DEAR OLD JOB

Few are they, who cannot in one way or the other, identify with Job.  If I do not have the identical experiences, I have encountered some extended times of physical, mental or emotional frustrations that I thought would never end. 

Worse than anything was that in trying to identify the reasons behind them; I found that dear old Ted was the culprit.

For Job, it was different!  Satan wanted to make light of Job’s commitment to the Lord, and suggested that if Job was attacked sufficiently, he would undoubtedly turn his back on God.   In knowing Job’s commitment, God allowed him to attack Job, up to the point of death, but not death itself.  Satan’s attack included:  the destruction of Job’s sheep and other animals, the death of his children, and destruction of the house in which they gathered.  He challenged God further, saying: “Skin for skin!  Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.  Touch his bone, touch his flesh and he will curse You to Your face.” (Job 1 and 2)

When Job’s wife saw the boils on his flesh, she said: “Curse God and die!”  But we read in 2:10 Job’s reply: “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?  In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”

From that point we see and hear from Job’s friends and his response to them.  Try going through deep waters and see what your friends will do.  They were fully convinced of his sin, but so caught up with his appearance and pain, that initially they did not say anything for 7 days.  Job spoke finally: “Why is light given to him who suffers, and life to the bitter of soul, who long for death, but there is none.” (Job 3:20, 21)

The debate continues between the three men and Job, chapter after chapter.  At one point Job (23:10) replies to Eliphaz “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, shall come forth as gold.”

Someone said: “God’s furnace burns continually – Physical suffering, mental distress.  Gold comes forth refined, pure, precious! ” (Malachi 3:3)

Finally Job answers his friends thusly: “Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.  I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go.  My heart does not reproach any of my days.”

When the debate reaches its climax, we hear Job: “Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.”  (42:6) He recognized the truth that his righteousness was as “filthy rags”.  God reminds Job’s friends that they had fallen short in their words to Job; they had not spoken to Job right, as was the case of Job to God. Through 43 chapters they had not spoken words that based their opinions on what God thought or declared.  Hopefully we have all learned a lesson from: “Dear old Job.”  What you and I think is one thing, but what God says is final.  We are born in sin and there is no forgiveness apart from the intervention of God and His application of the blood of Christ to our sin.  The words of Job in 42:6 clearly embraced the righteousness that God and God alone applied to sin, original or subsequent. 

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