Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Job, Patriarch

What did Job do to deserve the extreme suffering he endured? It doesn't seem fair. We've had our share of occasions when we've wondered why we go through suffering. Job took it all like a man, though. But God had one more thing to bring his way. If Job had any notion, as he constantly tried to convince those who tried to make sense of his suffering, that he was righteous and in fact did not deserve his suffering, then God put that to rest once and for all. There's a lesson here for us all that physical and temporal suffering--however excruciating it may be--is just that, physical and temporal.

It's never as bad as it can get.

Was Job a good man? You bet he was. God even said so. But Job was also a sinner, just as you and I are and everyone else who has been born. There is one who is the exception and it ain't Job. And it ain't us. It's God Himself. In the flesh. Jesus Christ alone is without fault. Without sin. He alone is righteous. He alone deserves no punishment, no suffering.

Yet, that is what He chose. He chose to endure suffering on our behalf. But not like Job experienced. Not like what we endure at times. He endured the punishment for our sins. He was forsaken by His Heavenly Father.

Job went through a lot. Jesus suffered so that we may not suffer eternally. Job's confession of faith in Jesus Christ is true because Christ suffered as He did and rose from the grave: "And after my flesh has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God." [Job 19:26] It is our confession as well.

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