Daily D – Job 1:1
Job 1:1 There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. (NLT)
We discover Job 1 in Job 1: Live with integrity. It is no guarantee of a problem-free life. It is a guarantee of an opportunity to know and experience God at a deep level. It is a guarantee of displaying God’s goodness to those near and far, now and forever.
We know Job today even though we don’t know when and where he lived or how he made his fortune. We know Job because God called him blameless, a man of complete integrity. (See verses 1 and 8.)
He lived with a deep reverence for God. He kept distance between himself and evil. He was such a good man God called him “the finest man in all the earth,” (verse 8).
1. Job was blameless.
2. Job was a man of complete integrity.
3. Job lived with a deep reverence for God.
4. Job stayed away from evil.
5. Job was the finest man in all the earth.
Even though he kept distance between himself and evil, evil came looking for him – with God’s permission. Before we get to all of Job’s problems, including well-meaning friends with faulty theology, let’s rush to the final chapter of the book. Beginning with 42:7, we notice how God abundantly blesses Job “even more than in the beginning,” (verse 12).
Our lives are God’s canvas to tell stories of his goodness, grace, mercy, kindness, healing, and deliverance. Our lives are also God’s canvas to tell stories of hearts and minds bigger, better, faster, and stronger than the worst kinds of suffering.
Our lives are God’s opportunities for others to come to know and experience God through our faithfulness in good times and bad, luxury and loss, abundance and emptiness. There is so much more to this life than living and dying. There is so much more than acquisitions and expenses. There is so much more than what we pause to ponder.
Integrity with God and before others is no guarantee of a pain-free life. There is no such guarantee with a life of debauchery, either. Integrity with God declares a trust, an assurance, a fixed and permanent hope beyond even our deepest comprehension. It is something we know so true we cannot begin to declare its evidence, and don’t need to, and don’t want to or have to. It is the most beautiful jewel in our possession
Take a look again at the end of Job’s story to set the perspective necessary to interpret the rest of his story. Take a look at 42:8. Here’s what God says:
“So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves.
My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf.
I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.”
1. God spoke through Job.
2. God restored Job’s friends through priestly intervention under God’s direction.
3. God demonstrated grace and mercy Job’s friends did not deserve.
4. God set the record straight about how to properly wrestle with him without sin and with everlasting hope.
Life includes lots of wrestling, many struggles, and seemingly endless pains. Jacob famously walked with a limp for the rest of his life after his wrestling match with God. Limping helped him slow down and go farther faster. Limping reminded him of God’s amazing grace. Limping showed him how to follow God’s path instead of going his own way in an attempt to avoid the consequences of his lack of integrity.
Wrestle with God and lose. Live with integrity and risk losing everything good in your life. Know for sure that when God calls you blameless, some of your friends will still find fault in who you are and what you do. Honor God and bless others anyway.
Remember this: Jesus is for losers (Matthew 16:24-26).
I will live with deep reverence for God and keep as much distance between evil and me as possible.
Our Father, make me a man of integrity. I want to live a blameless life. I want to display the goodness of your character. Thank you for loving losers like me. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”