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Saturday, 2 June 2018

Job 31 : 1-40

“Does not God see my ways And count all my steps?” - Job 31:4[AMP]

Throughout the Book of Job, until God answers him he is continuously putting forward before both, his accusing friends and God, about his innocence and righteousness.  This one particular chapter epitomizes these arguments for his reason in demanding justice or if found guilty, then judgment. He picks out each area of his life where he could have committed wrong but did not.  Job 31:1- his purity; Job 31:2-3- general wickedness; Job 31:5- falsehood; Job 31:6- integrity; Job 31:7- purity of heart; Job 31:9- marital faithfulness; Job 31:13- equality; Job 31:16-21- justice and mercy; Job 31:24-25- greediness; Job 31:26-28- idolatry; Job 31:29-32- compassion for his enemies and strangers; Job 31:33-34- hidden sins; Job 31:38-40: business dealings. Thus Job tries to establish that he has not sinned in any of those areas (God does testify about him in Job 1:8), and asks God to answer him by testifying on his behalf (Job 31:35) and if what he has asserted for himself isn’t true, then let God pronounce the consequences.

We also argue like Job under afflictions, not loudly maybe, but in our hearts, struggling to find an answer; not realizing like Job that no man is guiltless and without sin (1 John 1:8, Romans 3:23) and that it is not just the wicked that suffer but the innocent also.  Finally like Job, we also become discouraged and begin to question God or become disappointed with Him. At such times, it would help to remember the sovereignty of God over us as He spoke in Job 38:2-4 “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself …..; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.“ Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? …..Tell Me, if you have understanding.”   Here God puts Job in his place by reprimanding him for questioning Him.

The God of all creation, in His sovereignty does not need to answer all our questions as to why He allows suffering.  God, someday in eternity, may likely make it clear why we suffer. It is as God said in Isaiah 45:9, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you making?’ Does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?”  Who are we to question His motives?  His ways are beyond human comprehension but clearly He does have a purpose in suffering.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) However, He sometimes does choose to reveal this to believers.

So then what are we to do under such circumstances?

Our Walk

Remember Eph. 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”   Once saved, we are walking in them whatever they may be according to His will.  For He called us, as written in Eph 1:4: “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.” So ask for counsel to walk the walk… James 1:2 “…count it all joy when ye fall into diverse trials, …..not lacking in anything…..lacks wisdom, let them ask of God …and it shall be given them.”

Our Thanksgiving

Our thanksgiving can only rise up when we remember His benefits towards us as follows:-

  • That God is sovereign and in complete control of the trials and the duration of our afflictions (Is.46:9-10)

  • He is with you in your afflictions (Isa 43:2)

  • He hears your every prayer (Psa 34:15)

  • His love and mercies never cease (Lam 3:22-23)

  • He will never leave nor forsake you (Heb 13:5)

  • He is making you like His son Jesus (Romans 8:28–29)

  • Affliction are momentary, and light compared to the eternal reward (2 Cor. 4:17)

  • God is near you in your pain (Ps. 34:18)

  • One day Jesus will wipe away every tear from your eyes and you will see His glorious face (Rev 21:4)

Thought:  1 Thessalonians 5:18 "in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus."

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