Today we are going to climb into Job’s perspective on reality. Although it is ultimately incorrect, it is nonetheless a perspective that is shared by many people in the world. Perhaps you have felt this way at times.
Essentially Job is saying that, when you look around at the world there seems to be more injustice than justice. From the time we were students in grade school, we observed that children cheated and got away with it. Children who acted nice and proper in front of the adults were horribly cruel to their peers, and no one seemed to notice or care. As we grew older, the beer-drinking, pot-smoking, promiscuous halfback always scored the winning touchdowns and got a scholarship to college for football. As an adult, we see that large corporations can exploit developing countries, use their employees and spit them out, and then still be considered humanitarian because they throw money at a charity.
There was a movie in the 90’s called The Emperor’s Club, starring Kevin Kline. Kline was a Roman history teacher in an exclusive prep school where they held an annual “Julius Caesar” contest for the boys. One year a boy cheated to win the contest and it devastated the teacher. Years later, this cheating student called a reunion to reenact this contest, to prove to the teacher that he could do it without cheating. Just as you think it is a movie about redemption in this man’s life, the teacher discovers that the man is cheating again. The whole thing was a stunt he pulled to gain votes for his upcoming political campaign. In the end you are left wondering why bad people continue to get away with lying and cheating and then are allowed to govern our country.
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever felt that you spend all your energy in doing the “right” thing and it gets you nowhere? Perhaps you have been discouraged and wanted to give up. That is how Job felt. Read his words in 19:23-27. Job was so sure that he was a “righteous” man that, even though he knew he was going to die, his righteousness would be vindicated before the future generations and his merciless accusers would reap their just rewards.
Here are two lessons and a preview:
- In the end, God will bring about justice; in His time and in His way.
- We need to cling to Paul’s words (who could have easily felt like Job), in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
A preview: we will see in the next few days that Job’s perspective was a bit skewed. When you start feeling the injustices all around you, ask yourself where those emotions are really coming from. Where is that pain centered? Is your pain about God’s name, or yours?