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How Can a Man Be Righteous Before God? (Job Sermon 7)

Series: Job

How Can a Man Be Righteous Before God? (Job Sermon 7)

April 11, 2021 | Andrew Davis
Job 8:1-10:22
Imputed Righteousness, Justification

Pastor Andy Davis preaches a sermon on Job 8-10. Job moves from anger to despair about God as his legal adversary who will be his prosecutor in court. He yearns for a mediator. Job did not know something that we now know, our mediator is Christ.

             

- SERMON TRANSCRIPT  -

 

One of the sweetest and most encouraging texts in the Bible for me is Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” But what about the opposite? What if God were against you? What then? How could we survive? And especially if the context were very much what Ben was sharing in his prayer, the context were judgment day. The final court of God's justice. If God were against us, then what? This morning, we're going to find Job as he's on his own pilgrimage of sorrow and suffering, moving from anger to a sense of despair specifically about God as his legal enemy, his legal adversary.

The image is of Almighty God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, being his prosecutor in court. What if that is the case? What then? How could any of us survive that? This morning, we're going to hear Job crying out, yearning for a mediator, as he says. “Someone who could lay a hand on us both.” Both God and man, someone who, Job thinks, would be able to advocate on his behalf and testify on the basis of Job's essential righteousness. That he is blameless. A mediator who would speak on his behalf to God saying, "This man is innocent." However, in the goodness of God, Job and all of the redeemed gets something infinitely better than that, infinitely better. A mediator who will actually tell Job the truth: your righteousness is not enough. And will give him a perfect righteousness of his own, imputed to him as a gift, and then will advocate on the basis of that imputed righteousness that Job would spend eternity in heaven. We're going to discover how a mortal man like Job with all of his normal sinfulness can actually stand perfect in the sight of a holy God. And for all of us, that's going to be our hope for judgment day. Let's walk through this.

I. Bildad’s Cold Doctrine

We begin in Job chapter eight with the second of Job's friends, Bildad the Shuhite, and he begins in verse two, Job 8:2, by saying, "How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind." Bildad is becoming angry at Job, and he's going to get angrier as the book unfolds. Now, Bildad the second friend, his basic doctrine is God never perverts justice. Look at Job 8:3. “Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?”

Bildad sees it right in the two senses. First, Job really is questioning God's justice, as we shall see. Secondly, God could never pervert justice ever. In this, Bildad is right. And Bildad's support comes from the wisdom of the ancients. Look at verses eight and nine. “Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow.” What can we find out from the ancestors? And that is that God is perfectly righteous. He never perverts justice. The wicked get what they deserve. The wicked get what they deserve. And he makes a very cold hearted application to Job's children. You remember that Job lost all 10 of his children in one day. Bildad says in verse four, "When your children sinned against God, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin." That's what happened. Now, that is staggering really. Here's where Bildad errs as he does with Job himself. Just because someone dies doesn't mean they're guilty of some noteworthy sin, or perhaps we would say the opposite is more accurate. If Job's children died because of their sin, it's likely that I deserve the exact same fate as them. There's no difference, because we are all of us sinners worthy of death. Wages of sin is death.

Do you remember the story in Luke 13 of some individuals coming to Jesus with some current event? There were some Galileans who were slaughtered by Pilate soldiers even while they're offering sacrifices to God. You remember that? They were coming with the same theology that Job's friends have. They're getting what they deserve for their sin. Do you remember what Jesus said? Luke 13:2-3, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered that way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” So that's the fact. All of us deserve to die for our sins. And unless we repent, we will all likewise perish, Jesus is saying.

Now, there's a bitter insensitivity to Bildad here, and there's also an arrogance, a spiritual arrogance. First, the bitter insensitivity. He's coldly insensitive to a grieving father saying those kinds of things. Your children sinned. God killed them. But there's also spiritual arrogance because he assumes that Job's children, like Job himself, are far worse sinners than he, Bildad, is. The reason he's still in good health, the reason he's still enjoying prosperity is he's not a sinner like them.

