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Saturday, 10 February, 2018

Job 40 : 1-24

“Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth.” -Job 40:4

An Overview on the Book of Job

  • When we study the Book of Job, we see Job had lost everything that was important to him except his wife and his own life. But he held fast to his integrity, a man who had done his utmost to live an upright life, which God Himself affirmed to Satan. If he was a sinner deserving divine punishment, his suffering was justified; but on demanding from his friends what he had done, they could not substantiate. He also asked the same of God and received only more silence.  What interest us is that at its beginning Job seems to be a book about human suffering but by the end of it we see the emerging of the its true subject— God’s sovereignty.  The book also teaches us few important lessons:

  • Suffering: God’s people do suffer. Bad things can also happen to good people, so one cannot judge a person’s spirituality by his painful circumstances or his successes even.

  • Perseverance in faith: This is a great noble virtue since God is good and one can safely leave his/her life in His hands.

  • Hold on to God closely: The believer in the midst of suffering should not abandon God, but draw near to Him, so out of the fellowship with God can come comfort.

  • Ultimate reward: Suffering may be intense, but it will ultimately end for the righteous ones and God will bless them abundantly.

When we come to Chapter 40, the Lord reinforces His earlier challenge with a question loaded with a legal terminology—‘contend’ (V.2) meaning “to bring a law suit”.  The Lord reprimands Job for his error. Who is Job to judge God?  When God confronts Job with His Power and Majesty, Job responds with absolute humility by surrendering before God by saying, “Behold, I am vile;” The Hebrew word for “vile” means “insignificant” or “unworthy.” As a sign of good gesture as God’s subordinate, Job says, “I lay my hand over my mouth.” The chastened man doesn’t try to defend himself; instead he confesses his ego, then shuts his mouth.  We see the real humility of Job like all good leaders do. Even after Job acknowledging his insignificance, God continues His speech describing His power to control everything in the following chapters. Then Job responds with deep repentance in 42:1-6 and finally in V.6 he says, “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

It is quite natural for men to react with our emotions especially when we go through painful situations, but we should be led by character and values that will lead to righteousness.  We should be willing to accept whatever God sends our way.  When we surrender our whole life to God, trusting that He is our Heavenly Father who will ultimately bless us with His good choices, we will be satisfied with the will of God and will not murmur.

Here is a life-giving testimony of George Mueller when his wife Mary died of rheumatic fever. They had been married 39 years and 4 months. The Lord gave him the strength to preach at her memorial service.  He said, “I miss her in numberless ways, and shall miss her yet more and more. But as a child of God, and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to His holy will to glorify Him, I kiss continually the hand that has thus afflicted me.”

What a powerful declaration and submissiveness! We too can learn from Job and George Mueller in life’s most painful situations to trust God’s sovereignty.

Thought- “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”-Jeremiah 29:11

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