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man waiting for justice January 11-12 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today's Bible reading: Job 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28

Note: Since this is a two day study, it is suggested that the Scriptures be read the first day and the Bible study the second day.

Timely Justice

Have you suffered loss and then were blamed for it? Perhaps some religious people claimed that this happened because of some sin in your life. Or, perhaps they say you are suffering because you failed to do something-be kind to the poor, widows, orphans, or some other infraction. However, you are innocent. What do we do when we suffer an injustice and rectification of the wrong is not timely? The Biblical patriarch Job faced this exact situation. Where can we look for answers?

If you are new visitor to our Bible study on Job, here is where we are in the record of Job's life. Job was a patriarch, living around the time of Abraham (more...). He had suffered greatly under the hand of Satan in order to tempt him to sin. His three friends came to visit him. Instead of comforting him, however, his friends criticized and accused him of wickedness. In his pain Job defended himself and his integrity.

Job mentions issues in his time that required justice: the confiscation of property by moving boundary stones (property lines were marked by boundary stones in his time), and the oppression of widows, orphans, and the poor. Their ability to earn a living was removed. In addition, their property and possessions were seized, and they were left without clothing, food, and homes. There was also a need for justice to punish those who did wrong- namely, thieves, murderers, and adulterers. Job knew they would be eventually punished, but what about now? Job was also suffering terribly, but he was innocent of any wrongdoing and could not find justice. God would not give him an audience, and Job does not understand.

Bildad's answer to Job is insulting. Job, you are too insignificant for God to give you an audience. You are like a maggot or a worm (Job 25:6). What an encouragement was Bildad! Then Job replied:

How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble! What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what great insight you have displayed! Who has helped you utter these words? And whose spirit spoke from your mouth? (Job 26:1-4, NIV).

In other words, Bildad, are you speaking from God or the devil? It is important that when we comfort those who are oppressed that we carefully search out what God would have us say. They need comfort, not insults. The rest of the world disdains them for how they look or their circumstances, but we should exercise mercy and pity.

Job acknowledges that God is all-powerful, and in his unanswerable and unsearchable wisdom he allows Job to suffer. Though he cannot gain an audience with him, in his frustration he does not curse or live as if God did not exist. Job determines to hold on to his integrity and righteousness because he knows that is the right way, and he will eventually be exonerated. We should do the same. Job says,

As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.

I will never admit you [my “friends”] are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. May my enemies be like the wicked, my adversaries like the unjust! (Job 27:2-7, NIV).

It is the wicked that are normally punished, not the righteous. We do not understand why the righteous suffer. Where will we find the answers? Job says that people mine for treasures deep in the earth where no birds or animals reside, but where is wisdom and understanding to be found? (Job 28). Job answers that God has said to man, “The fear of the Lord-- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding,” (Job 28:28, NIV). God is an awesome God, and were we to meet him we would tremble and fall down as dead in fear of him. Wisdom and understanding reside with God. He has a purpose for everything, though we do not always understand it. No matter if we ever find the reason for our injustice, we know we can trust him to do what is right. Do you know God? (more...).

For the Christian, to fear the Lord means we have such reverence for our holy and magnificent God that we seek to please him. A righteous life means reverencing God and shunning evil.

A righteous life is rewarded but not always while we live. Just as a righteous life is eventually rewarded, an evil life will eventually lead to destruction (Psalm 73:27). God offers us forgiveness, peace, spiritual life, and rewards in heaven if we accept Jesus as our sacrifice for sins (more...). To those who persist in doing right [believers], they will eventually be accorded justice and be rewarded. This was Job's plan, even though he was in deep distress over his pain. He trusted God. He revered God. He tried valiantly to maintain his integrity and righteousness, believing that justice would finally prevail.

Lessons to live by:

•  God offers us forgiveness, peace, spiritual life, and rewards in heaven if we accept Jesus as our sacrifice for sins (more...).

•  Keep on fearing the Lord and walking in his ways. Eventually, God will bring you justice and favor. Don't be discouraged; God is Sovereign and will bring justice at the proper time.

•  It is important that when we comfort those who are oppressed that we carefully search out what God would have us say. They need comfort, not insults. The rest of the world disdains them for how they look or their circumstances, but we should exercise mercy and pity.

Today's Bible Memory Verse:

Job 28:28 “And he [God] said to man, 'The fear of the Lord-- that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'”(NIV)

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