Now, Bildad's counsel to Job is this, trust God and plead with him. Look at verse five, “Look to God and plead with the Almighty.” And he makes him a conditional promise, Bildad does, “God will restore you if you are truly pure.” Verses six and seven. “If you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place. Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.” But Bildad also makes a conditional warning: “if you actually are wicked, you will perish quickly.” He speaks of the wicked like a papyrus reed that grows quickly eight to 10 feet up out of the marsh. But look how easily it is toppled. He mentions the hope of the wicked being so flimsy like a spider's web. That if one leans against it, it easily gives away.

Then in verse 13, “Such as the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.” This is the justice of God. He crushes the wicked and blesses the righteous. Sound familiar? That's what these friends have been saying. That's their consistent pattern. Now Job has to answer this in chapter nine and on into 10. He begins by conceding that Bildad's basic theology of God's justice, the law of retribution, blessings for the righteous, curses for the wicked, is true. Look at verse two of chapter nine. "Indeed," he says, "I know that this is true." But there is a basic problem, Bildad, with your theology. Who is righteous before God? What's the point? If it's a null set, if it's an empty set, there are no righteous people, then what good is that theology?

Look at verse two again, “How can a person be justified before God?” Job could ask effectively, if God finds fault with heart sins and small sins, which I don't deny, Job doesn't deny that he commits these, but if God finds fault with the smallest sin, then how can anyone survive? Including you, Bildad. What's the point of your theology?

II. Tracing Out the Dimensions of Job’s Complaint

Now, for the rest of chapters nine and 10, we're going to trace out the dimensions of Job's complaint against God. His real problem is not with Bildad. He fades at this point. The real issue has to do with his view of God, Job's view of God. Job's desire here in this chapter is to take God to court. He wants to take God to court and he wants to win his case. Look at verse two and three. He says, "How can a man be declared innocent by God?" One translation puts it this way, "If one plan to enter into litigation with him, he could not answer him, not even one time out of a thousand!" If you wanted to have a legal dispute with God, you want to take God to court, and the two of you faced each other in a court of law, that's Job's desire, he wants to take God to court and win, he would not be able to answer God even one time out of a thousand.

Now, Job's goal here is to stand vindicated before God and man. When in verse three he asked, "How can a man be just with God?" The Hebrew means to be declared righteous. It's justification. It's to be seen legally exonerated or legally vindicated from whatever you're accused of. The court trial has come. The verdict's come down and you walk out a free man or free woman. He wants to win. He wants to win his court trial with God and walk out of the courtroom with his arms raised triumphant, completely exonerated. But he has a problem with that. Who is his legal adversary? It's Almighty God. He says, if I were to stand before him in a courtroom, he is my judge, as well as my prosecuting attorney.


"He wants to win his court trial with God and walk out of the courtroom with his arms raised triumphant, completely exonerated. But he has a problem with that. Who is his legal adversary? It's Almighty God."

If there were a thousand accusations God meant, I couldn't speak up even one time out of a thousand. What could I say? I would be rendered silent. There'd be nothing I could say. Well, ironically, that's exactly what does happen at the end of the book. In Job 40:4-5 he says, "I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more." That's where we're heading. That's where all of us are heading. If you're healthy, that's where you're heading. You're just going to put your hand over your mouth before God and not charge him with anything.

But he's not there yet. It is vital for us as sinners to realize this. If God began recounting all the deeds and all the intentions of our hearts, recorded from the beginning of our days on earth, as he is fully capable of doing, the court seated, the books are open, Revelation 20, and we're judged according to what we have done as recorded in the book. What answer could we give? But Job goes far beyond that. He speaks of God's astonishing majesty as being his greatest terror. Look at who is my adversary, my prosecutor in court. It is Almighty God. It is the creator and ruler of the entire universe. What chance do I have? Look at verse four, “His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.” You're facing omniscience and omnipotence in a court of law.

But Job here portrays God and his destructive power. Not as God the creator, but as God the destroyer. Look at verses four through seven, “Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without there knowing it he overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars.”

I can't help but read these words and not think about the end of the world as depicted in the Book of Revelation. If you go to Revelation six, don't turn there, but just listen. Revelation 6:12-17. You remember how Jesus has the scroll with the seven seals, and he opens these seals one after the other and terrifying things happen on the earth. And he gets to the sixth seal, this is Revelation 6:12-17, “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake, and the sun turned black like sack cloth made of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to the earth, as late figs dropped from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come. And who shall be able to stand?"”

