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If Job wasn’t righteous enough…

Marriage-Gods-Way-author-Scott-LaPierre - If Job wasn't righteous enough...Consider the ways Job is described:

  1. “There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil (1:1).
  2. God said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (1:8).
  3. After Satan took Job’s animals, servants – and worst of all – his children, God said the same thing to Satan and added, “And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause” (2:3).

These verses present a fantastic description. As far as earthly righteousness goes, nobody could do better than Job. But this is what God says:

Job was arguably the greatest man in the Old Testament. In our eyes he might be one of the most righteous men in history. But he wasn’t righteous enough in God’s eyes.

“What can we learn from Job?”

Most people would answer, “We can learn about suffering!” That’s true, but just as importantly we learn there’s no righteousness man can attain that’s “good enough.” In the Gospels the religious leaders were the picture of humanly attained righteousness. But Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20).

Job said, “How can a man be righteous before God?” (9:2).

This is the most important question anyone can ask, because it’s the question that determines where we people spend eternity. Later in the same chapter we read:

33 Nor is there any mediator between us,
Who may lay his hand on us both.
34 Let [the Mediator] take [God’s] rod away from me,
And do not let dread of Him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear [God],
But it is not so with me.

A rod is used for administering punishment, and Job wanted it removed from him. But if God took it from him, He would have to administer the punishment to Someone else. Sins can’t go unpunished or God wouldn’t be just. Job expected his Mediator to receive his punishment.

After this happened, Job would no longer “fear God.” But the words “it is not so with me” mean he knew it wasn’t within his power to do any of this. In his best effort, this isn’t something he could accomplish.

Job looked forward to his Mediator by faith

Job couldn’t see his Mediator. He didn’t know who he was, but he could look forward to Him in faith. This is Old Testament salvation, and it’s just like New Testament salvation: justification by faith:

  • Job isn’t supposed to teach us that a man can be righteous before God.
  • Job teaches us that a man can’t be righteous before God.

When we read about Job, we should think, “If he couldn’t attain a righteousness that’s acceptable to God, what hope is there for me?” Our hope comes from the righteousness that’s freely available by grace through faith in Christ. Romans 3:21-22 says:

The righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

This suffering man looked for a righteousness that was outside himself. We should too.

Discuss: Have you been trusting in your own righteousness? Do you recognize the only way to be truly righteous before God is by looking to Jesus in faith?

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8 thoughts on “If Job wasn’t righteous enough…

  1. […] This excludes the merit done by a person to achieve salvation. Salvation comes by divine grace, or unmerited favor only, not from anything a sinner could do to earn God’s favor. […]

  2. Yes, I do my best to follow all of His commands as I come to understand them. Remember that not all 613 commands are applicable. In other words some commands are only for woman, some only for men, some only for levites etc. etc.

    As to the tassels(TzitZit), I absolutely do. I wear them according to the commandments given about them and to the best of my ability. Yeshua wore them and He said “Do as I do”.

    I will have to admit, it was hard at first, especially in the business/public arena. I was fearful of what my clients would say, but I did not let that stop me. The tzitzit are to remind me of all His commandments, and just like choosing to not eat pork and to keep the Sabbath instead of Sunday, they are not difficult or burdensome.

    1. Okay Jeff, well I have to say that while I don’t feel bound to keep those commands (as we’ve discussed) I admire your consistency.

      You have a consistency that I haven’t seen with others who have tried to convince me we’re bound to keep the Mosaic Law, but then they don’t keep portions.

    2. “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:20).

      You quoted the above verse in your teaching. My question for you would be; What do you think Yeshua meant by this?

    3. There’s a double meaning to the verse:
      1. First, Jesus said it because the religious leaders – at least in a spiritual sense – were not righteous individuals. They were prideful and their hearts were ugly.
      2. Second, the religious leaders were the picture of self-imposed righteousness. In most people’s eyes they achieved the highest level of self-imposed righteousness. In other words, when Jesus said, “You have to be more righteous than them” people would think, “Uh, that’s not possible. There’s no way I could be righteous enough for heaven.”

    4. Yes, I see this. I believe their motivations were wrong. They kept the letter of the Law for their own selfish gain. This tells me there is a right way to keep it. That is what the entire life of Yeshua was about. It was about demonstrating how to keep the Torah, how to keep it from the heart. Yeshua said; “Unless your righteousness… (whose righteousness?) EXCEEDS (goes beyond)…

      Deuteronomy 8:2 “And you shall remember that יהוה your Elohim led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you, prove you, to KNOW WHAT IS IN YOUR HEART, whether you guard His commands or not.

      Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your HEART and with all your being,

  3. Yes, all of my trust is in the finished work of Yeshua Messiah.

    Many would say that because I strive to follow Torah that I am actually trusting in my own righteousness. I hear this over and over again. Its like people seem to think they can look into my heart and judge my motivations or something. I keep His Torah because I love Him and trust in Him. I do not keep them to earn anything.

    It is my faith and trust in what the Son provided for me that gives me the freedom to return His Torah. This is not obedience to Torah to gain righteousness, this is obedience out of love for what He did for me. There is absolutely no way you could understand this unless you are willing to submit to all of His Word, His Instructions and Commandments. Its like the moment you submit, then the true light begins to shine so brightly. This light is a light that exposes all your weaknesses, your shortcomings, your faults, all of your sins. After walking in Christianity for 30 years and then leaving the christian church follow Torah, I have never had the light shine so brightly on myself and it has been such a blessing. Just ask my wife. 🙂

    1. Jeff,
      If you don’t mind me asking, when you say you follow the Law, does this mean you follow all 613 commands? I don’t mean this sarcastically, but does this mean you wear tassels on your clothes?

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