Job says life is not fair. Open your eyes. Who are the rich, the powerful, the world leaders? Their houses are protected with armed guards. They spend their lives partying without a care for God. In fact they dare God to do anything to them. Read what Job thinks about "fair" in the following verses.
Why do the wicked still live,
Continue on, also become very powerful?
Their descendants are established with them in their sight,
And their offspring before their eyes,
Their houses are safe from fear,
And the rod of God is not on them.
They sing to the timbrel and harp
And rejoice at the sound of the flute.
They spend their days in prosperity,
And suddenly they go down to Sheol.
They say to God, "Depart from us!
We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways.
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him,
And what would we gain if we entreat Him?"
Here is the news from the Bible: God says life is not fair. Some people spend their whole life trying to make life fair. No one has ever succeeded. No one ever will succeed.
I have more news for you: 99% of the Christian thinks that Jesus came to make the world fair. He DID NOT. Jesus clearly says He did not come to bring peace, but a sword, even at the family level. He says life will be difficult and believers will suffer unfairly even to death. He says on a family level, an ethnic level and a global level, wars will continue to increase in scope and intensity throughout this entire age. He also is very clear that peace will never come by the efforts man. The world will never know in any age a "man-made" peace.
What are you going to do with this new information? Will you whine and complain about the injustices of life? Will you be bitter about your bad life? Will you exhaust your limited life's resources trying to change the unchangeable? Have you ever seen a moth continue to smash into a light bulb until it dies? Don't be that moth.
Here is reality: Sin has broken this world. God promised Adam death in exchange for disobedience, and that is exactly what Adam chose. He chose death for himself, his wife and every descendant. When Adam had only two children, Cain and Abel, one fourth of the world, was destroyed by a religious war against God. Cain killed Abel because Abel was righteous. All of Cain's descendants established a civilization against God. It was a wonderful civilization of agriculture, industry, and fine arts; but it was all built for the glory of man! It was also violent, sexually perverted, and demonic. It was just like the world in which we live today. Man has created a marvelous civilization without God, it is a civilization of fine arts, agriculture and industry with technological marvels. It is a civilization built on godless evolution (improvement without God) for the glory of man. It is a wonderful civilization, but it is also filled with violence, sexual perversion, and demonic activity.
The world is unfixable because sin is not just a thing we do. Therefore it cannot be fixed not doing it. It is a birth defect that affects the nature of man. Every man is born handicapped. His nature of sin causes him do sins from childhood. His "lack of the glory of God," (that is the literal translation of Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and lack the glory of God.") causes him to live for the glory of man and establish a world for the glory of man. Man is born to build a life for his own glory. Sin has made even the goodness of man to be bad.
When we are surprised at the unfairness of life, we are underestimating sin and not understanding the Bible. Sin is more terrible than we can ever imagine! God's estimation of your personal sin is that you deserve eternal punishment in a place called hell or the lake of fire. Anything less than that is an extreme mercy of God!
Jesus has one solution for the world--judgment. But Jesus offers another solution for you--the extreme mercy of God. He offers you a way out of your sin by paying the complete penalty of sin, eternal death. He does not offer to make you better. He does not offer to make your world better. He offers you death to sin and life from God. If you still wish for fair from God, look at the cross. The fairness of God put His own Son to eternal death for sins that were not even His own! If justice did this on the cross to God's own Son who never sinned, what will the justice of God be like like in hell for men and women who have a life of sins?!
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For me I expect life to be unfair and I run to Jesus for His extreme mercy. What about you?
Job 17:1,11 Job's Dark Days
My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready for me.
My days are past, my plans are torn apart, even the wishes of my heart.
Matthew 26:37-39 Jesus is Grieved to the Point of Death
[Jesus] took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, "My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death… My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."
Hebrews 5:7 Jesus is Grieved to Tears
In the days of His flesh, He [Jesus] offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
What do you know about Jesus? His dark days brought Him to tears, but never kept Him from obedience. On the darkest night of His life, the night He was betrayed, He gave thanks!