How could a mortal man stand before that kind of power and survive? Job says, this is the same God who created the constellations. He created them and sustains them, the distant stars. Job 9:8-10, he says, "He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." We're looking at God's omnipotence on display and creation. A single one of God's wonders could occupy our minds for the rest of the year, but he does more than a single one. He does more of these than we can imagine every day.

And he's invisible. A hidden enemy is 10 times more terrifying than one you can see. We never know when he's going to strike, Job says. Look at verse 11, “When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him.” This invisible, omnipotent, powerful, as he sees it, enemy is accountable to no one. He doesn't have to give an answer for anything he does. Look at verse 12, “If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, "What are you doing?"” God is infinitely above accountability to us. Doesn't have to answer any of us about what he's doing. Verse 13, he talks about conquering Rahab, the primordial enemy. It's an image that Hebrew poets use a lot, kind of like a dragon that God slew to bring order to the chaotic universe. If God can handle that kind of a mighty enemy with ease, what chance do I have, Job says. Verse 14. How then can I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him?

Back to the original problem. I want to take God to court and argue with him, but I will lose. Now, in all of this, behind all of this, you must know Job's basic conviction is, I am innocent. I'm blameless. He says it again and again. 9:15, “Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.” Verse 20, “Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty.” And then just straight out in verse 21, “I am blameless.” “I am blameless.” And that's exactly why he wants to dispute with God. He feels all of this wave upon wave of destruction that's come into his life is unfair. It's unjust. He feels these judgements from God have overwhelmed him, portray him as overwhelmingly wicked and evil and he knows it's just not so.

So, Job feels checkmated by God. And his unspoken accusation, although he's getting closer and closer to saying it and he will say it later in the book, God is unjust. Behind all these words is a growing sense that Job really feels that God is unjust and irrational in the way he runs the universe. To some degree then, to some degree, Bildad is right. Job is subtly claiming that God is unjust in what he's done to Job. Job will openly assert it later in the book. He's only hinting at it here. Basically he's saying, it's an old expression, might makes right when it comes to God. It's just because he's omnipotent and he can just run everything.

No one can challenge him. Might makes right. Look at verses 14-19, “How then could I dispute with him? How can I find words to argue with him? Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy. Even if I summoned him and he responded, I do not believe he would give me a hearing. He would crush me with a storm and multiply my wounds for no reason. He would not let me regain my breath but would overwhelm me with misery. If it's a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it's a matter of justice, who will summon him?” In other words, if I served God a subpoena and he didn't want to come, what could I do? And if I did that, it seems like all that would happen is more of the same that's already happened to me. I'd just get crushed more. He would multiply my wounds even more for no reason, for no reason. That's the charge of God's injustice.

And then he says that God actually is unjust in how he treats innocent people on earth. 9:22-24, “It's all the same. That's why I say he destroys both the blameless and the wicked. When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent.” Do you hear that? He just makes fun of the innocent people who are grieving and crushed. He mocks them. “When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it's not he, then who is it?” Wow! You'll see as we keep moving through the book how right it is that Job repents at the end of the book. I think this is part of the reason why the Holy Spirit gave us 42 chapters of Job. Do you not sense that some of these same attitudes are in your own heart and in mine too? It actually would take far less in our lives than it ever took in Job's life to have them bubble up out of our mouths, charging God with this kind of injustice.

In Job 10, he expands his accusation as if God is actually cruel. He actually enjoys the torment he's brought on him. Look at 10:3, “Does it please you to oppress me?” Do you enjoy this? “Are you pleased to spurn the work of your hands while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?” God knows I'm not guilty. He also knows that no one can deliver me from his hand. Look at 10:6-7, “You must search out my faults, probe after my sin—though you know I'm not guilty, and that no one can rescue me from your hand.” God continues to send wave upon wave of sorrow upon me. He's relentless against me. Look at verses 15-17, “If I'm guilty—woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I'm full of shame, drowned in my affliction. If I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion and again display your awesome power against me. You bring new witnesses against me and increase your anger toward me; your forces come against me wave upon wave.” That's the problem.

