Job 27:1-12

Job Affirms His Righteousness

27 Then Job [a]continued his discourse and said,

“As God lives, who has taken away my right,
And the Almighty, who has embittered my soul,
For as long as [b]life is in me,
And the [c]breath of God is in my nostrils,
My lips certainly will not speak unjustly,
Nor will my tongue mutter deceit.
“Far be it from me that I should declare you right;
Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
“I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go.
My heart does not reproach any of my days.

The State of the Godless

“May my enemy be as the wicked
And [d]my opponent as the unjust.
“For what is the hope of the godless [e]when he is cut off,
When God requires his [f]life?
“Will God hear his cry
When distress comes upon him?
10 “Will he take delight in the Almighty?
Will he call on God at all times?
11 “I will instruct you in the [g]power of God;
What is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 “Behold, all of you have seen it;
Why then do you [h]act foolishly?

Job’s question at the end seems to be mostly about God and His ways, but it could have a double-meaning. Job is still defending his integrity, and as he says “all of you have seen it” he may have been implying also “you all see me every day, you see my actions, then why do you accuse me of such wickedness?”

Even if he wasn’t outright asking that, the people who (are believed to have) gathered to hear this debate had to be wondering something along those lines. If Job is really so evil that God would punish him this severely, why haven’t we seen any evidence of it? Now, while some will hasten to quote “judge not lest you be judged” when a friend tries to help them see real and actual error in their lives, I believe the Bible is clear that we should help our fellow believers avoid sin. But that only applies when we actually know what they’ve done, not when we imagine they might have. And it is always to be done in love for their good. Not so that we can feel better about ourselves, it is never about us.

Yet Job’s friends insisted in this dark portrayal of his character, without a shred of evidence. And at the same time, they painted a bleak picture of God’s character as well, which Job takes them to task for here. He is indeed outright asking, “you’ve all seen what goes on in this world, why then do you put God in a box where He does not belong?”

If you know God, then be sure you represent Him well. And don’t try to sugarcoat things, or try to apply human logic to spiritual truths when they don’t fit in our neat and tidy containers. People who don’t know God deserve to know the truth, they need to know who God really is. They ought to hear from us that God is magnificent and awesome, that He loves us with the passion of a thousand burning suns (and more), that he wants what is best for us, and yet what is best and good and right doesn’t always make sense to us, because we are mortal and we are shortsighted and we live in a fallen and treacherous world.

It is a world that will one day be redeemed and remade, but for now, as Jesus said, “in this world, you will have trouble.” But one day, we will see Him face to face. We will catch glimpses of His greatness as we walk this earth, in the splendor of creation, and in the everyday deeds of His children. Yet all of that pales in comparison to the hope we have for the future, the same hope Job had, that the power of his Almighty God would rescue Him from the struggles of this life and would sustain him each day until that hope became reality.

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