Monday, December 19
Job is repeatedly told by Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar that it is Job’s actions that have brought this wicked fate upon him. In today’s reading, Bildad poses a question to Job, but really, calls into question the righteousness of every man.
How then can a mortal be righteous before God? How can one born of woman be pure? – Job 25:4
The truth is that Job, his friends, you, and I have all suffered from the same condition. We have sinned: an act of contempt against our Creator. It doesn’t matter if we strayed for a moment or a lifetime, it separates us from a Holy God, and it makes us like maggots clinging to garbage; our righteousness is like filthy rags. (Job 25:6; Isaiah 64:6)
There is nothing that man can do to gain the grace of God. It is a gift that no amount of church attendance, prayer, Bible study, charity, or good work earns. Redemption comes only through our faithful Father’s plan of salvation. (Ephesian 2:8)
The inverse of this is an equally powerful message. No man with the breath of God in his lungs can lose His grace. You cannot be selfish enough, you cannot hate enough, you cannot deny his existence enough, and you cannot curse his grace away; it is there faithfully following and patiently awaiting confession and surrender. (Isaiah 59:1; Romans 8:38-39)
A small glimpse into tomorrow’s reading reveals our new attitude because of this:
Job 9 – 12
Friday, December 16
In yesterday’s reading and today’s portion of the book we find Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to visit him. The trio sit with Job in silence for seven days out of respect for his mourning. On the seventh day, Job speaks, beginning a conversation in which each of the four men shares his thoughts on Job’s afflictions in LONG, poetic statements.
To summarize, Job curses the day he was born, comparing life and death to light and darkness. He wishes that his birth had been shrouded in darkness and longs to have never been born. All his bemoaning only seems to intensify his misery. Eliphaz responds that Job, who has comforted other people, now shows that he never really understood their pain. Eliphaz believes that Job’s agony must be due to some sin Job has committed, and he urges Job to seek God’s favor. Bildad and Zophar agree that Job must have committed evil to offend God’s justice and argue that he should strive to exhibit more blameless behavior. Bildad surmises that Job’s children brought their deaths upon themselves. Even worse, Zophar implies that whatever wrong Job has done probably deserves greater punishment than what he has received.
The one thing I wish in reading the story of Job is that God had actually given Job reasons that made sense to Job. He never did. He simply said, “I am here and I am God and you aren’t.” What I do know from personal experience and from scripture is that God has settled His love for me, regardless of my circumstances. There is no injustice, grief, pain or loss that could ever take away the love that He displayed for me, a hopeless sinner, in giving His Son as my sacrifice. Regardless of what you have lost, as believers in Christ there are two things we always have. You still have Jesus and you still have a choice. Cling to both until God brings you to a peaceful rest.