Now, Job has in his mind a possible solution at the end of chapter nine. Look at verses 33-35, “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay a hand upon us both, someone to remove God's rod from me so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him.” Now, most of the translations just have him saying there is not such a one. But in the context, I think it's reasonable that you sense that he's yearning for such a one. That's what he wants. If only there were someone like this, someone to arbitrate, someone to lay a hand on us both. God doesn't have to listen to me. God doesn't have to answer me. I have no standing. I have no place to compel his attention. But if there were someone who could stand between us like a mediator, an arbitrator who could compel God to listen on my behalf. The effect in Job's mind would be to remove God's rod of terror from him. He would solve his problems. He would vindicate Job. He would set him free forever, and then he would have peace with God at last.

But this deep desire is unfulfilled. Verse 35, “Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” Well, but wait, the answer's coming. It hadn't come yet in redemptive history, but we know the answer, dear friend. Christian brothers and sisters, amen! We know the answer, don't we? We know that there is a mediator.

Job couldn't see him at that point. Job has deep despair. I hate my life. Job spends many words in these two chapters lamenting his very existence. Chapter 9:21 he says, "Although I am blameless, I have no concern for myself; I despise my own life." He notes that though the individual days seem long because of his misery, he has said this before, his life is as fleeting as a runner, like one of those little skiffs that goes so fast driven by the wind. And then he says, I can't put a happy face on all this. Look at 9:27-28. He said, "If I say ‘I'll forget my complaint, I will change my expression and smile.’" That's what you need to do. Just smile. Put on a happy face, “I still dread all my sufferings, for I know you will not hold me innocent.” So what's the use of even trying? What's the use of trying to clean myself up? What's the use of me trying to wash my hands and rehabilitate my image with onlooking people? Chapter 9:29-31, “Even if I am found guilty, why should I struggle in vain? Even if I wash myself with soap in my hands with washing soda, you would plunge me into a slime pit so that even my clothes would detest me.”

Now, amazingly, Job celebrates that it was this same God who gave him life to begin with. Look at 10:8-12, beautiful verses. This is Job speaking to God about his creation, his original formation, “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again? Did you not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews? You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence, you watched over my spirit.” These are some of the most beautiful verses in the entire Bible on God's direct, skillful, knitting together of every human being in his or her mother's womb.  This is exactly why I am pro-life in this age of abortion. Verses like this tell me God is directly involved in the creation of every single human being that has ever lived or ever will live. There are no accidental human beings when it comes to the activity of God in the womb. But Job's point here is you did all that and now you're destroying me. The same God who formed me in the womb, that knit me together in my mother's womb, and then protected me, lavished blessings on me, in your kind providence watched over my spirit, now you're watching over me to detect my sin and crush me. So why did you ever make me to begin with?

Basically at this point, Job just wants God to leave him alone. Let him die. Look at 10:18-22, “Why then did you bring me out of the womb? I wish I had died before any eye saw me. If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave! Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment's joy before I go to the place of no return, to the land of gloom and deep shadow, to the land of deepest night of deep shadow and disorder where even the light is like darkness.” By the way, that is Job's view of the grave. In a later sermon, God willing, I'm going to talk about his defective view of the grave and how much better we can do now that Christ has been raised from the dead. That's a later sermon.

III. Four Great Lessons

All right, from this, I want to take four great lessons. Lesson number one, it is sinful to dispute with God. Job wants to dispute with God, to take him to court, to challenge him, to argue against him, to fight him on behalf of his own blamelessness. This is such an extremely common thing in our world, especially during times of great suffering that people don't seem to really know how wrong it is. In fact, I would argue, as I have done, that this is one of the central purposes of this whole book of Job, is to get us to never do that again. To teach us to put a hand over our mouths and to trust God. I think it's beneficial for us to get ready for our own battles ahead of time. Maybe even right now, some of you may be going through great sorrow and suffering right now, this could be your time of testing. But for the rest of you, it's coming. It is coming. We live in a world of sorrow and sickness and loss and death. This book is here, and, in the providence of God, these sermons are here to get you ready for what you do not want.

But God wills to bring his people through sorrow and suffering and it is wrong to dispute with God. God's ways will not always make sense to us during the time. Sometimes it will seem that God is unjust or that his providential ruling of daily life is irrational and random, but it's not. We need to fix in our minds for all time how God has proven his commitment to justice. He did it at the cross. He did it at the cross of his own beloved son, Jesus Christ. It says in Romans 3:25-16, “God presented him as a propitiation,” or a sacrifice of atonement, “through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” So friends, a far bigger problem of God's justice in God's mind, far bigger than how he would appear unjust if he brings adverse circumstances to his people on earth, far bigger problem than that, is how can he take sinners, like you and me, and bring us into a heaven of light where he is perfectly pure? How can he do that and still be just?

