'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
Typically, when we think of what the book of Job teaches of us, we usually think about the seeming conflict of suffering and righteousness. The answer to this is effectively answered by the New Testament.
There is an additional and more important message God is teaching us from this amazing book.
God makes it clear in the first chapter that Job's condition is His doing, and at the same time affirms that he was "righteous". And God affirms that there was no one as righteous as Job.
"There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who [reverently] feared God and abstained from and shunned evil [because it was wrong]." (Job 1:1)
He was perfect in all his ways Satan is only the instrument of God's choice in Job's afflictions. God did not afflict Job personally - He delegated that to the expert in accusations and suffering. God is not a sadist, or a monster who loves to see people suffer. Often a discussion of Job centers around the principles of justice and the sufferings of seemingly righteous people. The conclusion by some has been that God was totally unfair and unjust in allowing Satan to afflict Job so severely. After all, God had already affirmed that Job was a righteous man.
But there is another reason for God's actions regarding Job. This too is addressed over and over in the new testament. God considers this problem, which Job had, as so important that he set in motion this episode with Job, his three friends, and Himself that He produced a living drama to illustrate it.
Job had a serious flaw. A flaw so important that it would have been fatal for Job. It is also fatal for all of us, and all generations down through the ages. Again, this fatal flaw is one of themes of the whole new testament of the Bible. There are many today who have been blind sided by this same problem. Job did have a problem. He was a righteous man, but he had a potentially fatal flaw. Like many righteous ones today, Job was "righteous", but it was his righteousness.
Job was self-righteous.
He did not possess God's righteousness. This is perhaps the MOST difficult sin to see in ourselves. It blinds us. Unless we are deeply converted, even smitten by God, we will seldom see it. This kind of righteousness is unjust before God. Many times, even as Job, God brings something into our lives in order to wake us up to the true reality that we are only self righteous. Job's self righteousness was so strongly engrained that it produced great patience. And he was reluctant to accuse God of being unjust. His righteousness was perhaps the strongest of anyone who has ever lived.
After a long defense of his own righteousness, God interrupts and begins a long discourse magnifying His power, authority, and His perfect righteousness. (Job 38-41). God perhaps intended to overwhelm Job with His own righteousness, which at the same time diminished Job condition in his own eyes. Finally, Job admits:
"Then Job said to the Lord, 'I know that You can do all things, and that no thought or purpose of Yours can be restrained or thwarted. You said to me] Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. [I had virtually said to You what You have said to me:] Hear, I beseech You, and I will speak; I will demand of You, and You declare to me. I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You. Therefore I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.'" - Job 42:1-6 (AMP)
Self righteousness is perhaps the most difficult sin to see in ourselves, and the most difficult to resist. Without God's righteousness in us we only have righteous habits, or righteous affirmations. Job's righteousness was from the outside demonstrated by his goods deeds. True Godly righteousness is from the inside out.
By the end of the book of Job, Job finally saw himself and his self righteousness. He saw and heard from God himself. As a result, Job was finally truly converted. He had received God righteousness evidenced by his awe of God himself.
Job was righteous, according to self evidence. But he was not innocent. At the end of his encounter with God, he became a righteous man. He now possessed God's righteousness. Then God returned many times over his loss, and he was blessed beyond his wildest dreams.
Which kind of righteousness do you have?
"And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him, not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith." - Philippians 3:9 (AMP)
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