Righteousness Through Christ
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Three times Job's friends had spoken against him, accusing him of sin. Job now points out to them that there are some things that he does not understand. For example, he tells them that he does not understand the way of God in nature, but since he can see the results of God's way in nature, he believes nature will take its course. He concludes therefore that although he does not understand why God permitted the great problems in his life, he realizes that God was behind all that had happened to him and therefore he trusted God and believed that He would work out everything to his good. Job actually touched the heart of his problem the moment he realized that all that had come to him was in the permissive will of God.

Open your Bibles to Job, chapter 27, and notice verses 1-3:

Job 27:

1Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
2As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;
3All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

In other words, Job is saying, “God gave me my life, and for it, He is responsible. My trials and sufferings are through Him. He is working in my life for a purpose, so I trust Him.”

Job 27:

4My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
5God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Job made a wise decision when he said he would not speak wickedly or deceitfully. His friends had accused him of being wicked, of robbing widows, of storing up money from greed, and of many other things. Job said that he would not admit to these accusations as he was innocent of them. He said that if he admitted to them, he would be a hypocrite and they had already said that hypocrites had no claim with God. So he steadfastly refused to admit to the accusations.

Job 27:

6My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

There is an indication of Job's realization of the problem here, but he still did not understand. However, this understanding is awakened soon. His error was that he said, “my righteousness, and I, and my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.” He had the common I trouble that plagues many even today. That same I trouble had caused Satan to rebel against God.

Paul Tried To Establish His Own Righteousness

Paul had gone about trying to establish his own righteousness, but he learned that was not God's way. Therefore, when writing to the Philippians who were believers, he said in Philippians, chapter 3, verse 9:

Philippians 3:

9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

When Paul met the Lord Jesus Christ on the Damascus road and he was planning to persecute the Christians, his entire life plans were changed. Note what he told others in verses 4-8:

Philippians 3:

4Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

After this admission, Paul concluded that he had gone about trying to establish his own righteousness in the wrong way. He says further in verses 7-9:

Philippians 3:

7But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Paul's Conclusion

Paul had gone about trying to establish his own righteousness, and this he could not do. So he concludes, paraphrasing verse 9: “I want to be found in Christ because my own righteousness doesn't count. I must have the righteousness of Christ.”

We are given the story of the prayers of the Pharisee and the Publican in the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 18, verses 9-14:

Luke 18:

9And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Notice, Paul, Job, and the Pharisee all tried to depend upon their own righteousness, tried to establish their own righteousness. But they missed the mark! You, too, will miss the mark if you base your salvation on anything that you have done.

There is only one way that we can receive a righteousness that is acceptable to God. We must take our place there at the foot of the Cross and claim the finished work of Christ. The only righteousness that God respects is the righteousness received through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Job Continues To Answer The False Accusations

Job's three friends had each spoken three times accusing him of sin. He had already emphasized that regardless of what his friends said, he had retained his righteousness, and he knew this to be true. Job is now in touch with his problem.

Job, chapter 28, could be lifted out of the book of Job as it is an entire unit in itself. It is a hymn of wisdom. It is a story of mining for precious metals and gems. I am always amazed as I read God's Word and realize that the people in those times knew things that we are just now discovering and yet we think that we know so much. They even knew in Job's day as much about the art of mining as we do. They knew about getting gems from the sea, and we are just beginning to know and understand this and to discover the best ways to obtain these precious stones.

However, although they knew how to find precious things through mining, they did not know how to find wisdom. We want to emphasize this. Turn to Job, chapter 28, verse 12:

Job 28:

12But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

With all his accomplishments, man has failed in the greatest accomplishment of all. He has found gold, silver, gems—very precious things, but he has not found wisdom nor discovered the place where he can get wisdom. Look at verses 14-18:

Job 28:

14The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me.
15It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof.
16It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.
17The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.
18No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.

We have read about the mining abilities of that day, but man was not able to find wisdom. They discovered many, many precious items, but they did not bring wisdom to those who found them.

The Real Source Of Wisdom

Notice verses 20-21:

Job 28:

20Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding?
21Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air.

