"I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? For what is the allotment of God from above, And the inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps? If I have despised the cause of my male or female servant when they complained against me, what then shall I do when God rises up? When He punishes, how shall I answer Him? Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb? The fear of God has kept me from these things - how else could I ever face Him?" (Job 31:1-4, 13-15, 23, NKJV)
Job begins this scripture with proclaiming his innocence from sins of the heart, lusts, perversions, or from cheating in business or in marriage. He understood the spiritual nature of God's commandments. He reveals genuine concern for those in need and recognizes that power and influence must not be abused but used to help the less fortunate.
So what was the reason for his plight? Although he was accused by his friends, Job was not guilty of any hypocrisy or violence. He declared his uprightness and his integrity. He was not boastful, but instead, was bold in answering his accusers.
Job courageously speaks of what is good and his sincerity in it. He understood that when people gain dishonestly; they will sow wheat, but reap thistles. He boldly refutes the accusations against his moral and religious character as the cause for his sufferings.
Although there is a principle of "sowing and reaping", illness and tragedy strikes because we live in a sinful and broken world that was cursed long ago back in Genesis. Suffering is not always a direct reflection of sin (as we can see in Job's case).
Well meaning Christians often accuse others of somehow "being out of God's will" when illness or tragedy strikes. However, no matter their confidence during their accusations, they are sadly mistaken. I've been appalled at some of the things Christians will say to the already downtrodden and broken-hearted...."You must be out of God's will!", they accuse. "You must have unforgiveness in your heart!", they shout. "You must be in sin!", they proclaim. Really, this type of mindset comes from an arrogant and prideful heart (to think that anyone would conclude their righteousness is the reason tragedy hasn't struck them is atrocious). Let's be honest, if sin alone is the reason for suffering, shouldn't we all be walking around with illness and tragedy? Which one of us is truly without sin? How well do you keep the Ten Commandments?
So what can we expect from God? We can expect HIS salvation from our sin and from ourselves. We can expect HIS justice and faithfulness. We can expect HIS presence and HIS compassion toward us. We can expect HIS love and that HE has our best interest at heart.
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org.