The Same God
I love it when I find the Gospel in the Old Testament. To me, it confirms the Scriptural Truth that God does not change—He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And for some reason, I need this understanding settled within my heart to function in my daily life.
Lately, Job has been sort of my go-to book when I was feeling down. No matter how bad things got, it wasn’t as bad as it was for Job. Amid the horrific disasters God allowed Satan to perpetrate on Job’s life, even killing his children, Job did not charge God with wrong. In fact, he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
I find that fascinating—and so unlike me.
It’s possible in my rantings this past year, I did charge God with wrong. I pray I didn’t, but if I didn’t, I think I came very close. And I wasn’t really suffering.
Only God could have placed those words on Job’s lips and in his heart. But how does one cope with such personal pain and loss?
Job sunk into depression, despised his life, and wished he’d never been born. Afterward, Job recounted his days, his actions, and how he honored God in everything. This man even offered sacrifices for his children just in case they sinned. Moreover, God Himself declared Job blameless and upright—a truth Satan did not refute.
Job’s heart was kind and compassionate. He loved God and did every good work he knew to do to please Him and avert this type of calamity. So, to Job, his suffering was unfair.
Why did God allow misery in Job’s life?
From the text, God’s exact reason isn’t clear. Still, I believe it was much more than proving a point to Satan. I think it was so Job could gain a deeper understanding of the Almighty and so God could correct Job’s thinking about sin.
Everyone at that time understood works righteousness:
good deeds = blessings sinful deeds = misfortune.
And each time Job’s friends expressed their disgust at Job’s reluctance to admit he had sinned—that his current situation was God’s punishment, Job countered, saying, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job longed to plead his innocence before God, but he knew God was not a man. And even if they could go to court together, there was no mediator Job could see.
When the three older men finished their statements, a younger man began to speak. Elihu spoke truth but had no insight into the underlying cause of Job’s physical and emotional pain. Yet, Elihu told of a messenger, a mediator, to show man God’s uprightness. By this one, man could see himself in comparison to a holy God. And faced with God’s Holiness, man confesses, “I have sinned…” In those moments, the grace of God delivers his soul from the pit because the Almighty found a ransom—a cover—a redemption price  to pay the condemned man’s sin, in the merits of the mediator.
For Job, God himself became his Mediator—the One for whom Job longed. In the testimony box, Job sat while God proclaimed His glory and power and said, “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Four chapters later, Job understood his sin nature, the insufficiency of works to save, and he repented. God then, in His mercy, restored Job.
How great is it that our Triune God is the same today as He was in Job’s day? We also have God as our Mediator AND our Ransom—His name is Jesus, God the Son. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all…”
Have a blessed Resurrection Day!
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