FAITH THAT PERSEVERES
Blessed Lord Jesus, I look to you today. You are the Beginning and the End; the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Speak Lord, I am listening.
Read JOB 27
Job’s Final Word to His Friends
27 And Job continued his discourse:
2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3 as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5 I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8 For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9 Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10 Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14 However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15 The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17 what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18 The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21 The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23 It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”
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.
Lord, ‘Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.’1 Thank the Lord for the riches we have in Christ.
Job’s speech brings to an end the main dialogue between him and his three friends. In it he reasserts his integrity (vs 2–6) and provides a powerful and moving description (vs 13–23) of what it means to be ‘without hope and without God in the world’.2 This man of God is passing through appalling trials, enduring unimaginable grief over the loss of his children, immense physical pain, and the derision and hostility of his closest friends. Even his wife, no doubt gripped by her own grief, has turned against him, angry at his willingness to accept trouble from God.3 This is faith, not needing constant reassurance of God’s presence, but holding on even in the face of his apparent absence.
He begins his final defense with an acknowledgement that God is still in charge. Despite all the arrows that have flown from his so-called ‘comforters’, this is a man who sees a higher hand in his troubles. Through my 22 years of suffering extreme pain, it has been hard at times to remember this. I put a sticker on my bedroom wall reading ‘God is in charge; not the devil, nor the doctors and definitely not me!’ Holding on to that concept may well be keeping Job’s faith alive. It did mine.
The fate of the godless (vs 13–23) is chilling. Not even wealth can meet their need for peace, happiness, and security. Even the usual signs of prosperity – numbers of children, piles of silver, property, and the ability to ‘lie down wealthy’ (see v 19) – are no insurance against the devastating problems of life. Only a relationship with a loving God will enable us to get through those periods of enemy attack and the trials of life that Job pictures as plague, earthquake, and hurricane.
Pray for those whom you know and love who are yet without faith in Christ. Ask God to guide them today to his faithfulness and love in Jesus.
I thank you Lord, that I can stand confidently before you; not clothed in my righteousness, but the righteousness of the Lord Jesus.
1 Ps 73:25 2 Eph 2:12 3 Job 2:9,10
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