Obedience during the most difficult day of life is like a precious jewel, rare but possible. God pulled you out of a coal pit to be a precious diamond, and He did not stop at the raw gem. He is now cutting and polishing your life to prepare you to shine in heaven. You will shine with an eternal weight of glory. How different that is from the short dark sorrows of today!
Be a Job, be like Jesus, don't give up obedience!
How do you plead? Guilty or Not Guilty?
O that a man might plead with God
As a man with his neighbor!
I plead with God!
Before pleading before any human judge, a man needs to plead with God, the Judge of All Flesh. Make your appeal and argument in heaven first, then stand on earth with you case already settled.
Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?
Job 15:2 Eliphaz tells off Job:
Should a wise man answer with windy knowledge
And fill himself with the east wind?
What is Eliphaz saying to Job? He is saying, "Job, you are full of hot air!" Is that nice? No!! And it gets worse. Eliphaz goes from "not nice" to very very rude. Listen (or read) what Eliphaz says next.
Job 15:8-9 Eliphaz puts Job down:
Do you hear the secret counsel of God,
And limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we do not know?
What do you understand that we do not?
In my own words, Eliphaz just said, "You don't know anything in the Bible that we don't know, and we are just as spiritual as you are!" Is that nice? No!! It makes me blush to read the insults of Eliphaz toward poor Job.
Do you know why I feel so bad reading this? Because I have seen this very thing happen several times in my own lifetime. Both men and women have spoken insultingly against genuine servants of God. They always use the same argument as Eliphaz. Here it is:
It is embarrassing to watch this, but I could write the script each time it happens. I was going to say this happens especially in the United States, because we have done away with reverence and fear, but it is the same rejection of reverence that Korah showed against Moses.
Numbers 16:3-4 Korah speak shamefully to Moses:
They assembled together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "You have gone far enough, for all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is in their midst; so why do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" When Moses heard this, he fell on his face.
What can I say? Don't be an Eliphaz. Fear God. Put fear in your speech and thinking. Be afraid to lift yourself above anyone. Think before you speak. This is one of hardest lessons in life, and I am still learning it. I have a hard time remembering that I am not the center of the universe, God is. A fear of God and a love for the Lord Jesus helps check my heart before I open the door of my lips and dump out words.
For You write bitter things against me
And make me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.
One of the fears of old people is that the sins of their youth will revisit them. The thoughts of their heart are, "Is this the day that repayment will come?" Righteous Job had these same thoughts. Movie writers write movies about it. Authors write books about it.
I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me,
and the cost is more than I can bear.
The Patriot (not the Bible!)
There is no romanticism in being haunted by your past. The Apostle Paul writes good advice for young people, "The best way to not be terrorized by your past is to live your past for God!" He talks to Timothy before Timothy sows a life of regret. He tells Timothy to be a youth who flees youthful lusts, lives righteously, lives lovingly, and develops a life with others who want to live for God.
Now flee from youthful lusts
and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace,
with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
2 Timothy 2:22
My prayer for you is that you will live your young life for God. I am amazed by many young people who have come to know Jesus Christ at a young age and made the decision in their youth to live their lives for Jesus Christ. These young people are jewels for God. Their testimonies are more amazing than the stories of men and women who have been rescued as adults from lives of sin.
The best time to give your life to God it right now.
Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the evil days come and the years draw near
when you will say, "I have no delight in them."
Your hands fashioned and made me altogether,
Job 10:8-12 Job prays that God would care for Him, body, soul and spirit.
When we teach the kids (both young and old) about the nature of man, body, soul and spirit; we always teach them that if God is your maker, then He is your ruler. We teach the responsibility of the creation to the Creator, but in these verses, Job teaches the responsibility of the Creator to the creation.
To paraphrase Job's prayer, "God, you made my BODY with great care, you granted me life to become a SOUL, and you gifted me with a SPIRIT. God. I am your workmanship, you have a responsibility to care for me. Don't destroy me!"
When you pray to God to keep and care for you, pray like Job:
"God care for Your own workmanship!"
A believer in the Lord Jesus can doubly pray this. We are His workmanship in creation, but we are also His workmanship in Christ Jesus by new creation. God cares for what is his.
