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Devotions for Life

Redeemed from Suffering

Job 19:1-29

Read
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27)

Reflect
Although Job struggled with the idea that God was presently against him, he firmly believed that in the end God would be on his side. He appealed directly to God (his witness and advocate, Job 16:19) and to God’s knowledge of his innocence. Job showed he had cast all his hope for any fair defense upon God.

What tremendous faith Job had: He thought that God had abandoned him and brought all these disasters upon him! Facing death, Job still expected to see God—and he expected to do so in his body.

When the book of Job was written, Israel did not have a well-developed belief about the resurrection. For Job, it seemed unlikely to him that, in his body, he would see God. But Job still declared, “In my body I will see God!” He was confident that God’s justice would triumph, even if it took a miracle like resurrection (see also Psalm 16:10; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2, 13).

Respond
Do you trust that God will make all things right even if they’ve all gone wrong in the present? Do you trust that even if things end in brokenness, God will raise them in glory? Spend time imagining your own resurrection and eternal life. How does it change your perspective about today?



Tried and True

Job 23:1-17

Read
“I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed.”

“But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do to me whatever he has planned. He controls my destiny.” (Job 23:8-14)

Reflect
Job continued his questioning, saying that his suffering would be more bearable if only he knew why it was happening. If he knew of a sin for which he could repent, he would! He knew about wicked people, and he knew they would be punished; he knew God could vindicate him if he so chose. In all his examples of the wicked in the world, Job’s overriding desire was for God to clear his name, prove his righteousness, and explain why he had received this calamity. Eliphaz had tried to condemn Job by identifying some secret sin that he may have committed. Here Job declares his confidence in his integrity and God’s justice. Job tried to make his friends see that their questions about God, life, and justice were not as simple as they assumed.

We are always likely to have hidden sin in our lives, sin we don’t even know about because God’s standards are so high, and our performance is so imperfect. If we put our trust in God, however, all our sins are forgiven because of what Christ did on the cross on our behalf (Romans 5:1; 8:1). And even if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20). His forgiveness and cleansing are sufficient; they overrule our nagging doubts. The Holy Spirit in us proves that we are forgiven even though we may feel guilty. If we, like Job, are truly seeking God, we can stand up under others’ accusations as well as our own nagging doubts. If God has forgiven and accepted us, we are forgiven indeed.

Respond
Today, remember that you are forgiven. When you sin, confess it to God and ask for his strength to do better. He has already forgiven you.



The Source

Job 28:1-28

Read
“But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? No one knows where to find it, for it is not found among the living. ‘It is not here,’ says the ocean. ‘Nor is it here,’ says the sea. It cannot be bought with gold. It cannot be purchased with silver. It’s worth more than all the gold of Ophir, greater than precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Wisdom is more valuable than gold and crystal. It cannot be purchased with jewels mounted in fine gold. Coral and jasper are worthless in trying to get it. The price of wisdom is far above rubies. Precious peridot from Ethiopia cannot be exchanged for it. It’s worth more than the purest gold.”

“But do people know where to find wisdom? Where can they find understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all humanity. Even the sharp-eyed birds in the sky cannot discover it. Destruction and Death say, ‘We’ve heard only rumors of where wisdom can be found.’

“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens.” (Job 28:12-24)

Reflect
Job and his friends disagreed about how people become wise. Eliphaz’s attitude toward God was: “I have personally observed how God works and have figured him out.” Bildad’s attitude was: “Those who have gone before us figured God out and all we have to do is use that knowledge.” Zophar’s attitude was: “The wise know what God is like, but there aren’t many of us around.”

Job, however, believed that God is the source of wisdom, and the first step to wisdom is to fear God. So his attitude was: “God reveals his wisdom to those who humbly trust him.”

Those who do not understand the importance of God’s Word naturally seek wisdom here on earth. They look to philosophers and other leaders to give them direction for living. Yet Job said that ultimate truth and wisdom cannot be found there.

No leader or group of leaders can produce enough knowledge or insight to explain the totality of human experience. The ultimate interpretation of life, of who we are and where we are going, must come from outside and above our mortal lives. To be lifted above and beyond the boundaries of life, we must know and trust the Lord of life.

Respond
Thank God for giving you his Word so that you can know him better. Commit to knowing him more by reading his Word and living by the wisdom he gives.