That’s all I needed in the midst of the summer downpour… a roof over my head and a table to lay my Bible on. The rain beat down above and around me, but the cozy gazebo on the banks of a little lake in the middle of a city park was all I needed in order to hear from God. I cannot begin to describe in full the warmth and peace I felt in that moment, and the lessons I learned from the hour or two underneath that protective little shelter.
While waiting for the rain to pass so I could get up and leave, God provided me a lot of insight to the book of Job and how it applies so vividly to my life. I am not theologically intelligent or super smart on these matters; these are simply my thoughts on Job’s life and its connection to the life of a Christian. So, here we go! I hope you’ll follow along.
If you are not familiar with the story of Job, or you just need a little refresher, go here or open your Bible to the book of Job and read it- especially chapters 1 & 2!
Job lost everything. Everything. And it all was ultimately to strengthen his faith and knock down Satan’s pride. But what baffles me the most is that Job’s friends, the ones who were entrusted with the task of comforting Job, insisted that he must have sinned in some horrendous way to deserve these things! Almost the entire first half of the book is full of persuasive and condescending speeches given by the 3 friends in sackcloth.
The three friends constantly prod Job with an insist to “approach God” and forgive his sins. A constant theme in this first half of the book is the need for someone who will work on Job’s behalf and appease God’s wrath. Does this sound familiar? Jesus Christ is the answer to all of Job’s questions about his sin and God’s wrath! Although Job’s suffering had nothing to do with his sins, I still wish the 3 friends had been more aware of what was to come, hundreds of years later, through the cross of ultimate redemption.
God most definitely has wrath for all of our sins, but guess what? Christ appeased that wrath and covered up all of our sins! And because of that, God sees us as blameless and worthy of having a relationship with Him. I love what it says in Hebrews 7:26-27, which describes how great Christ’s gift to us truly was:
“Such a high priest meets our need- one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.”
Do you realize what this means to us?! In the days of Job, we would have had to sacrifice constantly, for every sin. And without the hope of Christ, if Job had not been seen as “pure and blameless” while offering sacrifices constantly for his sin, something could have gone terribly wrong. But the great news for us (and for Job!) is that Christ became the ultimate sacrifice, covering up our sin forever, if we will only accept that. No more animal sacrifices, and no questioning whether or not we are being punished for our sin. We are saved because of the high priest who meets our needs!
As Christians, I believe it is fitting that we take this verse from Hebrews 10:39 as our anthem, based on the joyful good deed Christ has done for us:
"We are not of those who shrink back & are destroyed; but of those who believe & are saved!"
So, Job endures this mysterious suffering for a long time… does God ever relieve him of this agony?? We’ll find out in part 2 :)