Today’s Bible Reading: Job 40-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21; Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14
At one point Job wanted to enter God’s court and debate with Him over the way he was being treated. In Job 40 Job gets the chance to talk but decides not to. He doesn’t say any of the things that he had planned to say (job 40:3-5). This happens a lot in life. We get angry at someone and have this big plan of things we are going to say to them. But when the opportunity comes we don’t.
I think the same thing is going to happen to unbelievers when they die. Those who are the most angry at God now think they will tell Him off when they come face-to-face with Him the instant their heart stops beating. I doubt that will happen. Considering the circumstances I think these people will realize their mistake and will be suddenly speechless.
I don’t think that God’s words in this chapter 39 – 41 were delivered with an angry tone. I think God simply wanted Job to realize that he wasn’t in any position to question God. God was trying to humble Job, but not humiliate him.
When I pray to God He answers a lot of my questions. But there is one question that I almost never get an answer to. Just about every time I ask God “Why?” He responds with silence. God doesn’t owe me an explanation about anything. He can give me one if He wants – which is rarely. But I am not entitled to know the reasons for the things that happen.
By hearing from God, Job realized that God was with him through all the trouble. And through God’s questioning Job remembered his place. By reminding Job that he could do or know none of these things, God was implying that He could and did. And isn’t it wonderful to know that there is a great distance between who we are and who God is yet God still cares about us and is with us every second of our lives? I think such a reality provides comfort and security.
In the end Job repents of his despair, his statements uttered out of ignorance, and his desire to die (job 42:6). He had never once cursed God. His faithfulness was tested and proved to be true.
Sadly there are some people who have a “spectacular ministry” but don’t have a sincere heart (2 Corinthians 5:12). Evidentially the people in Corinth were falling prey to such teachers who were more interested in garnering attention for themselves than persuading others to believe in Christ as Paul and his team were (2 Corinthians 5:11). As Jesus warned us, we need to be careful about false teachers.
Paul was controlled by Jesus’ love for him (2 Corinthians 5:14). Jesus died so that those who believe in Him will have new life. And that new life should not be lived for self, but for Jesus. Since Jesus died for us, we should live for Him.
Before people are saved we look at others from a human point of view. We notice gender or race or age. We label people who are boastful or quiet. But after being born-again we look at people from God’s point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16). God only sees two kinds of people: those who are saved and those who are not.
Nothing else really matters does it? Which country we live in doesn’t matter. How much money we have doesn’t matter. Which political party we are affiliated with doesn’t matter. All that matters is whether someone knows Christ or doesn’t. Those that do are our brothers and sisters who we can walk with through this life. Those who don’t need to be told about Jesus so they too will, hopefully, accept Jesus.
Once someone is “in” Christ (i.e. is a believer) he or she is a new person. Dr. Phil and Oprah can talk all they want about how people can change themselves. But the answer is that we can’t. Only God can do that. And He does, starting at the moment a person is born-again. I could describe to you the person I was before June 1992 when I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus as my savior. That person, thankfully, no longer exists. Not because I changed me. I had tried to do that many times before and failed. I was changed by God.
God’s goal is to reconcile sinful man to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:18). All of us are separated from God at birth. During every second of our lives God is trying to bring us into a relationship with Him that was broken at The Fall. Christians are Jesus’ ambassadors in this endeavor. We are not God. But we can speak to others on His behalf about the immense love He has for them.
2 Corinthians 5:21 explains exactly what happened on the cross. As Jesus hung there and died He took on our sin along with its penalty and in exchange gave us His righteousness. This was all initiated by God. We did not ask for it. We didn’t even know we needed it! God did it unilaterally because He loves us and wants us to have a way of escape from the consequences that sin brings – eternal separation from Him (we call that hell).
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post