That's a bigger problem. How can he be both just and the justifier? And he solved that at the cross. At the cross, he poured out, and we sang it earlier. He crushed his own son, showing he would rather do that, he'd rather crush his Son, his only Son whom he loved, than let a sinner like you or me into heaven without our sins atoned for, addressed. That's his commitment to justice. So, when we suffer some earthly loss, some loss of material wealth, or precious loved one, or physical health, we should banish forever from our minds any anger or determination to dispute with God over his justice. He's proven his justice at the cross.


"When we suffer some earthly loss, some loss of material wealth, or precious loved one, or physical health, we should banish forever from our minds any anger or determination to dispute with God over his justice. He's proven his justice at the cross."

And actually we really are not blameless and pure. Jesus stopped the rich young ruler who said, good teacher, da, da, da. Wait, wait, wait, wait, why do you call me good? No one is good, but God alone. I don't really think we believe that. But all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We tend to compare ourselves to others. I'm better than this guy. I'm better than that guy. We tend to do that. Well, that's not how it's going to work. God is going to compare us to his perfect standard and we're all going to come short.

When we consider our sinfulness here on earth, we should not compare ourselves to other sinners, but God's perfect standard in the law. So, if this is true, on what basis would we dispute with God, or murmur against God, or complain, or accuse him? Yet it seems we are already at one time or another to accuse God of injustice. The best people do this. Jeremiah did it. You can look it up, Jeremiah 20:7. He said, "God, you deceived me and I was deceived." God says to Jeremiah, Jeremiah, if you speak worthy and not worthless words, you can be my servant. It's worthless to say that God deceived him, but that was Jeremiah saying that to him.

We know why. He was going through suffering. We should set it in our minds ahead of time, it's actually monstrous to dispute with God and question his justice. When people get angry at God, they treat him like he's their valet, their foot servant. They yell at him. They demand an answer from him, forgetting our own sinfulness. Fact of the matter is, even if we closely examine ourselves honestly, we miss 99% of our sins. David said it in Psalm 19:12, "Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults." Forgive my hidden faults. I can't even discern my own errors. In the end, Job quieted himself and humbled himself and repented of his disputing with God and questioning God. Let's do that now ahead of time.

Second lesson, Christ is our perfect mediator. Christ is our perfect mediator. Job yearned for a mediator, “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.” Job ended that yearning with despair, “as it is, I cannot.” But now there is a mediator. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 it says, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for us all." In the incarnation, Jesus, the perfect God man, fully God, fully man, is able to stand between God and man. He's able to represent God on behalf of us like saying, no one is good, but God alone, saying those kinds of things and speaking God's perfect law and perfect words to us. He represented God to us perfectly, but then he represents us to God. He is the perfect bridge builder. He is, in the incarnation, able to stand God and man and build the bridge between us. He understands our weakness and our temptation. He experienced all of it perfectly. Hebrews 4:15, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way just as we are—yet was without sin.”

But as I said Jesus is an infinitely superior mediator than the one Job wanted. Remember what I said? What did Job want? Someone to look at my case, get to know me, get to know what's going on, and then be my advocate and say, God, he's blameless. What's going on? Oh yes, I see it now. Okay. And then the rod comes off. Job doesn't get that. What does he get instead? He gets Jesus looking at him with eyes of blazing fire and feet of burnished bronze saying, “Unless your righteousness surpasses what you have on your own, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." And then when a righteousness through his, Jesus', own perfect obedience to God's law every day of his life until his death and take that perfect righteousness and give it as a gift to Job and to all who repent and believe in him as a gift, and then turn and advocate the redeemed on behalf of that imputed righteousness that we have as a gift by faith.

That's better, friends. You know why that's better? Because when we get to heaven, we will boast in the Lord and in the Lord alone, not in ourselves. That's what we get, someone to remove God's rod from me so his terror would frighten me no more. Here's the thing, Jesus is the best defense attorney there has ever been or ever will be.

