May 3, 2016

Job 33:29-30 “God does all these things to a man—
twice, even three times—
to turn back his soul from the pit,
that the light of life may shine on him.”

Elihu is an interesting character in the Book of Job. He is not among the three friends, and so does not come under God’s words of correction at the end. What he says is similar, but in a number of ways subtly different from what they say. Some interpreters/theologians feel he is a representation of authentic truth, in contrast to the platitudes expressed by the three friends. In any case, this particular monologue is a striking one, expressing God’s motivation for allowing trials in our lives. It is confirmation that God is never mean, however rough our circumstances might be. The Book of Job does not speak directly of eternal life, but in several places, including this one, it may be taken that way. After all, the “light of life” in Christ is indeed eternal! From the New Testament we understand that the trials we endure include physical death, but that is far from the end. We need to so live that our physical death is a graduation, a release into the glory that God has prepared for us in Christ. Those without that hope very reasonably fear death very much, and many try to mask that by saying that death is purely a negation, and there is nothing at all afterward. That’s easier to face than full accountability for how we have lived! The Gospel states that we indeed have an Intercessor, as even Elihu refers to. That intercessor is Jesus Christ, who took on our human form so that He could also take the weight of our sins on Himself, so that those who believe in Him could have eternal life. (John 3:16)

This is of course the message that I try to communicate to everyone. I have experienced the Lord’s correction a few times myself, and as the Bible says, that’s not much fun at the time. (Hebrews 12:11) However, I have also experienced peace and joy, even in the middle of the hard times, to a level that those who don’t know Christ find remarkable. Such times are the best validation of the Gospel I speak, so I don’t draw back from them. I desire to take as many people as possible with me to heaven. After all, people are all I can take! I am not to “kick against the goads,” (Acts 26:14) but allow God to guide and correct and use me, so that all of His purposes for me may be fulfilled, for His glory.

Father, thank You for all You allow me to experience. Thank You for the little irritations that I so often fail to release to You. It is much easier to recognize big things as trials and learn from them! Help me be a good student, learning and applying all that You teach me, so that people may see Christ in me and be drawn to You for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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