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June 6 Today’s Reading: Job 12-15
“I know that I shall be justified.”
In chapters 12-14, Job replies to Zophar’s continued accusations. He and his companions in cruelty mocked God’s servant Job, and laughed the just and upright man to scorn. In chapter 15, Eliphaz again accuses Job of hypocrisy. Job, remember, is speaking specifically to these “miserable comforters” as he asserts his uprightness. In chapter 12, he declares God’s glorious sovereignty in all things, acknowledging that it was his God who had brought all his woes upon him.
In the face of all his troubles, he clings still to his God and Savior in resolute faith and devotion, saying, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him… Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified” (Job 13:15, 18). Should you, my God, be pleased to try me as you did your servant Job, give me the grace you gave Job to trust you as he did, for Christ’s sake.
In the 14th chapter of this instructive book describing the experiences of one of God’s saints, that faithful man who was so greatly tried teaches us by the Spirit of God what we must expect while we live in this world. Here is a saint in trouble, pouring his heart out to God, seeking comfort and instruction for his afflicted soul. Job came boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in his time of need. In the opening verses of this chapter he declares four facts about life in this world which he had learned. The sooner we learn these things, the better.
Life in this world is short. — "Man that is born of woman is of few days." Our days on earth are short. What is your life? It is a momentary vapor, a passing ship, a fleeing shadow, a fading flower, a weak blade of withering grass. The strongest man is feeble, frail, and fragile. May God "so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" (Psalm 90:12). May God give us grace ever to set our hearts on Christ our Wisdom.
Life in this world is sorrowful. — "Man that is born of woman is of few days, and (those few days are) full of trouble." The days of man upon the earth are shortly lived and sadly lived. Every day is filled with labor and sorrow, toil and trouble, fretting and fearing, hurting and grieving. Is it not so with you? Life in this world is filled with trouble. — "In the world ye shall have tribulation." There are no exceptions. Anyone who always appears to be happy is either a liar or insane. You cannot escape trouble in this world. You simply have to face it and learn to live with it. Where there is sin, there is sorrow. We will never escape sorrow until we escape sin. And that will not happen in this world.
Life in this world is sinful. — "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?" Here Job traces all the sorrows of our race to sin, and all the sin of our race to its original source. Our lives are unclean, because we are all unclean by nature. Our lives are short and sorrowful, because we are sinful. We are all born in a state of sin (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12). We will never be able to understand and deal with the problems of life until we understand and deal with original sin.
Life in this world is for a set time. Man's "days are determined, the number of his months are with thee. Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass." Yes, you and I must die. And the time of our death has been appointed by God from eternity. No amount of care, diligent exercise, strict diet, or medicine can add one second to your life. At God's appointed time, he will call, and you will answer.
For the believer, the death of the body is the freeing of the soul. It is a welcome relief (Philippians 1:21-23; Revelation 14:13). While living in this world, we seek to be content with God’s wise and good providence. We want to glorify our great God by living before him in faith, resigning all things to his will. We would not change our lot in life, even if we could. Our heavenly Father knows and always does what is best.
Life a Burden
Yet, life in this world, at best, is a burden to the heaven born soul. In this tabernacle we groan (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). We groan for life! Our hearts cry, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death!’ In this body we struggle with sin. In heaven we shall be free from sin. — In this body we are tempted and often fall. In heaven we shall never be tempted and shall never fall. — In this body we weep much. In heaven we shall weep no more. — In this body we long to be like Christ. In heaven we shall be like Christ. — In this body we long for Christ’s presence. In heaven we shall forever be with Christ.
We have many friends in heaven whom we dearly love. We miss them. But we do not sorrow for them. We envy them! The believer, as long as he is in this world, is like an eagle I once saw while visiting a zoo. He sat on an iron perch, with a chain holding him to the earth, gazing into heaven. It appeared that he longed to soar away into the distant clouds; but the chain held him fast to the earth. When an eagle is happy in an iron cage, or chained to an iron perch, when a sheep is happy in a pack of wolves, when a fish is happy on dry land, then, and not until then, will the renewed soul be happy in this body of flesh. Death for God’s saints will be a welcome relief (Psalm 17:15). — “O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.”