October 18 – Today’s Readings – Job – 19-21 and Psalms 108
Now we come to an interesting point of conversation in our study. In these three chapters Job declares that wicked men often are better off in this world than righteous men. They often have more wealth – they seem to have healthy bodies and no catastrophe befalls them all the days of their lives. This is not necessarily a false statement – just an exaggeration.
Neither does righteousness does not guarantee a life free of troubles – it does not guarantee financial prosperity – it does not guarantee good health. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
There is a day of judgment for the wicked but that day is often reserved till death. There is great reward for the righteous as well but that day too is often reserved till after death. Please don’t misunderstand me – the Bible teaches that God gives the righteous ability to gain wealth [if you don’t believe me, re-read the Book of Proverbs] – we also recognize that by the Holy Spirit many of us walk in divine health. Prosperity however is not a sure sign of good standing with God – neither is suffering and loss a sign of the judgment of God. Certainly God blesses His children here on earth and we often end up with prosperity of various kinds for the sake of the Kingdom, but there are many great saints who lack in earthly blessing. We will do well if we keep these things in mind, for even today many well-meaning Christian people are locked into thinking about earthly blessings far more than eternal ones.
Just a side note – did you notice the incredible messianic prophecy in Chapter 19:25-27? – “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
This statement is a divine revelation of Jesus the Redeemer, of the resurrection of the dead, of a new body after death, of an eternal relationship with God Himself – this was Job’s salvation. He believed in Jesus Christ even before Christ was born. Have you ever thought of how the “saints” in the Old Testament were saved? It was by faith in Christ – the same way that we are redeemed. Even though Job was struggling with all of his difficulties, he was given the revelation he needed – the salvation of God. So too – when we go through trials of many kinds – we must never lose sight of the abundant life that is resident in Christ Jesus.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)
1. Can you think of Godly Biblical characters who had great wealth?
2. How about some equally Godly saints who lacked in financial prosperity?
3. Name them and describe what set them apart as men or women of God.