Now, I looked it up. I went online. How high do hourly rates get for the top level defense attorneys? You would not believe. Billable hours, a thousand dollars an hour. Wow! You couldn't afford that. Jesus doesn't charge anything except one thing. He looks you in the eye and says, you have to give up your plea of not guilty. You give that up, I'll be your defense attorney. But if you claim you don't need me, if you claim you're basically blameless, if you claim you're basically righteous, I will not defend you and you'll stand on your own on judgment day. He'll be your defense attorney and he has never lost a case and he never will. It helps that he's the judge as well. I mean, it helps. But he has never lost a case. And through perfect justice, he will remove God's rod of wrath from you. Romans 5:1 it says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Amen? The rod of wrath is removed. That's what propitiation is. It's gone. The bloodshed removes the wrath of God. And then Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Thirdly, therefore, God is not against us. God is for us. He is for us. Job's lament in chapters nine and 10, spins out from a consistent perspective: God is against me. God is my enemy. God is hunting me down to destroy me. But in Christ, in Christ, God is for us. Romans 8:31-32, “What shall we say in response to all this? If God is for us, who could be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will you not also along with him graciously give us all things?” What does that mean to have God for you? What will it mean on judgment day? It'll mean everything. It'll mean everything. You'll hear from him, welcome you who are blessed into the eternal kingdom prepared by my Father. Welcome you who are righteous through faith.

Fourthly, God's majesty is our delight, not our terror. There's a lot of natural theology in Job. we're not done with it, God himself will do it a lot. Just look at the wonders of creation. Look at the majesty and the power of displayed in the creation and sustaining of the universe. Job discussed in awe and wonder the power of God over creation, the God who can shake the pillars of the earth and stop the sun from rising and cause the stars to fall from the sky. Job stood in awe at the majesty of God and being so far beyond all accountability, the God who cannot be stopped from anything he wants to do, the God who is not accountable to us. He isn't, friends. It's true. He doesn't need to give us an explanation.

Job discussed the meticulous care of God and knitting his body together in his mother's womb, the wisdom and intelligence of God in making his body in that secret place. He noted all the providential ways that God lavished blessing on him by his kind providence. But he felt that God's majesty was a terror to him because God was against him. But if God is for us, then his majesty is a delight. I believe, as many of you know, in a dynamic heaven where we're going to go and study the infinite dimensions and details of God's majesty for all eternity, for all eternity.


"But he felt that God's majesty was a terror to him because God was against him. But if God is for us, then his majesty is a delight."

I asked a friend this week. I said, "Suppose I told you I got you a gift this week. It was a storehouse with a million square feet for you, just for all your stuff." I'm sorry, what? A million square foot storage facility? We don't have that much stuff. I mean, we have stuff, but we don't have that much stuff. What would you do with a storage facility a million square feet? Or how about a billion? All right, so let's move that on into eternal. What are you going to do with eternal time? What are you going to do with a storehouse so big that it's infinite in its dimensions? You got to fill it with an infinite thing. And that is the glory of God. God will fill it every day in glory. He will fill it with a study of God's own attributes. What he did in the past, what he is doing in that heavenly present, and what he will unfold in that heavenly future, that's what we're going to spend eternity celebrating. God's majesty will be our delight, not our terror.

The question I have to ask as I finish is what about you? You've heard all this. Are you claiming your own basic innocence and thinking you're going to stand before such a holy God on judgment day? You cannot survive. You cannot survive. Or are you willing by faith have Jesus be your mediator, the one who could lay a hand both on God and on you and bring you together for all eternity? Who are you trusting in?

Let’s close in prayer. Lord, thank you for Job. We thank you for these chapters, Job 8-10. Thank you for the things we're learning. Father. I pray that you would just be working saving faith in the hearts of those that are hearing me today. Just work in us. Lord, those of us who have been saved for many, many years, who have been justified for many years, just continue to expand our sense of what Jesus did for us, what he drank for us on the cross. With infinite courage, he drank the cup of God's wrath that we might be freed from terror. Thank you, Lord Jesus. I pray that you would help us to walk on in gratitude. To realize that no matter what the disappointments we may be going through, or things that have happened in our lives that didn't go the way we wanted, nothing compares to the fact that Jesus drank our cup, the cup of God's wrath for us, that we might spend eternity free from blame and glorious. We thank you in Jesus' name, amen.

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