expelled from our minds whenever possible?

Not according to God.

Read more: The Morality of Fear (Just A Minute #119)

No Reason to Rush (Just A Minute #118)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. . . . For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. . . . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Isaiah 48:12, 52:12; Rev. 1:8)

There would be no frantic race back to Israel.

The Israelites would return from the Babylonian captivity without fear. In stark contrast to their departure from Egypt 900 years earlier, this exodus would be peaceful. Back then, with the thunderous pounding of Pharoah’s chariot horses getting louder by the minute, their freedom celebrations quickly turned into shrieks of hysteria. In spite of their doubts, God had opened the sea ahead of them and blocked the Egyptians behind them.

This time things were to be different, and with a particular divine attribute being emphasized.

Read more: No Reason to Rush (Just A Minute #118)

All Alone (Just A Minute #117)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.
Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy. (Job 33:9-10)

We don’t know if Job actually said these exact words, though it is likely. Whatever the case, Elihu used them to accurately summarize the suffering man’s main argument.

I don’t think Job was claiming sinless perfection. He was a godly, mature man, and it is doubtful he would make such a bold statement. What he did mean is precisely what God said about him in the introduction to the book, that he “was perfect, and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.”

But now he was very confused.

Read more: All Alone (Just A Minute #117)

Anonymous Servants (Just A Minute #116)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. (Matthew 26:18)

The fullest description we have of them is “the man with a pitcher” and his master. We have no idea who they were. Apparently the one was just a servant who happened to be getting water at the exact time Jesus’ disciples entered the city. His master, though a homeowner with a guest room large enough to host a big meal, is likewise nameless.

It is interesting that the two passages before this one are strikingly different. Both of them relate dramatic events, each concerning people’s devotion to or hatred for the Lord Jesus. And in both cases the individuals are named.

Read more: Anonymous Servants (Just A Minute #116)

Good Friends (Just A Minute #115)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. (Psalm 1:1)

In other words, choose your friends wisely. That is basically what this verse is saying, and King David was very qualified to make the statement.

As a young man he had had his share of difficult situations, and for the most part had faced them with integrity and wisdom. He had walked away from Saul's initial counsel to leave Goliath alone. He had stood against his men when they tried to cheat their comrades. He had refused to sit and celebrate with those who contemptuously murdered his rivals.

Read more: Good Friends (Just A Minute #115)