Job's acceptance before God had to be by faith in substitutionary atonement, not his personal faithfulness to an ideal. The advent of suffering revealed that, though Job's relationship with God began as a faith-based substitutionary atonement (1:5; 8), over time he switched to a works-based sanctification. God used suffering to bring him back to faith-based righteousness both in justification and in sanctification. But, before that occurred Job wrestled with the question of the source of righteousness.
Job ends his defense of righteousness before his friends with thirteen "if" statements. Job's statements demonstrate his focus on himself for validation of righteousness before God and man instead of the substitutionary atonement gained by the death of the Innocent One on behalf of guilty sinners:
Right beliefs produce righteous behavior, but right behavior does not secure righteousness before God. Faith in the substitutionary death of the Innocent One on behalf of the guilty--not faithfulness in life--secures righteousness before God.
A few years ago a popular artist sang a song that included a derogatory statement about a past president. The song said more about the singer than her subject.
Throughout the Bible, various people wrote and sang songs regaling God’s works and worshiping His greatness. Only two men, however, were subjects of songs whose words were, thankfully, unrecorded.
Job and Jeremiah both had songs written about them. Not songs of praise, but songs of scorn. Imagine how they felt as they listened to the songs sung about them:
Worship music does for the spirit what medication does for the physical body. No soothing music for Job! Attacks by snarly friends and the songs of cruel children only intensify Job’s suffering. Talk about kicking a man when he is down!
Sadly, music can do more harm than good. Music reveals the depravity in our culture, which disdains the dignity of woman, normalizes serial, broken relationships, and exalts alcohol, drugs, and sexual immorality. Music can be cruel to the spirit and soul of man.
Paul mentions the powerful role that music has in a believer’s life: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:18-19). Spiritual songs speak directly to the heart of man and sooth, like an ointment, a soul “roughed up” by suffering.
Suffering? Listen to praise music.
Ministering to someone who is suffering? Give the gift of music! Your words may help a little, but praise music will help a lot.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Job 30:1-31:40):
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The 365 Daily Devotion, written by Iva May, is a brief devotion drawn from the day’s reading of the One Year® Chronological Bible delivered to your email. Each daily devotion concludes with several questions that strengthen reading engagement.