Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Stop and Think

Part of my morning routine is to read my Bible. This morning I read Job 4, Psalm 20, and 2 Corinthians 5. There is a natural progression to the words I found this morning.

“Stop and think! Do the innocent die?
    When have the upright been destroyed?”
- The words of Eliphaz to Job (Job 4:7, NLT)

“Will you discredit my justice
    and condemn me just to prove you are right?
Are you as strong as God?
    Can you thunder with a voice like his?
All right, put on your glory and splendor,
    your honor and majesty.
Give vent to your anger.
    Let it overflow against the proud.
Humiliate the proud with a glance;
    walk on the wicked where they stand.
Bury them in the dust.
    Imprison them in the world of the dead.
Then even I would praise you,
    for your own strength would save you.”
- The words of God to Job, Eliphaz, and all who will listen (Job 40:8-14, NLT)

“For the king trusts in the Lord.
    The unfailing love of the Most High will keep him from stumbling.
You will capture all your enemies.
    Your strong right hand will seize all who hate you.
You will throw them in a flaming furnace
    when you appear.
The Lord will consume them in his anger;
    fire will devour them.”
- The words of God to all who would trust in Him (Psalm 20:7-9 NLT)

“I know that you can do anything,
    and no one can stop you.
 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
    It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
    things far too wonderful for me.”
- The words of Job to God (Job 42:2, 3, NLT)

“So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”
- The words of God to all (2 Corinthians 5:6-10, NLT)

“So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
- The words of God to all who would follow Him (2 Corinthians 5:20, 21)

In Job 4, Eliphaz is saying that Job is missing a point because “God never allows the innocent to die or the upright to be destroyed.” God’s words to Job and Eliphaz, in Job 40, make it clear that God is a God of justice. God will always be on the side of the innocent and upright; but this does not mean that the innocent and upright will not suffer or die. In Psalm 20, God makes it clear that, one day, all will be made right and the enemies of the innocent and the enemies of the upright will be judged. In Job 42, Job recognizes that his understanding is limited and that no one can know the complete mind of God. God’s mysteries, still hidden from humans, are like the mysteries of the depths of the ocean and the far reaches of the universe.

The New Testament passages remind us that even when the innocent die, they are only trading their earthly bodies for eternal bodies. We can trust that all will receive justice and those who have trusted in the sinless Son of God will be made right in Him. That is good news worthy of telling a hurting and broken world. Praise be to God.

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