THE SERVANT GENERAL
RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JOB
A verse from today's reading from the letter to the Romans
tells us, "Freed from sin, you have become slaves of
righteousness." (Rom 6:18). Today we look at the righteousness
theme for 2010 tells us that God is just and righteous. As
children of God, we too must be just and righteous. In this
we can look to Job who is a model of righteousness. "In
the land of Ur there was a blameless and upright man named
Job, who feared God and avoided evil." (Job 1:1). When
he experienced terrible affliction and suffering, Job could
not understand why. He had difficulty accepting what happened
to him because "he was righteous in his own eyes."
(Job 32:1). Elihu quoted him as saying: "I am clean and
without transgression; I am innocent; there is no guilt in
me." (Job 33:9).
looked over his life, examined his conscience, and found no
unrighteousness. He confidently "challenged" God
to judge him. "Let God weigh me in the scales of justice;
thus will he know my innocence!" (Job 31:6). What was
the righteousness of Job? How are we ourselves deemed to be
righteous? Let us look at the varied and practical ways by
which we, like Job, will be judged to be righteous (as expounded
on by Job in chapter 31).
there should be no falsehood or deceit (Job 31:5). Two, we
must not abuse the land or the environment (Job 31:38). Three,
there must be just compensation for the work of tenant-farmers
(Job 31:39). Four, we must not lust against a woman (or a
man), whether in deed or in thought (Job 31:1,9). Five, there
must be just treatment for servants or employees (Job 31:13).
Six, we must love, care for, and share our resources with
the poor (Job 31:16-17,19). Seven, we must not afflict the
innocent or the poor (Job 31:21). Eight, we must not trust
or find our security in wealth, or find our joy in material
possessions (Job 31:24-25). Nine, we must not engage in idolatrous
worship (Job 31:26-28). Ten, we must not find joy in the misfortunes
of our enemies (Job 31:29). Eleven, we must be hospitable
(Job 31:31-32). Twelve, we must not live hypocritical lives,
as we hide our sins and guilt in order to gain the approval
of others (Job 31:33-34). Such as these, very varied attitudes
and actions, are what make for righteousness and holiness.
indeed was righteous. Why then was he afflicted? Why did God
allow him to suffer terribly? Was God just in His ways? This
was what precisely bothered Job. And so at the end of his
discussion with his three friends, with all his protestations
of innocence, Job exclaimed, "This is my final plea;
let the Almighty answer me!" (Job 31:37c).
does answer later, after Elihu's speeches. But God does not
directly answer Job's concerns. Rather, God simply points
to His great power and majesty. In all this, there is much
for us to ponder. How inscrutable and mysterious are God's
does God allow bad things to happen to good people? There
are many ways to answer this, which we leave for another time.
But what is important, what will help us humbly accept and
endure, is simply the truth that God is just and righteous.
Elihu had it right, when he said, "Surely, God cannot
act wickedly, the Almighty cannot violate justice." (Job
34:12). The Almighty! Just and righteous is He!
bless you all.
to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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of Job - Part 14[PDF]