Work out your salvation

Job Sees The Light - Eighth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 7:1-4 NIV For Job, living is ruling. It is to be in charge. To have choices. To create choices. Not long ago he was the boss; now he feels like a slave, disinherited by God. Each day he sets his mind on the evening for he has no stake in the activities of the day.

Job 7:5-8 NIV The diseases and deformities of the skin are among the cruelest and most aggravating illnesses. They are painful, messy and they ruin one’s looks and distract the attention of others, causing the victim to feel tense and uncertain as he communicates.

As Job reflects on his suffering and pain, his appeal shifts to God. This is his first direct appeal to him.

Job 7:9-12 NIV What are my powers? What is my nature? Am I so incorrigible that I require the most severe level of discipline?

Job 7:13-16 NIV We must distinguish in a trial between and among God's judgments, what we have brought on ourselves, and where Satan has meddled. Had the Lord chosen to speak to Job at this time, perhaps he would have said, “I’m not the one torturing you in your sleep.”

He has said to us who have his full word — Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (1 Cor 6:2) We normally relate this to judging legal matters, but so much in life is less complex and only requires discernment.

Job 7:17-19 NIV Job has fallen into a state of confusion, and no wonder. He views God as a bully who has cornered his victim and will not let him go. He is like a policeman intent on forcing a confession from a suspect, but the suspect is innocent.

Job 7:20-21 NIV Job has been knocked down into a deep and waterless well. Through his words he is waving to God, crying out for attention and help. He wants to understand God's mind; to discover why God has turned his back on him. He is striving to work out his relationship with the Lord. This we must all do. (Phil 2:12)

A friend in need

Job Sees The Light - Seventh in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion. The New International Version will be useful to compare.

Job 6:1-4 Eliphaz ended by encouraging Job to turn from his wrongs, and in so doing, to enjoy God’s blessings. Job responds, not by acknowledging sin, but by asking for understanding.

The eloquent Job makes no apologies, but only likens the heaviness of his anguish to the weight of all the sand of the oceans. To him it is no exaggeration.

Job 6:5-7 Brutes and dumb animals are quiet when their appetites are appeased, and whichever of these Job most resembles to his friends, he too would cease bellowing if he were not starved for the milk of human kindness and the bread of divine compassion.

God has rejected him and his friend has berated him. The words of Eliphaz are tasteless food, as repulsive as an egg white. Job’s appetite for understanding rages.

Job 6:8-12 His strength is gone. After all, he is only a man.

Job 6:13 But though he is decimated he is not without the ability to reason.

And now, let us remember Satan's goal in this story, that Job should curse God. (Job 1:11; 2:5) So far, destroying his home, herds, flocks and children did not move Job to this sin, nor did afflicting his body and marring his appearance. New tactics are needed when such others fail!

Satan can use emotional upheavals to draw us into baseless controversies with our family, friends and enemies. Then, he sets himself up as both coach and referee, urging each one to fight beyond his endurance and encouraging foul play. Round after round, we go round and round. Once in the ring, it is hard to get out without one party being defeated. Usually, Satan is the only one to win.

Job 6:14 Should a despairing man have the devotion of his friends even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty? Job thinks so. True friends, he believes, should recognize that a despairing man needs support, not criticism.

And Job, would it also be fair to say that a glorious God should have the devotion of his subjects, even when his ways are inscrutable?

Job 6:15-20 Job is severely disappointed in his friends upon whom he had counted for understanding. In the walk of faith we learn to hope in God alone, the one who never disappoints.

Job 6:21-23 Job protests that he has not asked his friends to remit anything valuable for him, but only to support him. They would not give the little they could.

Those who are suffering— whether divorced, widowed, unemployed or bankrupted, often find their circle of friends suddenly depleted. That may be better than having friends who stay loyal but undermine their efforts to recover.

Job 6:24-30 Job is becoming defensive. Though he says Teach me, he does not feel his friends would have anything good to say and resents their meddling.

The defensive person is a mild schizophrenic, for he has two faces within: one with a haughty look, the other which betrays feelings of inferiority. His inner man is plagued with uncertainties about his worth and standing. If he were comfortable with himself, he would not be bothered by outside opinions.

Job’s anger at his friends could reveal a superiority complex. Those with great vanity and pride are the ones who take great offense at their detractors. But perhaps it is only that he resents being accused of wrongs he has not committed. He is being accused of lying, and he resents this insult to his integrity.

Job 6:28-29 NIV It is impossible that one’s integrity can be blackened by the disapproval of other people or improved by their esteem. Integrity has to do with whether our beliefs, words and actions are good and in harmony. What others think of us does not matter. A person with integrity may be the least poplar in a group situation.

Job 6:30 Job issues a challenge!

Get right with God!

Job Sees The Light - Sixth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

Job 5:1 Eliphaz continues. Certainly, the “saint” whom Eliphaz met in his sleep would not be a helpful “holy one.”

The search for an intermediary is an important theme of the book of Job. Job will long to find one, and he will prophesy about Jesus. The era before Christ was a time of leaning forward to understand. But then as now, the godly person must not entertain or listen to false Christs and demons.

Job 5:2-7 Eliphaz suggests Job may be envious and resentful like those who are foolish and silly. That type of person endangers his children through his attitudes. Yet, Job’s children are not in a predicament— they are dead, and not through any fault of Job. Has Eliphaz fathomed this? He seems to consign Job’s dilemma to ‘the way life is.’

Job 5:8 He advises petitioning the Lord. First he told Job to hope in his own goodness; next he surmised that Job had not really been very good; now he encourages him to appeal to God. What is the basis of the appeal? That Job has done much good? Yet has he not done much bad, as evidenced by his disastrous straits?

Though Job does not perceive anything in himself worthy of the extreme condemnation he has suffered, he will do as Eliphaz recommends. He will lay his case before the Lord and appeal to him on the basis of his own goodness. And up to the end, he will believe he can justify himself before the Lord. This is man’s great blindness— believing an impossible thing to the death.

Job 5:9-16 But nothing is impossible with God who can confound the wicked and preserve the weak.

Job 5:17-18 Eliphaz gets to the point! All the terrible things that have crushed Job were to punish him for wrongs he committed. Now, if he will accept God’s discipline, he will be blessed again.

Job 5:19-21 The Christian’s heart longs to believe that deliverance and protection will always be given to him. In the long run they are, but at times the sifting of saints is permitted. Is the sifting by means of false accusations worse than that from the loss of possessions? Perhaps so. James wrote: The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. When Satan rails against us through the mouth of a friend, no amount of answering or reasoning will satisfy his appetite for devouring us. Our responses only further confuse the ‘discussion.’ Only if we are right with God may we resist and rebuke the devil so that he is forced to exit.

Job 5:22-27 Eliphaz has proposed many ideas, but in this crowning advice he is true to his name, God is dispenser. God is a divine being, he suggests, who gives prizes in return for certain behaviors.

Satan wants us to believe that salvation is a mechanical prospect, but it is not. It is a matter of the heart.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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