Discover His heart: Through our intimacy with God, we know He can be trusted
It does our hearts good to see a few of the rich and famous use their wealth on occasion to help those around the world who are destitute. Just how many huge homes and estates throughout the world does one individual need anyway? With lifestyles less than exemplary in some cases, many seem to flaunt their wealth in the faces of those who struggle to survive. It was just a matter of time before Job questioned the abundance of the wicked in light of his dire situation.
@ Job 21
“Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?” (7) My response to Job is that I don’t know. “They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren…” (8) Safe homes, productive cattle, happy children, and on and on. “And yet they say to God, ‘Go away. We want no part of you, and your ways.’” (14) Job seemed to be describing the beautiful people of our day as well. However, Job’s greatest concern was not the wealth of the ungodly, but rather the poverty and heartache of those who served God.
@ Job 22
Eliphaz, Job’s friend/tormentor, asked some questions of his own, “Can a person do anything to help God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you and brings judgment against you? No, it’s because of your wickedness! There’s no limit to your sins.” (3-5) Eliphaz went on to list the many possible sins of Job, but his questions give me pause for thought.
The questions of Eliphaz imply an impersonal God who blesses when we are good and punishes when we are bad. Certainly, God is not dependent on us, but we know from scripture that He is blessed by our faithfulness to Him and even amazed sometimes by our faith. God desires an intimate relationship with us. The thought that Job’s ordeal could be a testing is not in the mix for Eliphaz, but both men missed the point. Job thought God’s blessing in his life was based solely on his own goodness, and Eliphaz felt the lack of God’s blessing was based on Job’s sin.
When God finally responded to Job, He answered none of his questions, but He directed Job to understand that He was in control of all things. It wasn’t Job’s concern if evil men appeared to prosper and innocent men suffered. God would determine man’s destination for eternity, which, by the way, is a very long time.
While Satan thought Job would crumble and curse God through his affliction, God was confident Job would remain faithful. Job’s response that we read last week, “I know that my Redeemer lives,” (19:25) had to have put a smile on the face of the Lord. Job believed in Him through his trial, but would he trust Him through the process? Could God’s path for Job be trusted? It was in this test that Job was on shaky ground.
And this is our test as well in the trials we face from time to time. We know that our Redeemer lives, but will we trust His path for us and not be tormented by all the questions that come to mind? In yesterday’s Psalm 32, David repented then trusted the Lord to care for him. Job repented early in his story, but he was challenged to now put down all his questions and trust God to care for him. Thankfully, better days were in Job’s future…
Moving Forward: Who cares about the abundance of those around us, whether they are righteous or not! The bottom line is I know that my Redeemer lives, and I pray I will trust Him through the challenges I face.
Tomorrow @ Isaiah 56-61