Job continues his response to Zophar. He begins by agreeing that he too has seen all that Zophar points out to him regarding the righteousness of God. My thematic Bible defines the righteousness of God as “An aspect of God’s nature which expresses his unique moral perfection and his readiness to save sinners. It is made known especially through the gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Job has a profound sense of right and wrong and he feels his friends are lying to justify the things which have befallen him. They have no idea or understanding of the conversation recorded at the beginning of this book, between God and Satan. Satan has suggested that Job is only fearful of God because He has blessed him with so much good in terms of family, wealth and possessions. In our own lives it can be easy to praise God and worship him when we have a comfortable home, regular income and food to eat and share with those we love. How does that dynamic change for you when things are not going so well. Life can throw all sorts of difficulties at us.
As Christians we believe that through the Holy Spirit God’s presence with us is eternal. I know from personal experience that it doesn’t always feel that way when you are facing really tough times. Unlike Job, we have the benefit of having met with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Instead Job relied on the teachings of his forefathers and the covenants God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, lessons learnt through the Exodus and perhaps the teaching of Moses, including the Ten Commandments.
In the latter part of today’s reading Job explores man’s sinful nature. It is a simple enough idea that because all men are sinful, they all deserve punishment. Job queries why God seems to have ordained his suffering and feels as if God has hidden himself away. He identifies that man’s life is short and observes that, unlike trees, which if cut down sprout new shoots and grow again, having a second chance, for man there is no second chance at all! Yet, even so, Job is a man of God and has been given insight and hope for something more, the promise of an eternity with Him. This is the hope more fully known for us that we have through Christ Jesus and is the immense blessing we have received from God Our Father.
Spend a few moments now praising God and worshipping him for His righteousness and love so that in our hard times we stand firm in our faith.