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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

LESSONS OF JOB
(Part 7)

GOOD AND EVIL, JUST AND WICKED, HUMBLE AND PROUD

In our past lessons, we have confronted the question, why do the good suffer? Why do bad things happen to good people? Today we add another question: why do evildoers prosper, while the just seemingly do not? Today's reading in Malachi gives us a lot for reflection.

When people see evildoers prosper while they in doing good struggle on and are even afflicted, they are tempted to reverse course. "Rather must we call the proud blessed; for indeed evildoers prosper, and even tempt God with impunity." (Mal 3:15). They begin to question their own chosen path of righteousness and obedience and service to God. "It is vain to serve God, and what do we profit by keeping his command, and going about in penitential dress in awe of the Lord of hosts?" (Mal 3:14). They begin to think their suffering and reverential fear of God are for naught. Why are the bad fulfilled while the good are afflicted?

When we begin to accept that, even when we do not say it, we are already defying God. "You have defied me in word, says the Lord, yet you ask, 'What have we spoken against you?'" (Mal 3:13). When we think and accept that, we are failing in humbly showing God reverential fear.

We cannot fully understand why the bad prosper while the good suffer, why those who tempt God with impunity are fulfilled while those who fear the Lord are afflicted. But here are the realities: (1) God certainly knows what is going on. "And a record book was written before him of those who fear the Lord and trust in his name." (Mal 3:16b). (2) Those who fear the Lord and trust in Him are favored by Him as His "own special possession" (Mal 3:17a). (3) God will act, and treat the good with compassion. "And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my own special possession, on the day I take action. And I will have compassion on them, as a man has compassion on his son who serves him." (Mal 3:17).

God is just and righteous. He will not be mocked by evildoers. He will not forsake those who are faithful to Him. The day will come when the proud and all evildoers will burn in fire, while those who fear God will experience the sun of justice with its healing rays (Mal 3:19-20). "Then you will again see the distinction between the just and the wicked; between him who serves God, and him who does not serve him." (Mal 3:18). When will that happen? When will we see the bad punished and the good vindicated? "On the day I take action" (Mal 3:17). That time is entirely up to God. He is the Almighty. In the meantime, we persevere through affliction and suffering, and we trust in the God who is just and righteous. "The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin." (Ps 1:6).

God humbles our hearts through hardship (Ps 107:12a), and keeps us from becoming proud. When we realize what God is about, when we see how the end will be, then we must rejoice in God's discipline and divine wisdom. "Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you just; exult, all you upright of heart." (Ps 32:11). For us, we simply maintain our reverential fear of God, our awe of His divine majesty, our humility, our trust in Jesus, and keep on doing good, while rejoicing in redemptive suffering.

God bless you all.

frank

(October 08, 2009)

"For to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)

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Lessons of Job - Part 7[PDF]
 
 
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