In these verses, the Spirit of God says that we must realize that wisdom has been withheld from all. We have only heard a report of it. None have possessed it, but the Spirit does not leave us anxious and dissatisfied:

Job 28:

23God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

Man does not have wisdom. God established wisdom, and He alone possesses it. But way back in the beginning, God set in order the operation of all things.

Job 28:

24For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.

Notice particularly verse 26: “When he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning…” Decree here means “an appointment or an enactment.” Remember, God set all creation in order at the beginning, and it is still in His hands. Turn to Proverbs, chapter 8, verses 11-14:

Proverbs 8:

11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
12I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.
13The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

God Established Wisdom And He Alone Possesses It

Go back to Job, chapter 28, and notice verse 28:

Job 28:

28And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Let us look at some things that the New Testament reveals to us concerning this much coveted possession—wisdom. Turn to I Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 30:

I Corinthians 1:

30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

It is in Christ that we find wisdom, not in other things and not in the world. Turn to Christ. Receive Him as your personal Savior. That is wisdom because He is “made wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

Job Answers The False Charges Of Eliphaz

Chapter 29 is a testimony or review of Job's life before the tragedy and testing came to him. He was a very important man and his word carried weight among the people. Let us look at the spiritual life of Job, as we have already learned of his material possession. Notice Job, chapter 29, verses 2-3:

Job 29:

2Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
3When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;

Job is reminiscing. Past events and experiences are coming to his mind and he longs for the days of his life when God blessed and preserved him. Note, “…when, by his light I walked through darkness.” As believers, we are strangers in this world. Therefore, as strangers, we, too, walk through darkness, but we do not walk in darkness.

Believers Must Walk In Light

Turn to I John, chapter 1, verses 6-7:

I John 1:

6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

The darkness of the believer is dispelled by the Light (Jesus Christ) and we can “walk in the light” with Him. If you are a believer who is walking in darkness, you are out of fellowship with the Lord. But if you walk through the darkness, you can walk through in fellowship with God.

Possibly, you have walked in darkness carrying a flashlight to see your way. You could walk carefully and without harm because of the circle of light that was made by the light that you carried. But outside of that circle of light, there was darkness. So God says that it is possible for you to have light. Turn to Psalm 119, verse 105:

Psalm 119:

105Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Notice, it is the Word of God that is the lamp and the light. “A lamp unto my feet” means that the light provides light that dispels the darkness that is immediately around your feet so that you can see the next step ahead, but not far ahead. “A light unto my path” tells us that the Word of God not only provides light for the next step but also lights up the path ahead. God's Word is truly a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Let's use it!

Fellowship With The Lord Is To Be Earnestly Desired

Go back to Job, chapter 29, and notice verse 4:

Job 29:

4As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;

The word tabernacle here refers to Job's body. What does “the secret of God” mean? It means simply that Job was in very close fellowship with God, even as Abraham also lived in very close fellowship with God. Turn to James chapter 2, verse 23:

James 2:

23…Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Because Abraham was the “Friend of God” and because he walked in close fellowship with God, God saw to it that he was warned when Lot was captured. Abraham wasted no time, but armed his household—three hundred and eighteen people. They pursued the enemy, won the battle, and restored Lot. Look at Psalm 25, verse 14:

Psalm 25:

14The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Job had experienced close fellowship with God. He walked and talked with Him. This kind of fellowship is not limited to those of Old Testament days. Turn to John, chapter 15, verses 14-15:

John 15:

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

The Requisite For Friendship With God

“Ye are my friends, if…” We, too, are friends of God if we do what He commands. If we “walk in the light as He is in the light” then we have fellowship with Him. If we walk in the light, we are not His servants, but His friends. His secrets are made known to us. We are not disappointed for He makes known to us His will. We may walk through darkness at times, but we will not walk in darkness.

I believe that a godly father and mother, walking in the light, will have access to what may happen to their children and therefore can pray for their protection and God's guidance of them. Visionary? No, God just keeps us informed when we are close to Him.

Walk close to God. There is no place comparable to a close fellowship with Him. Be a friend of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, you cannot be His friend unless you meet His requirement. Notice again: “Ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

Job Longed For The Satisfaction He Had Previously Enjoyed

In the previous chapter, Job told how he had the respect of the whole community and how men had looked up to him and had high regard for him. They had valued his opinion. Notice the circumstances at this time in Job, chapter 30:

Job 30:

1But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.

