Job 4:6 “Should not your piety be your confidence and your blameless ways your hope?”
I’ve never particularly cared for the Book of Job, largely because so much of it is made up of statements by Job’s friends, whom God explicitly says don’t know Him rightly. (Job 42:7) I mean, why read error? However, because the word “hope” comes up repeatedly in the book, particularly in what is said by Job’s friends, I’ve got 10 days to let God show me new things about the book, and I think He’s started doing that. Eliphaz is stating “conventional wisdom,” which seems very reasonable on the face of it. However, from God’s viewpoint human wisdom is full of holes, and this is a good example. This is following the thinking exemplified in the song from The Sound of Music, “I Must Have Done Something Good.” We like to take credit for the good things in our lives, and in the process we deny God’s grace. That is very dangerous indeed. Various places in the Bible assert the fundamental truth that “all have sinned.” (Romans 3:23) If we try to stand in our own piety we are on very shaky ground indeed! That’s precisely why the devil likes to encourage that kind of thinking. Right after this Eliphaz states something that is clearly not true, that the innocent never have problems. Jesus Himself said otherwise! (John 16:33) He goes on to recount a seemingly supernatural experience, and it sounds to me like he had a visit from the devil. (verses 12-21) Verse 18 in particular seems that way to me: “he charges his angels with error.” The devil is an angel who succumbed to pride, so he tries to pull mankind down with him. The message of Job is not to trust our own piety or “blameless ways,” but rather God’s grace and mercy. That’s where real hope lies, that will not disappoint. (Romans 5:5)
I am grateful to have been raised in a framework of accountability, where sin and guilt were to be acknowledged and repented of, rather than in the current fad of never making children feel bad about themselves. The fact is, we do bad stuff, and we also have to suffer the consequences of the bad stuff other people do. That’s an inescapable reality, so I’ve got to keep my focus on the only human being who ever got it all right, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 12:2) The minute I put my hope in what I do or have done I’m setting myself up for a fall. I am to recognize my total dependence on the grace of God, not at all to excuse disobedience but rather to recognize that my Lord is far greater than my failures. I am to repent of sin the moment I recognize it, but also know that God is truly faithful to forgive confessed sin and cleanse me from it. (1 John 1:9) In other words, I’m not to drag around guilt from past sin, because when God puts it under the blood of Jesus it’s gone, period. (2 Peter 1:9) I cannot have confidence in my own righteousness, but I can have total confidence in the righteousness of Christ that has been imparted to me by the grace of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) That’s an essential part of the Gospel, and I am to communicate it to all who will receive it.
Father, thank You for blessing me from one of the “inaccurate” parts of the Book of Job! Help me indeed learn from everything You bring my way, so that I will keep growing as Your child and Your servant, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!