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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Job's Final Speech

Job 30:1 thru 31:40

Today was Job's final speech before God comes on the scene.  Well, actually, God has always been on the scene listening in and Job is about to find that out.  I can't wait for us to get there.  It's like the great climax of a movie that you know is about to happen and you wish it would hurry up and get to the good part.

Did you notice Job is still focused on himself?  He shares one last time how horrific his suffering is and then he gives his final protest of innocence; forty verses full of declaring how he has been just, fair, giving, honest, and trusting throughout his life.

In Job 31:4 he says, Doesn't he see everything I do and every step I take?

It's as if he is saying, God, haven't you seen everything I have done?  You know that I do right by everyone.  I am a good person.  I have done nothing deserving of this suffering.

Tina Johns Translation: If you were a fair God, I would not be going through this because I did nothing deserving of this.

My theology may be off here and I may be putting words in Job's mouth but that is not my intention.  This is just what I am gleaning from our verses today.

With that said, I want to agree.  God is not a fair God.  If God was fair and we all got what we deserved, we would have to pay the price for our own redemption. 

But thankfully, Mercy and Grace came down for me and for you.

But God's mercy is great, and he loved us very much. Though we were spiritually dead because of the things we did against God, he gave us new life with Christ. You have been saved by God's grace.  Ephesians 2:4-5

I am saved not because I have performed good deeds.  I am nothing.  And my works are worthless.  I could never do enough for God to pay the price for my sin and shame.

Let's read on...

You have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8

We struggle with just accepting this gift so much because all throughout our lives we were rewarded for doing good.  We got stars in kindergarten for learning our ABC's.  We got money or ice cream from our parents when we brought home A's and B's in middle school.  When we studied hard and furthered our education we got rewarded with great jobs.  And on our jobs when we excel we get rewarded with a promotion.

In life our success all boils down to how hard we work.  But with God that's not the case.

The next verse in Ephesians says,

It was not the result of your own efforts... Verse 9

So it does not matter how good we are or are not, we will never be able to earn His favor, grace or love.  You cannot earn what has already been given.

So God's unfairness can be explained like this...

It's like going to kindergarten and getting stars on your first day before you learn anything.

Or getting ice cream and money before coming home with your report card.

Or getting a job you don't have the education for and a promotion you never worked for.

No, God is not fair and for that I am eternally grateful.

It does not matter how good or bad my works are I still get the greatest of gifts, eternal life and salvation.

And because I have those gifts, it makes me want to do everything in my power to work as hard for the Lord as I can.  Not to be deserving of the gifts I have, but to be a good steward over them.

On Friday Job is going to get God's take on all this.  He has listened in long enough and if Job feels humbled now, he better hold on.  He's about to be called into the principal's office.


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