One Simple Step Away

Job 32-34

But Elihu…became very angry with Job for justifying myself rather than God…because they had found no way to refute Job, and yet had condemned him” (32:2).

We’re always right.

An alternate text says that the “him” at the end of this statement does refer to Job being condemned, but rather states that because they couldn’t refute Job they had agreed that God was at fault and had condemned God. He will later say (34:12) “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.

Elihu’s argument in chapter 33 is eloquent, and true. But once again he is assuming that Job is guilty of something that has brought down God’s anger on his head. However apart from that he paints a beautiful picture of how God restores those who come to him in repentance and faith.

He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. Then he comes to men and says, ‘I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light’” (33:26-28).

Later, Elihu will make another important point, one that reminds us of the Judas, who having recognized the wrong he had done in betraying Christ but who never went back to God for forgiveness.

Elihu says: “Suppose a man says to God, ‘I am guilty but will offend no more. Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I will not do so again. Should God then reward you on your terms, when you refuse to repent?" (34:31-33).

Recognizing error, turning over a “new leaf” is not the same as confessing sin before God and asking for forgiveness. Where none is asked, no forgiveness is given. Judas returned the money and asked the priests for absolution, but it appears that he never asked God for forgiveness for his betrayal.

How sad to come so close to redemption and miss it for want of one single step.

Comments

  1. Wow, I've never thought of Judas' act in this way before but you're right. I forget to ask forgiveness, too, so many times. Just trying to fix things and not ask for forgiveness - very different. You're getting my mind awake this morning. Amazing:)

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  2. Great stuff, Lynda. Asking for that forgiveness is SO huge. Blessings.

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