The Book of Job goes way back – nearly to the time of the flood. As far back in time as that was, there are some lessons that we can learn today. We find that God was working with Job before, during, and after his ordeal – when He blessed Job with a double portion (Job 42:12). Job fancied himself a self made man, and he did not give God the proper credit that was due Him. It is not that Job was not generous, because he was. He was especially careful to take care of the widows and the fatherless. Job was not an evil man, and yet he came far short of God’s expectations for him.
Job 34:37 Job added rebellion unto his sin … and multiplied his words against God.
Time and again Job rightly justified himself to his three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They accused Job of many sins and they were totally wrong. Job’s fault was that in justifying himself – he began to blame God – and in doing so he was very wrong.
Luke 16:15 And Jesus said unto the Pharisees, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knows your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Job was a righteous man, but his problem was that he thought that he had reached the pinnacle of righteousness when he had not. We can find an example of that today in the churches of God. Members think that they are in the right group, and they start to feel righteous—even when they do not include all the other brethren in their circle of fellowship. Job felt like he was doing it all right, but in fact, he was coming short of the Kingdom of God. Job had that failing in common with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day.
Matthew 5:20 Jesus said, Unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
One of the better lessons that we learn in the Book of Job is how God is relentless in His pursuit of bringing Job to where he understood and knew God more properly. Job had thought of God somewhat like a super-man with the foibles of a man—and Job was not afraid to set Him straight. He thought that God was capable of being mean spirited and capricious. Job was so sure that he had the complete picture of salvation and conversion.
In his mind, Job thought himself greater and more righteous than God (Job 35:2). That is hard to imagine, but time and again Job had the audacity to “set God straight.” Job did not appreciate God’s great benevolence. He did not understand that God is perfect and always had his very best interests at heart—and that God is greater than man. God sent Elihu to rebuke Job, and then God dealt with Job personally from a whirlwind. Job’s pessimism had grown out of bounds:
Job 34:9 Job said, It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.
God showed Job example after example of His elaborate creation with its intricate workings. Finally Job began to realize how vastly superior God was to him – not only with the physical universe but with His involvement with Job’s spiritual welfare.
Job 40:1-4 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct Him? Let him that reproves God answer it. Finally Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye sees thee.
In today’s sermon we will explore the concept of being right, because like Job, even when we are right we might not be right with God.