Read Job 11 (Monday 8/14)
Verses thirteen to fifteen say, “If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear.” As I read this I was reminded of how I need to hold advice and counsel up to God’s word. We can have godly, loyal and trustworthy friends who we love, and yet they still can give us bad advice. I do not know how close of friends Job was with these men, but I know that they came in hopes of comforting him, and in the process, they gave him some pretty bad advice, that did the opposite of bringing comfort. I want to have a well-rounded knowledge of God’s word, and I need people in my life who have that knowledge as well.
Good friends know each other well, and this passage makes me think that these friends of Job’s did not know him well, or they at least did not take the time to listen before they spoke. We, as the readers, know from chapter one that Job was living blamelessly. God Himself said this (1:8). We need friends in our lives who love and desire God and His word, and who will love and comfort by understanding and then speaking. And we can rest as we already have this in Christ, who will never let us down.
Read Job 18:21 (Thursday 8/17)
“Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God.” One of Job’s friends says this as he tries to prove that Job is guilty of sin. He is saying that wicked men are punished by God, it seems that Job is being punished by God, therefore Job must have wickedness in him.
So here he says that God punishes the wicked. What struck me about this is that if this statement were always true: that God always physically and materially punishes those who do not fear God and who do evil in this life on earth, then all people would be living terrible and painful lives. This is so because everyone who does not have faith in Jesus cannot please God (Heb. 11:6). And even those who do have faith in Christ still fall into sin, and they do not always face physical and immediate punishment from God.
So many people in the world who do not believe in Jesus believe this principle that Job’s friend tried to convince Job of. Essentially, as long as you are a good person, you will live a good life and you have good coming your way. All of this reminded me of a basic, yet extremely relevant and contemporary issue. That is that people do not know they are sinners. They do not know their wickedness. So many people are in dire need of a spiritual physician, but they have no idea that they are ill with a disease that is truly leading them to ultimate death.
Reflections written by Wade Henderson