Final Appeal

“Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?”
Job 31:4

There seem to be two times when temptation comes the most and sin is committed the easiest.

When a person is bored. And when a person is distressed.

When a person is bored, Satan attacks with temptation to sin. This is where the phrase, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop” comes from (a phrase not found – word for word – in the Hebrew Old Testament or Greek New Testament but the concept is found in both, see 2 Thessalonians 3:11; 1 Timothy 5:13; and  Proverbs 18:9).

When a person is going through stress, or pain, sorrow or despair, Satan tends to also attack with temptations.

Our guard is down. We are distracted, not looking for temptation, not looking out for it, and that’s when Satan likes to pounce!

Of all the people in the Bible, Job fits this category the best.

He’s been trying to not sin, not give in to the temptation to “curse God and die” because of all the things that have been happening to him.

And for the most part, he is succeeding.

But in this last monologue of Job’s, what some Bibles call his “Final Appeal,” Job comes awfully close to blaming God for his troubles and, in so doing, comes close to painting God as evil!

He confesses that God sees all, even Job’s own heart. But he’s confessing this so as to show that he’s done nothing wrong! That he is sinless in all this, which isn’t exactly true!

Job lays out his final case that he’s a good man and doesn’t deserve all the evil that has befallen him. He’s been a friend and helper to the poor, the widow and the orphan. And has been for a long time (“for from my youth the fatherless grew up with me as with a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided the widow” Job 31:18).

One of two things must be true here. Either A) God is evil and dishes out punishment without justice or fairness; or B) what we do in this life – whether good or evil – doesn’t necessarily bring good or evil to us, again in this life.

If “A” is true, we’re hopelessly lost and I can stop writing right now and you can stop reading right now. There’s no point in going on, being a Christian, going to church or fearing God, if he is evil and unjust.

Obviously, I don’t believe “A” to be true and, if you are reading this far, you don’t either.

So let’s explore “B”.

Max Lucado has a phrase that I really like: “There is nothing you can do to make God love you more and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less.”

This is another way of saying the Truth of Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Being a sinner from conception (see Psalm 51) this is the only way we can be saved! God must make the first and only move for our salvation! And so he does! That’s how much God loves us!

God is the only one who can save us from our sins. He sends a Redeemer – Jesus Christ – to become one of us! He is born, lives, dies, rises from the grave, and ascends, all in order to save us from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

Nothing we do could prompt God to do this. And nothing we could do would stop God from doing this.

This doesn’t allow us to do whatever we want – good or bad. The way of God for the Christian is to live a life of response – responding to the love God has for us by loving him and others, by doing all to give God the glory (and the credit).

By the way, if it were true that God was dealing with Job unfairly, as he has been arguing all along and culminates his argument in this chapter, then I think we would have the words of Job 42 as the very next section.

But as we’re going to see, this isn’t the case! First we’ll have a “forerunner” of God come forward who will pave the way for God. And then God himself will speak.

©2017 True Men Ministries

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