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Job 20-21


A Devotional Journey
 led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
            The impact of Job’s theology is not lost on Zophar.  He immediately sees that if Job’s position is correct, his own punishment is assured.  Zophar becomes indignant, taking this as a challenge to his own righteousness and character.  He asserts that while he will be rewarded the wicked will be punished.
            The kind of theology proposed by Job’s friends works as long as things are going relatively smoothly.  It is only at the point of personal tragedy and pain that the theory breaks down.  When it does, we have a tendency to blame God for our troubles (forgetting that we live in a world corrupted by human sin), and to become angry at Him for refusing to do the right thing!
            Part of the problem in this discussion is that each of the three advisors to Job assumes (and asserts) that what he thinks and says comes directly from God with His blessing.
            Job’s response once again is that God is being unjust in his case, and clearly implies that he has lost the patience for which is most noted (21:4).   Contrary to the theology of his friends, Job asserts that the wicked – even those who know nothing of God’s ways, rejecting even the idea of prayer – still flourish in all they do.  They often live long and healthy lives and have many children just like anyone else.
            Even so, Job insists that he does not accept either their approach to life or their counsel (21:16).  Neither, however, can he accept the counsel of those who deny reality and insist on an untrue perspective.
            One of the great inhibitors of the Christian message is that its proclaimers have often insisted it did not really apply in their own cases.  Self-righteousness is the worst kind of disease because it masquerades as a healthy condition and therefore has no easy way of treatment.
            As you go through the day, ask God to teach you humility about yourself:  not an attitude of discouragement and failure, but a willingness to see that others are as important and worthy of respect and compassion as you are. 
            Today, find someone to whom you can show compassion and help them feel their own importance.  Ask God to give you some opportunity to share the faith that makes it possible (and necessary) for you to follow Him with love.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010