TODAY’S READING: JOB 8-12
Job has a foundational problem in his understanding. He believes that good is both the one who did good to him and the one who is currently doing evil to him. Job confuses God and Satan.
It appears that Job does not even know Satan exists. Therefore, everything that happens to him, good or evil, is a direct result of God’s hand.
This is why Jesus came. He came to reveal exactly who God is. Jesus came to show that God is good and only good. God is light and there is no darkness in him, which is to say that God does no evil. I assure you that if we think an action is evil then God thinks it evil more than we do. And, if we think an action is evil then God is not the cause of it.
In Job 9:17, Job said, “For he crushes me with a tempest.” Does God send storms against us? No. Jesus shows us just the opposite. Instead of sending storms against us, God quiets them.
Matthew 8:24-26 says, “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he [Jesus] was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
Also in 9:17, Job said God “multiplies my wounds without cause.” Does wound us? When we are down, does God multiply our wounds? No. Jesus shows us just the opposite. Instead of wounding us, God heals us.
When Jesus wanted to show what love was like, he told the parable of the good Samaritan. The good Samaritan went to the naked man “and bound up his wounds.” (Luke 10:34) Jesus told the lawyer to go and do likewise for this is how you fulfill God’s law.
Not only does God not wound us but heal us, Jesus was wounded so that we would be healed. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
In 9:18, Job said that God “fills me with bitterness.” Does God make us bitter? No. All throughout the New Testament we are told to remove bitterness from our hearts. Bitterness is to have no place in us. Would God fill us with bitterness only to tell us to remove bitterness from our hearts? No. And, Jesus shows us how to remove bitterness.
Matthew 18:21-22 says, “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy seven times.'” Jesus told Peter to avoid bitterness he needed to continually practice forgiveness. And, Jesus set the example on the cross when he asked the Father to forgive us for executing him.
You can continue through Job’s speech finding example after example where Job assigns evil acts to God. And, in the New Testament, we can find where Jesus reveals that the God does not do these evil acts but in fact does the opposite.
Job’s problem was he assigned the works of Satan to God. Job was confusing God and Satan. And, because Job did this, he believed he was in a battle with God. Just look at what Job says.
“But how can a man be in the right before God?” – Job 9:2
“Though I am in the right…” – Job 9:15
“Though I am in the right…though I am blameless…” – Job 9:20
“I am blameless…” – Job 9:21
“If I am in the right…” – Job 10:15
In a relationship of love, is the goal to be in the right? In 1 Corinthians 13:5, Paul says that love “does not insist on its own way.” In other words, love does not seek to be right.
“If one wished to contend with him…” – Job 9:3
“Let me know why you [God] contend against me.” – Job 10:2
Is contending with us? Is he fighting with us?
Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” God is not against us, but he is for us. If we are at all thinking that God is against us, allowing some sort of evil in our lives, then we truly have not learned who God is. God does not do that.
We need no longer be confused about God and Satan, what God does and what Satan does. Jesus clearly separated the two for us. God does good and only good. Satan does evil and only evil.