Job 16:1-19:29; 1 Corinthians 16:1-24;
Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 22:1
I know that my Redeemer lives;
What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead;
He lives, my everlasting Head.
There are three rounds of intellectual debate between Job and his friends. We are in the middle of round two. Job declares that his friends are miserable comforters. He's got that right. Job states that if he were trying to comfort a friend, he would not spout off criticisms of that friend. Job incorrectly states that God hates him. Job is being smashed and dashed, but it is by Satan, not by God. Job once again cries out for an Advocate. His faith leads him to know that he has someone on high who is on his side. Although his friends scorn him, Job is confident that there is a person who will mediate between himself and God.
As I read the section on Job's suffering today, it struck me how Christ-like the descriptions were. Job is crushed, mocked, spit upon, bitterly taunted, an object of scorn and astonishment, and prepared for the grave.
At this point, Bildad pipes up to reemphasize that the wicked walk into nets of their own making. They have trouble at every step, and Job must be wicked.
Job questions how long he must be tortured by the words of his friends. He wonders aloud how long they will try to break him with their words. He asks that they not judge him, even if he has sinned. Job is steadfast in believing that he has not done anything to deserve this punishment from God. He describes himself as a city under siege. He has become loathsome, even to his own family. He describes his breath as repulsive to his wife. We see a Christ-like rejection of Job by friends and family. All have turned against him. He is utterly destitute. Christ faced this situation and suffering with humility. Christ did not lash out against his enemies. We see that Job does complain about his suffering. Job defends himself and spars with his adversaries. This is where we see the chink in Job's armor. He does not have the humility of Christ.
"But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!"
Job 19:25-27 NLTRemember that the Bible tells us that the righteous are saved by faith, alone. With this statement by Job, we see that he is, indeed, in a righteous position before God. He is not wicked as his friends state, because his faith in God makes him righteous before God. This does not mean that he is sinless. It does not mean that there are not things that Job must learn, but Job believes in a Redeemer, who will come and stand upon the earth. This Redeemer will provide redemption and resurrection for Job. Even after he dies, Job believes that in a new body, he will see God, face to face. Job was a Christian, my friends! Job's faith in God saves him.
Job has found clarity in the fog of suffering.
Do you share Job's faith? Do anticipate having a body after your earthly body has decayed in the grave? Will you live face to face with your Creator?
1 Corinthians 16:1-24
Today, Paul ends the first letter to the Corinthians. He takes care of some details like how to collect money for the poor Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. There are plans for a future visit. Timothy is being sent to minister to them.
Paul admonishes the Corinthians to stand firm and stand in love. He sends greetings from other Christians and we see some familiar names with Apollos, Aquila, and Priscilla. We get insight into the fact that Christians are meeting in people's homes for their churches. There is a sense that as the faith spreads, Christians must help one another to grow in knowledge and love.
Do you help other Christians grow in knowledge and love?
Again, I picture Job as I read these words. Amazing.
This proverb speaks of the importance of a good reputation. Think about how Job is attempting to keep his good reputation.
What did you notice as you read?