Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Job chapter 27:7-23 comments: a Christian's biggest problem

7 ¶  Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous. 8  For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? 9  Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? 10  Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?

Job uses a proverbial statement here in the beginning of verse 7 similar to the following;

1Samuel 25:26  Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

2Samuel 18:32  And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.

David 4:19 ¶  Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was astonied for one hour, and his thoughts troubled him. The king spake, and said, Belteshazzar, let not the dream, or the interpretation thereof, trouble thee. Belteshazzar answered and said, My lord, the dream be to them that hate thee, and the interpretation thereof to thine enemies.

Job says to let those who oppose him suffer the fate of the unrighteous and the wicked. Let those hypocrites, and we can presume this is a backhanded stab at his friends, realize that they have gained nothing when God has taken their souls, which is quite a threat.

As Jesus said;

Matthew 16:26  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Verse 9 is a warning.

Psalm 18:41  They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

Speaking of verse 10, remember how King Saul disobeyed God and then could not get God’s blessing on what he did because of his disobedience and how paranoid and miserable he became. In this context the modern Christian must be aware that every time he or she gives in to the sin that so easily besets them, whether it is based in pride or even lust, they have a hard time experiencing the closeness they feel to Christ at other times. Each time the hypocrite falls to their own weakness for sin while pointing their fingers at others they feel more and more separated from grace and mercy. It is inevitable. They may still talk a good game, come to meet with the church, and give liberally of their money and time but they become more and more wrapped up in their own self-righteousness and their own convictions as the standard for how they judge other people’s behavior. You might even find them harping on a particular sin like homosexuality repeatedly and vehemently. If you turn over THAT rock you may find what THEY are being consumed by.

    11 ¶  I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal. 12  Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain? 13  This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. 14  If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15  Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. 16  Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; 17  He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver. 18  He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh. 19  The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not. 20  Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. 21  The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. 22  For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand. 23  Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.

Job’s going to teach his friends a lesson, he promises. He’s not going to hold anything back from them. Remember what Paul told the elders of the church of Ephesus when he told them of how he instructed them going from house church to house church in that city teaching.

Acts 20:20  And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

You yourselves have seen this and you have no excuse for not knowing what I am going to tell you, he says. What a wicked man has to look forward to, his heritage, is the death of his children by war or famine. When they die their widows won’t even mourn for them they will have been so wicked. The wicked man, and in Job wickedness is often referred to regarding those who have gained wealth at the expense of their poorer brethren, can heap up wealth for his children but others will benefit from it. God’s judgment will destroy him in this life and other men will mock his sorrow. So, here Job is agreeing with his friends on the fate of the wicked while all the time insisting he is not in that number.

Job and his friends both agree to what they consider to be fair and just treatment of the wicked in this life. Although, Job has stated that often the wicked seem to prosper, as did other Bible writers, he and his friends state with certainty that, in the end, the bad will lose and the good will win. Job’s struggle is with his own appraisal of his goodness and how what has happened to him causes him a crisis of faith. How many times would Christians say in their heart of hearts when a child dies, they lose their job and their home and their credit standing, or when a horrible disease comes knocking, “oh, Lord, this is too much to bear. Why have you done this to me?” or perhaps, “how can there really be a God if this is allowed to happen to me, as faithful as I’ve been?”

The issue at hand is the sovereignty of God and His right to all facets of your life, whether it be your worship, your submission, your loved ones, your wealth, or your health. We have a problem with a sovereign, absolute God, whenever we see an Islamist radical beheading, a riot in the streets of an American city, or a court ruling we don’t like just as much as we have a problem with that same sovereignty when someone we love dies young, we are scammed in an internet sting, or our doctor tells us we have cancer.

The problem lies with us, not with God.

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