A Look At Righteousness In the Life Of Job

The photo here is from a friends barn that burned down this past week. It was a devastating fire that fortunately did not kill anyone. That same week my pastor preached an overview of Job’s life. Sometimes things and events make you think about life and things you hold close. Although this calamity is hard for those who suffered loss it is harder still to wrap your mind around Job’s situation. In pondering the sermon from Sunday I would like to review my Pastor’s sermon.

Job was a righteous man. His life was exemplified by righteousness by shunning evil. His habitual practice when his children would celebrate he would call for them, have them sanctified, and offer a sacrifice on behalf of them in case they sinned. What a stellar parent. See who takes notice in verse 6. It was God who notices and points out to Satan the righteousness of Job. And then God allows Satan to touch all that he has. All his livestock are stolen, all the servants tending them are dead save one from each herd, and the kids all die. Now top it all off with boils that he scrapes with a potsherd. I can’t begin to imagine how hard that would be.

The unrighteousness of all. We know that Job is righteous. Yet we find him curse the day he was born and the mother that bore him. His wife also gives the ungodly counsel to “curse God and die.” His friends accuse him of sin as if sin is always the cause of sickness and calamity. So we might ask where was Job’s unrighteousness? Look to chapter 38 that describes God’s response to Job. “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” Job’s wrong was questioning God’s decision for Job to endure tribulations because of his righteousness.

The righteousness of God is revealed. God allowed for a time to let Job wander in his ignorance. But when He spoke He reminds Job of creation, setting the limits, creating the creatures, and the setting of the seasons. If Job’s righteousness then this statement in Job 40 would be equally good.

“Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me:
“ Would you indeed annul My judgment?
Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like God?
Or can you thunder with a voice like His?
Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor,
And array yourself with glory and beauty.
Disperse the rage of your wrath;
Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him.
Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low;
Tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together,
Bind their faces in hidden darkness.”

If you notice this rebuke is to answer as man. Which is a reminder that Job is but a man and not God. Followed by if he were righteous like God then surely he could save himself and punish the wicked. God then rebukes Job’s friends for speaking falsely of God to Job on how He works. It is God who is righteous and chooses to test the heart of men.

If we are to fit into Job’s calamity may it because we are righteous and not because of our sin. Should other fall may we be careful to condemn as sin as the culprit. May you and I have the same grace Job did to continue to be upright and not curse God in the face of certain trials. For even Peter who was sifted denied God and yet God’s grace was sufficient to restore Peter again.