Times had changed. Now he is not respected. Men laugh at him and pay no attention to him. Even the young, whose fathers Job had considered beneath his dignity, now ridicule him. Look at verse 19:

Job 30:

19He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.

Notice that Job now recognizes that which has come to him has come in the providence of God. It was not that God deliberately wanted to make him suffer, but God did permit this suffering to come to him. This was the conclusion of Job at this point. He was right. We read in the very beginning of the book of Job that God had turned him over to Satan for testing.

When Job's friends accused him of sinning, he said, “No, I have not sinned against God.” As Job tried to convince his friends that he had not sinned, he came to the conclusion that this suffering had come to him with God's permission. Today, there is so much teaching on the love of God as a Father who pampers and pets, but God's Word teaches otherwise.

God Has A Purpose In All That Comes Into A Believer's Life

Turn to Romans, chapter 8, and notice verse 28:

Romans 8:

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Notice, it says “all things”—not just the good things that please us, but all things. If we learn to look at the things that come to us with the mind of God, we will understand life more clearly.

The Bible tells us in Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 6:

Hebrews 12:

6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

God is truly a loving Father and He knows what we need to make us profitable children of God. When Job realized this, he came close to the truth. But he had not yet arrived at the real lesson that God wanted him to learn. However, he was well on the way. Notice what Job said in verse 19 again:

Job 30:

19He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.

Job needs to realize that all his problems and suffering have come to him with God's permission. Look at verse 20:

Job 30:

20I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.

“I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me.” Does this strike a familiar note with you? Perhaps you have gone through or are now going through a similar experience. Have you ever cried unto the Lord, and He didn't seem to hear? God does hear, but the answer is delayed for a purpose. We may think He doesn't hear, but He does. Turn to Psalm 66, and notice verse 18:

Psalm 66:

18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

God does not answer prayer if there is sin in the life. David knew this. Job also realized this. The New Testament teaches us the same truth. Therefore, if God does not answer our prayers, we should examine our lives very carefully and see if there is any sin in our lives that we should make right. Then, and then only, will God answer prayer.

“I stand up, and thou regardest me not.” Have you ever been in a meeting where you had something to say and you stood up and the chairman did not recognize you? You feel sure that he has seen you, but he acts oblivious to your presence, even though you wave your hand. Anyone who has attended many meetings has had or seen this happen. Job felt like that. He prayed, but it was as if God did not hear him. He even stood up and yet it seemed that God did not take notice.

Notice now, bitterness comes to the surface. This is good. Let us not go around with a smile if we do not mean it. In verse 21 of Job, chapter 30:

Job 30:

21Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.

Are you saying to Job, “Don't talk that way to God!”? You had better talk that way to Him if you have that bitterness in your heart, for God sees all that is in your heart.

Haven't we, at times, thought that we were suffering needlessly, even that we might be forsaken of God? Not so. God never forsakes His own; nor does He permit suffering to come if it is not necessary to bring us to a place of spiritual victory. God is right there, permitting every trial and every test.

Job Realized Suffering Came With God's Permission

When we realize that whatever testing has come to us, it has come in the permissive will of God, then God can work in our lives. When we have been brought to this point, the point where we need to be where God can have His way with us, then victory will come. Verse 23:

Job 30:

23For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.

Job realized that all his suffering was God's permissive will for him. Now he concludes that he will be brought to death. He had gone through so very much that perhaps this thought was comforting.

Job Insists That Trials Are Not Chastening For Sin

Look at chapter 31:

Job 31:

1I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
2For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

Note that the first thing that Job examined was purity of thought. His friends had accused him of many sins, and he had denied their accusations. Now, as he thinks about his thought life, he says, “I have made a covenant with my eyes.”

Notice the depths of this statement. Job had covenanted with his eyes not to look upon sin that he might not lust. He kept pure by not even looking upon sin. Perhaps we all should carefully examine our eyes and consider what we are looking upon—especially when it comes to television and movies. Do we watch programs that are filled with sin of many kinds and especially programs that promote and glorify adultery?

