THE SERVANT GENERAL
LESSONS OF JOB
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.
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?
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.
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
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).
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
bless you all.
to me life is Christ, and death is gain." (Phil 1:21)
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of Job - Part 7[PDF]