Please forgive me as I’m a little behind I hope to post Exodus today as well as I know you are already there. Anyway for Job I hope you like the snapshot of Job.
There is a theme to Job that I believe gets overlooked in Jobs misery and discomfort. To see the overview of the text it is important first to see that Job’s qualifications for suffering the loss of His children (1:13ff), his sheep and servants (1:16ff), his camels and servants (1:17ff), his sons, daughters and young people (1:18ff) was the fact that he: “was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1) “and was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (Job 1:3) and by God’s own definition “there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8). The books seems to get lost in Job’s so called friends verbal abuse but I want us to stop and look at a pattern that I think sums up the book of Job. We know Jobs qualifications for his tragedies, we know the fact that his 3 accusers (friends) had to ask Job to ask God to forgive them (42:7ff) for they had not spoken of God what was right. There are a couple things we’re not so sure about, first is why didn’t Elihu have (starting in chapter 32) have to ask Job to ask God to forgive him and why was it that God made Job “Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (38:3ff) It appears even though God thought highly of Job, He put him in his place rather quickly. I think the answer lies in Elihu’s assessment of Job’s discourse with his accusers (friends). First off I want us to memorize:
“In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:22)
This is a verse we can feel confident will make our practical theology solid in a life filled with adversity. This along with the book of James really establishes why difficulties are in the life of a believer. There is another point though, ultimately why God restored Job’s fortunes and life (42:10ff). Though I don’t want to be a “pragmatic” or a “prosperity preacher” about the issue, but I think there is more here.
Look with me in chapter 32:2 where Elihu begins his discourse. He makes the statement “He (Elihu) burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God.” He didn’t have to ask Job to ask God to forgive him because he spoke of God what was right rather than the other accusers (friends). Elihu never went after Job’s heart, he just defended God because it seemed like Job was justifying himself rather than God. We can see behind the curtain and know Job didn’t suffer because he sinned, but rather God was putting him on display as a trusted servant. What a high calling. From the world’s perspective, either Job screwed up or God wasn’t being fair. Both were wrong. God was busy glorifying Himself through his trusted servant. Right after Job’s losses (save his health) he declared “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (1:21) Job knew the Goodness of God and he knew he didn’t sin, he just didn’t need to justify himself rather than God. May it be said of us that we know God like Job knew God and as Jeremiah proclaims (we’ll get there) “Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” (Je 9:23–24)
See ya soon in Exodus 🙂