Scripture: Job 29-34. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
As we have discussed from the very beginning of the story of Job, Job had lost his family, possessions, health and respect from others. He still is not even being respected for suffering a great deal bravely. Job claims he is innocent from all outward and inward sins. In Chapter 29, Job is getting pretty close to pride, bragging about his accomplishments and recalling good deeds in order to answer to the charges his friends are accusing him of. Job’s friends decide to cut off their discussion with him because they believe that suffering is always God’s punishment for evil actions, and, of course, they do not believe Job is innocent. Job knew he lived uprightly in front of God and others, so he certainly wasn’t going to “invent” a sin that he hadn’t committed. A young man who was a bystander named Elihu begins to speak to Job. Elihu begins to tell Job that he believes his suffering would not go away until he realized his present sin. He believes that Job wasn’t suffering because of sin, but rather sinning because of his suffering. Job’s test was not the pain but the fact that he did not know why he was suffering. Job needed to trust God’s goodness.
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Younger people sometimes mock the older generation. God loves everyone equally. Relying on wealth for happiness is similar to idolatry, as Job described, and that’s not what God wants for us. True believers should cleanse themselves of the desire for more power, prestige and possessions and help out their neighbors in need. Also, we cannot hide from God. However, others do not always know our wrongs. The fear that our sins will be discovered can lead to patterns of deceptions because we cover up lies to look good to others. We must hold ourselves accountable not only to God, but to others, as well. We are all forgiven, and when we ask God for forgiveness, we do receive that forgiveness and a new life. Suffering in life is not meant to punish us as much as it is meant to correct and restore us, to help us keep on the right path. We all need to look at suffering in a different perspective and with a greater purpose in mind. God is in control. We all need to seek God’s wisdom daily, and we must trust God’s goodness even though we sometimes don’t understand why our lives are going in a certain direction. Trust in God, not in the goodness of life. God doesn’t sin; He is never unjust. We should always make sure our conclusions and beliefs are consistent with ALL of God’s Word.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, please forgive us all for the many sins that we have committed, and help us claim forgiven lives. Please help us respect everyone, young and old, because we know that you love us all equally. Also, help us to trust in Your goodness, for you know the right paths for our lives. Help us to look at the suffering in life in a different perspective and with a greater purpose in mind. We know that You, God, are in complete control, and we trust You. We pray that you will help us find wisdom and understanding in everything we do. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.