Fresh Insights from Job

“And unto man He said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28 KJV)

     I recently finished reading Job and got some fresh insights that I would like to share.  First, Job never suffered because of sin.  He suffered because of his righteousness.  It was the very fact that he walked in relationship with God and was “blameless and upright” before the Lord that caused his suffering.  This was a new revelation to consider when things go bad in my life.  I generally, like the Puritans of old, look for some sin that needs to be confessed and subsequently, repented from.  Oftentimes, I have even invented some type of sin just so I could confess, repent, and receive relief from suffering. I’ve used this as a formula to alleviate suffering.  I took the advice of Job’s friends and came up with some strange commandment that I wasn’t keeping and tried to “make peace with God.”   This new insight gave me a new understanding of why godly people suffer.  It might not be because of any sin at all.  It may very well be because Christ is my righteousness.  I’m looking forward, sort of, to the next time things go wrong.  I hope to step back, examine for the presence of any Holy Spirit conviction regarding sin, and if none are present, I will rejoice with the disciples of old who said, “They were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” (Acts 5:41)

     Towards the ends of Job’s discourses with his friends, Job makes the above-quoted statement.  This is such a wonderful statement.  If biblical wisdom is defined as “insight into the true nature of things”, then the fear of the LORD would give us this insight.  There is much we could say about “The Fear of the LORD” and it will be the subject of another post, but suffice to say here, that it means that “considering every decision regarding how it will affect our relationship with God.”  We will use this as our definition for “Fear the Lord.”  If we could take a minute and consider how our next action would affect our relationship with Him, it might gives us some insight past the enticing and seductiveness of sin.  This consideration would give us true insight into the nature of the sin and we would “shun evil” thus demonstrating our understanding.

     Lastly, when God shows up on the scene, this makes more of a statement than anything that the LORD has to say.  The very fact that he showed up demonstrates that He was not absent from Job during his sufferings, but that He was very near, contrary to what both Job and his friends thought.  The primary insight that God gives to Job, “Will you even put me in the wrong?  Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?” (Job 40:8 ESV)  He calls Job the “faultfinder” (40:2) Ouch!!!  I’ve done this so many times.  I would accuse God of injustice in order to justify myself.  It is rooted in a low self-esteem.  If I confess that I have sin, then it will make me feel even worse about myself than I already do, so, rather than deal with sin, I accuse God of violating His Word which promises me blessings.  As the Lord has said to Job, “Will you condemn me in order to justify yourself.”  Again, I’m, sort of, looking forward to the next time things  go wrong, where there is no conviction of sin, to rejoice and bless God in the midst of the storm.

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