Christ in the Old Covenant Scriptures (18)

Job defends his integrity, continued.

Occasionally Job states that his hope is in the Lord; but, because his friends insist that he must have sinned, he quickly reverts to the defense of his integrity and self-righteousness. He even has the nerve to challenge God to a dialog. “‘Only grant me these two things, O God, and then I will not hide from you: Withdraw your hand from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors. Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply. How many wrongs and sins have I committed? Show me my offense and my sin.'” Job 13:20 – 23, NIV. Job failed to realize that a mere mortal, a sinner, could not become righteous by doing good deeds and speaking right words. Even if a fallen human being, a sinner, were to perform the noblest acts, he could not make himself righteous. Righteousness could not come from a sinner, no matter what.

Before the Job’s experience, another wise man wrote, “’There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.’” Ecclesiastes 7:20, NIV. Because a fallen human being is a sinner by nature, even the best possible efforts on his part could not change his sinful nature. Once a sinner, always a sinner. The sinful human beings must have their sin removed from them, to be righteous; which they could not do by perfect speech and obedience. If sin remains, the sinner could not be justified and, therefore, his self-righteous behavior would be evil in God’s eyes. The prophet Isaiah announced the same: “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6. NIV.

Job insisted to the end that he is righteous. He maintained that God has no reason to punish him. “‘Let God weigh me in honest scales, and he will know that I am blameless.'” Job 31:6, NIV. “So these three men stopped answering Job because he was righteous in his own eyes.” Job 32:1, NIV.

At last, God, as Job demanded, did speak to him and questioned him. The Job was confident he could answer God’s questions and prove his self-righteousness. However, he could not find proper words to answer the questions God asked him. So Job, when God finished questioning him, declared: “‘My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.'” Job 42:5, 6, NIV. Job repented of his self-righteousness because he finally got convinced that God and only He is the source of all righteousness.

The only source of righteousness continued in the next blog.

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Dan Lazich

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