Saturday, September 28, 2013


For the week beginning Sunday September 29, 2013                                 

(Living by Christian moral and ethical standards)
Job 31

For whatever can be said of the form and relationships in the Book of Job, there can be little difference of opinion regarding the sublimity of its style, the keenness of its author’s insight into human nature, and the depth and earnestness of his thinking. However, taking the book as a whole, one must admit that its meaning may not be altogether clear.
There have been many interpretations offered up over time, regarding this divine real-life poem, and there may very well be only one common point that most scholars can agree upon, and that is, that, in the book of Job, GOD seems to be saying, “There can be no doctrine of exact retribution in this life”.
This timeless book is one of the greatest products of the “Hebrew thought”, and we can clearly see how it is orchestrated from beginning to end, by GOD HIMSELF. In fact, the book of Job clearly emphasizes that GOD’s ways go way beyond human comprehension, and, that it is both, silly and presumptuous, to suppose that man ought to be able to explain the ways of GOD, or “figure GOD out”.
In Job chapter 31 we find his final argument, or “protest of innocence”. Here he presents one of Scripture’s most powerful pictures of “the righteousness of the Old Testament saints”. In chapter 29 Job presented no less than three ways that his current sufferings contrasted his past blessing, and he again, affirmed his own righteousness. In verses 1-25 we saw a distinct pattern of;

·         Blessing (Vs.2-6 & 18-20)
·         Honor (Vs.7-11 & 21-25)
·         Job’s Compassion (Vs.12-17)  

Now, in an attempt to show his friends what he believes would be “the unfairness of GOD” if HE indeed was punishing him, Job takes each of those themes and uses them to contrast his present state of suffering.
·         In verses 1-4 Job denies being guilty of even lustfully desiring a woman who was not his own wife (the first stage of sexual immorality (lustful viewing) by a married person).
·         In verses 5-8 Job denies he has cheated or dealt dishonestly with others (using unjust scales to measure goods).
·         In verses 9-12 Job denies having committed the physically sexual immoral act of adultery.
·         In verses 13-23 Job denies any acts of social injustice towards others such as unjust treatment towards servants, orphans, widows, and the poor and needy.
·         In verses 24-28 materialism and idolatry, two closely related sins, are denied by Job.
·         In verses 29-34 Job says that he did not rejoice over the misfortunes of others, even those whom he considered to be his enemies. He also did not pray curses upon people who wronged him. He treated, both, his family, and, his servants rightly, and he also provided “an atmosphere of hospitality to strangers”. He was not a hypocrite who hid his sins from others, only to be found out later.

These verses not only isolate several characteristics of morally that can be manifested through “humility”, “social justice”, and economic balance , but they also teach us that those with the resources are responsible for making those things happen in society, because after all, we really are “our brother’s keeper”.
In Matthew 25, verses 31-46, JESUS lays out the criterion by which HE will judge us upon HIS return. In those verses HE clearly gives us the answers, in advance, to the test of life that we need to pass, before we can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. There HE plainly tells us that HE will “grade us”, or “judge usaccording to our reaction to human need .  
And so we see that there really exists, a “Biblical Social Gospel” that man must take heed to, and indeed, adhere to. And the message of that Gospel is that, “people who say they love GOD, must demonstrate that love by exhibiting active compassion for those in need.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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