Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.
Read Job 1 (Tuesday 8/8)
Job has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible. In Job we see God’s sovereign hand and divine purpose for the believer’s life in the midst of immense suffering. I think it can be easy to fall into the temptation of believing that by obeying God, we are assuring ourselves of an easy or good life. I know there is much to be said in Scripture regarding this idea, and it is often spoken in positive affirmation (e.g. the Psalms). We also hear from the world around us that if we do good and treat others well, we will receive good and be treated well. While this again is a truism, what do we do when things do not go “as they should”?
This is where we glean an important lesson from Job: our struggles or suffering in this life are not a result of God’s negligence or always a result of our own doing. God has a bigger plan for our lives than what we realize or plan. And just as in Job’s case, it could be for reasons we may not realize.
For Reflection: What struggles might you be going through currently? How do you feel about those struggles, and how do you view them? How might you think about your situation differently if you view them with the understanding that God is totally in control and has your best interests in mind?
Read Job 9 (Saturday 8/12)
“How can a man be in the right before God?”
This is a question that is repeated in Job. Job’s struggle and the conversations between him and his friends sort of revolves around this question. How can someone be in the right before God? In Job’s case, and in Old Testament times in general, there was definitely a different perception of, and relationship to God than what we are used to in modern western christianity. Our American culture tends to view God as a source of good fortune when needed. There seems to be a lack of fear in relationship to God, and instead the prevailing operation is to approach God in “humility” when you really need something.
In Job’s case, there is a fear before God, one in which the individual did not expect anything from God unless they could be found in the right before him. As a result of this, there was a constant striving towards appeasement. Sacrifices were necessary where sin was committed, and blessing was not expected unless one was right with God.
Ultimately, the answer to Job’s questions lies in the person of Christ. A person can only be found in the right before God because Christ’s righteousness in us places us in that position.
For Reflection: How does having Christ’s righteousness in you affect the way that you deal with suffering? Does it give you strength or encouragement knowing that you are found “in the right” before God?
Reflections written by Daniel Rico