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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Holy Manipulation

Job 35:1-8

Verse 6  If you sin, how does that affect Him?  If your sins are many, what does that do to Him?

 

    Elihu gets to the heart of his defense of God by helping Job and the older friends see the same thing we need to remember when we are struggling in the hard times of life, God is bigger than we are.  The youngest friend was aware of the true God, not just in concept but in experience.  Though he was younger than the rest there was something about this young man which had brought him to an understanding of God the others had missed.

 

    We so easily allow ourselves to equate ourselves with God in the sense we have the power to control our lives.  We tend to think if we live a certain way we will receive a certain outcome.  Choose the right career and we’ll never have to worry about finances.  Pick the right spouse and we will have a happy marriage.  Go to the perfect church and we will grow spiritually.  Each of these statements show how much we think we get to choose our outcomes.

 

    Job and his friends had this idea that if they lived a good life it would mean God would bless them.  The truth was God was blessing Job in a way which didn’t feel like blessing to the man who was so focused on what he felt true blessing was.  Of course we tend to react the same way to troubles God may allow in our lives.  God has His own work to do and it isn’t to make us happy in this life.  Sure He will bless us but not as a reward for good behavior.  His reason for blessing us is more about Him than it is about us.

 

    Elihu was trying to help these men understand righteous living isn’t benefitting God if it is being done for selfish reasons.  To work so hard at living a sinless life on one’s own efforts is really missing the point of God’s desire for His people living holy lives.  God’s goal for the lives of His people has more to do with the inner man than the blessings of the physical world.

 

    When we try to live righteously for personal reasons we are only benefiting humans in the same way our wickedness would be torturing those around us.  God wants us to be righteous so we can come to know Him more.  God was proud of Job’s righteous living and that made him the perfect man for the enemy to attack.

 

Making It Personal

    Do you try to live righteously?  What is the reason behind that choice?  Do you live your life in a way which would bother the enemy?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    Should you live like Jesus wants you to just so you can have a good life?  Why should you live like Jesus wants you to?  Do you want to live for Jesus even if it is hard sometimes?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, we so often fail at living the heart behind Your desire of holiness from Your people.  Somewhere along the way holiness has started meaning more about gaining prosperity instead of closeness to You.  Help us see the truth about living righteously for You and give us the desire to live that way.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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