This is the first sin that Job tested in his life. He says that he made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look upon a maid to lust because looking leads to actual sin. God has given the desire to mankind to be used according to His purpose—not for adultery or fornication.

Have you made such a covenant with your eyes? Job said, “I don't permit my eyes to look so I will not be tempted.” He was determined to live for God.

Have you determined in your heart to live for God? Even if you have failed to keep such a covenant, you can go to God for forgiveness, and He will cleanse and restore your purity.

Job Was Deeply Hurt By The Words Of His Friends

Job was tested in so many ways. The testing wore down hard on his physical life and on his emotional life and no doubt, upon his spiritual life. One of the greatest tests that Job had to endure was the criticism of his friends. Is that not true with us also? They assumed that all that happened to others in trial and difficulties was because of the judgment of God. This practice did not die with Job's friends. Today, it is still prevalent.

We must not lapse into the error of Eliphaz and his friends. We must not assume that someone is not following the Lord just because he is being tested. Why do we do this? We probably do this because we know that if we were to receive our just deserts, judgment would rest upon us.

In this chapter, we are studying the last words of Job before God took over his life once again. He had discovered that when he prayed, it seemed as if God did not answer. It seemed as though God was not working in his life. So he searched his life, and he found no reason God should not answer his prayers. He was not bragging when he said that he had made a covenant with his eyes. His three friends had continued to accuse him of sinning. He said, “I have carefully searched my heart and my life, and I have not sinned to bring God's judgment upon me like this.” In the presence of God, he declared himself not guilty.

God Knows All And Sees All

Look at verses 4-6:

Job 31:

4Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?
5If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
6Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.

Do you realize the tremendous thrust of this saying? God sees all our ways. God sees all that we do. God counts all our steps. In other words, God observes all that we do and not only knows where we go, but counts our steps. We cannot hide anything from Him. Children raised in a Christian home may step out of the way of Christ. They may say or think, “Dad and Mother will not know anything about this.” That may be true, but God knows, and He knows even when one walks in the wrong path or in deceit.

Notice particularly, Job's words: “Let me be weighed in an even balance.” Maybe we don't lie, but we have spoken and not been entirely honest in our statements. An even balance would easily show this deficiency. But Job was willing to be weighed thus and let God make the decision. He was so sure that he had not sinned in this fashion.

Could we say this? I feel like I must say, “Put me on one side of the balance and mercy on the other side.” Thank God that I am not dependent upon my righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ has been made righteousness for me. Turn to I Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 30:

I Corinthians 1:

30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

The Matter Of Forgiveness

If you have received Christ as your personal Savior, you have been redeemed by Christ also. You can rejoice in His mercy and His love and come to Him for forgiveness of sin. He will forgive and not send judgment, but you must confess to Him. Look at I John, chapter 1, verses 9-10:

I John 1:

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Job, after considering carefully his life, said: “Let me be weighed in an even balance.” Go back to Job, chapter 31, and notice verses 5-13:

Job 31:

5If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;
6Let me be weighed in an even balance that God may know mine integrity.
7If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;
8Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
9If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour's door;
10Then let my wife grind unto another, and let others bow down upon her.
11For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.
12For it is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.
13If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

In these verses Job says, “If I have done so and so.” Remember that we are studying the life of Job in the light of the New Testament to make the application for us. In the light of the Old Testament, the matter would be otherwise. Look at verse 14:

Job 31:

14What then shall I do when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer him?

Remember, the Old Testament puts the emphasis on a righteous life while the New Testament puts the emphasis on a living faith. Stop and think. God is a living God and God is a real God. One day He will rise up before us and will visit us. What answer will you give Him then?

