CAN WE BE RIGHT WITH GOD?
Truly Lord, I was lost and you found me, I was spiritually blind but you gave me sight. How I praise you for your saving and transforming work in my life.
Read JOB 25, 26
25 Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:
2 “Dominion and awe belong to God;
he establishes order in the heights of heaven.
3 Can his forces be numbered?
On whom does his light not rise?
4 How then can a mortal be righteous before God?
How can one born of woman be pure?
5 If even the moon is not bright
and the stars are not pure in his eyes,
6 how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot—
a human being, who is only a worm!”
26 Then Job replied:
2 “How you have helped the powerless!
How you have saved the arm that is feeble!
3 What advice you have offered to one without wisdom!
And what great insight you have displayed!
4 Who has helped you utter these words?
And whose spirit spoke from your mouth?
5 “The dead are in deep anguish,
those beneath the waters and all that live in them.
6 The realm of the dead is naked before God;
Destruction[a] lies uncovered.
7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space;
he suspends the earth over nothing.
8 He wraps up the waters in his clouds,
yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.
9 He covers the face of the full moon,
spreading his clouds over it.
10 He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters
for a boundary between light and darkness.
11 The pillars of the heavens quake,
aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea;
by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair;
his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works;
how faint the whisper we hear of him!
Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”
- Job 26:6 Hebrew Abaddon
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectPrepare your heart by confessing your sins to God and receiving his forgiveness.
In this short chapter, Bildad raises probably the most important question in the Bible: ‘How then can a mortal be righteous before God?’ (25:4). His timing wasn’t great, asking it when Job was at his lowest ebb. And his attitude wasn’t very helpful, either, since his purpose was to contradict Job’s claims of his own righteousness. But still, it is a question we all need to confront – and to be able to answer for others.
Job probably lived before the Law had been given and before the system of priests and sacrifices had been established. Yet we know from chapter 1 that Job recognized the need to make regular sacrifices to atone for his sins. Job was diligent about these sacrifices, even making extra ones on behalf of his children, just in case they had sinned in their hearts (1:5).
The formalized system given when God made his covenant with Moses and the Israelites was incredibly burdensome, and almost impossible to keep up. In fact, the book of Hebrews tells us those sacrifices could never take away our sins (Hebrews 10:1–4). But there is hope. Christ, our perfect sacrifice, shed his blood ‘once for all’ to win ‘eternal redemption’ for those who believe in him (Hebrews 9:11–15).
Find ways to thank Jesus for dying for you, and making it possible for sinful mortals – including even yourself – to be made righteous before the Father.
Gracious God, I’m so grateful you count me worthy because of Jesus. Grow my faith and trust in your wise and loving control.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.