Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday - Job 31 – The Future: Job's Outlook

sense of entitlement can be one of the most destructive attitudes that a man can ever develop.  Frequently when an individual is going through a situation that is particularly painful and wearisome, he or she can begin to feel entitled to certain vices and self-indulgence.  Job 31:1 makes it clear that Job had no intentions of allowing his plight to give him an excuse to indulge himself in the middle of his pain; not even in his thought life.

He still believed in justice and he feared God intensely. He was sure that God was watching him and that He was in control (Job 31:4). And, above all else, he was just certain that God would vindicate him eventually. He made a rather long list of self-destructive assurances in his attempt to convince his friends of his innocence in relation to his suffering. All of his guarantees followed a basic pattern:  "If I'm guilty... then let 'such-and-such' happen to me..." each time, it was something bad. He pronounced these conditional curses against his fields, his descendants, his wife, his own body and all of his future exploits. For better or for worse, this was his last effort to exonerate himself in his discussion with his friends.  He defended himself, not out of self-admiration or proud self-justification but out of a sense of sincere bewilderment concerning why he had lost everything.

Don’t we all want to know why?  Why does God allow suffering?  Why do things have to be this way?  Of course, a more accurate question would be this: Why hasn’t God already destroyed us all?  He has punished us less than our iniquities deserve.  You and I deserve everlasting damnation.  The only guarantee God gave to Adam was that if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then he would die.  That death was physical, spiritual and eternal.  The fact that God postponed 2 out of 3 of those punishments (for Adam) was an act of unmerited mercy and grace.  It is because of God’s mercies that we are not all consumed, because He is so full of compassion.  His faithfulness is great!  Our future (and Job’s) is bring because of God’s magnanimity.

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