True, many of you have been faithful and nothing is done in His name that will be forgotten—not even a cup of cold water given in His name. Turn to Matthew, chapter 10, and notice verse 42:

Matthew 10:

42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

However, what about the things that we should have done and neglected to do even though we knew they should be done? And what about the things that we have done even when we knew they should not be done? God won't say, “Did you do this?” He will state exactly what we have done. What will we answer? Will we plead guilty? Praise God, we will never have to plead guilty. We will not have to answer if we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior for He became sin for us. We will be forgiven because He paid the penalty for our sin. Look at II Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 21:

II Corinthians 5:

21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Faith in Christ as our Savior saves us from judgment. Our sins and our shortcomings are forgiven through the shed blood of Christ. So I have placed my faith in Christ as my Savior. Have you? The Word of God states in John, chapter 1, verse 12:

John 1:

12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Go back to Job, chapter 31, and notice verse 33:

Job 31:

33If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:

Job uttered these words because he declared to his friends that he had not sinned; therefore, he did not need to try to hide his sin like Adam did. Adam and Eve had sinned. Eve had been tempted by the serpent and had first eaten of the forbidden fruit. Then she gave the fruit to Adam, and he ate also. Notice in Genesis, chapter 3, verses 7-8:

Genesis 3:

7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin by making aprons of fig leaves. They tried to hide from God among the trees, but God is omniscient. Therefore, He knew all about what they had done, and they could not cover their sin from Him, nor could they hide from Him. Look at Psalm 139, verses 4 and 7-10:

Psalms 139:

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

In a sense, it gives us a feeling of comfort to know that God is always there, but also a sense of fear to know that we cannot escape God.

Sin Cannot Be Hidden But If We Confess Sin, God Forgives

What about Adam? True, he could not hide or cover his sin. Only when he acknowledged his sin was God able to forgive him. We, too, must confess our sin to Him. Turn to Psalm 51, verses 1-2:

Psalm 51:

1Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

David prayed this prayer, and God forgave him. Only after David confessed his sin did peace come to his heart. Now notice Psalm 32, verse 1:

Psalm 32:

1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

David tells in the Psalms how miserable he was when he tried to hide his sin. Then he tells how wonderful it was when he confessed his sin and was forgiven by God.

Let's go back to our verse in Job: “…by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom” (Job 31:33). How many today are hiding sin? Many break laws and disappoint those who trust in them. When we try to hide our sin, it saps our life. Only when we confess our sin are we free again. Many are ill and some mentally ill and confused because they try to hide their sin. Not all who are ill or who have mental problems are victims of trying to hide sin, though. When we sin, we must confess our sin to God and obtain His forgiveness if we desire peace of mind and heart. Turn to I John again, and notice chapter 1, verse 9:

I John 1:

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Notice it says to confess our sins and He will forgive. We do not need to beg forgiveness. It is given freely. It does not even say that we must ask forgiveness. God is ready and willing to forgive us when we confess our sin.

The record of Job's answer to all the accusations made against him is given in verses 29-31 of chapter 31 in the book of Job.

Job 31:

29If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
30Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
31If the men of my tabernacle said not, Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be satisfied.

Job Longed To Get In Touch With God

Look at verse 35:

Job 31:

35Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book.

Job was making his defense, and he was so bent on declaring his innocence that I think he got carried away. To be frank, this almost causes cold chills up my back. What Job is actually saying here is, “Oh, that I might have a chance to talk to God and to know that He heard me.” A wall had come between Job and God, so that it seemed that God did not hear him. Once before, out of the longing of his heart, he spoke of his desire to talk to God. Job had been humble when he longed to speak frankly to God and to show Him how he desired fellowship with Him again. But now, his spirit is bold. There is no humility. Verse 36:

Job 31:

36Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.

Notice, Job continues, “I wish all those accusations made against me would be put in a book. Do you know what I would do? I'd take the book upon my shoulder and bind it as a crown on me.” Remember, books then were in the form of scrolls, so it would be easy to bind it about the head as a crown.

Job Desires To Go Directly To God

Job 31:

37I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.

In the mind of Job, God was considered royalty. Therefore, he says that he would go to God as a prince. He is putting himself on equality with God. This is a terrible thought—the very idea of approaching God as an equal. It is a terrible thing for Job to challenge God to an equal approach and to challenge God to listen to his plea.

“As a prince would I go near unto him,” he said. How very bold! Job was certainly carried away. He boasted that he would approach God and cause Him to listen to what he had to say.

God had seen the need in Job to be chastened or He would not have permitted Satan to test him with such severe trials. These final words of Job, discussed here, prove that Job was not perfect. Job was in need of chastening.


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