=== note ===
The idea above is not mine. It is third hand information :)
From the Believers Bible Commentary William MacDonald quotes Harold St John:
"We must not miss this amazing passage in which the Clay…reminds God that in creating man He has assumed responsibilities from which he cannot honorably escape."
Job understood that even a guiltless man is guilty before God.
Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me;
Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.
Job is saying, "I am right, but not right enough. Compared to God who isn't guilty?" Thousands of years later, John and Paul agree.
1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin,
we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
For all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God
The righteousness of man is not righteous enough. Righteousness does not happen when we stop sinning, because there is always some sin in our behavior, in our attitudes, in the tone of our voice, in the look of our eyes, or in the careless neglect of some responsibility. Weaknesses and faults are indeed weaknesses and faults, but they are also sin because they lack the glory, beauty and perfections of God.
Only the righteousness of God makes a man or woman fit for heaven. Human righteousness is good. It keeps you out of jail, but is does not prepare you for heaven. Jesus Christ paid for your sin, and He offers you the gift of the righteousness of God. It is a better righteousness.
Dear friend, will you right now stop trying to save yourself and let God do what only God can do -- make you righteous? Receive Jesus Christ this very moment, and be right with God.
Job 1:19-20 (All seven of Job's children died in one day):
A great wind came from across the wilderness
and struck the four corners of the house,
and it fell on the young people and they died.
Job 8:4 (Job's friend Bildad speaks):
If your sons sinned against Him,
Then He delivered them into the power of their transgression.
Is Bildad correct? Is every premature death in the world because of the judgment of God on sin? Sometimes God kills people because of their sin, but that rule does not apply to every death. Here is the rule that covers every death:
Rule: Every person dies because of the plans and purpose of God.
God had a purpose for killing Job's children. It was a bigger-than-life purpose. Job's seven children did not die for their sin. They died for your comfort. They died to teach Job a lesson that God recorded in a book for every believer after Job to learn. The lesson is that God is working out a plan for his own people that extends from before my birth to after my death. Death is a small part of the entire program.
The first Christian martyr, Stephen, died in Acts 7. He was murdered. It was a tragedy, but not a senseless tragedy. He was a gifted young man. His death scattered the church out of their comfort zone in Jerusalem and caused the gospel to be spread in the Roman Empire. He showed us how a Christian must die. He showed us what awaits Christians the moment we close our eyes in death. In the case of Stephen, God gave us a glimpse into His plans and purpose; but God rarely allows us such an insight. God gives a few examples like Job and Stephen, so that we will be able to trust God and his purpose. God is teaching us that there are no accidents in life or death.
Are you willing to trust God with both your life and your death? If you do not put away the fear of death, you will always be a handicapped Christian. Faith trusts God for both life and death. Faith trusts God for His hidden plans and purpose. Faith trusts that the Heavenly Father knows best.
Maybe the teaching of Paul in the New Testament (Romans 14:7-8) is clearer than the Old Testament story:
For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself;
for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord;
therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
He who goes to and fro weeping,
carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.
Sowing is planting seeds. The farmer who sows in tears takes the seed from his own table and plants it in his field. To have more seed he must plant his last seeds, but if he plants his seed he will not have seed to eat. His planting is a sacrifice, and so he cries. His planting is obedience to the laws of harvest, God's laws, so he plants. His planting is an exercise in faith. He trusts God to do what God promises to do. He trusts God to return joy for tears, and sheaves and sheaves of corn for a small handful of seeds.
Have you ever chosen to obey God knowing it would bring you tears? Have you ever given up happiness now to have joy later? Have you ever trusted God to work all thing together for good?
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Don't be afraid to sow in tears. Trust God. Accept your tears now, and wait to see what God will give you later. Don't be afraid to obey God.
====== note ========
Has not man a hard service on earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?
My reading today is on Job. Job is sowing in tears, and that is why I thought of the farmer who sows in tears. In the end, God turned Job's tears into a great harvest of joy.
Job 6:14 Job needs a cup of kindness!
For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.
Job's friends were unable to deliver cups of kindness, because they came with empty cups. Job said his friends were like a dry river bed which travels a long distance, but contains absolutely no water.
Titus 3:4-6 4 God has delivered kindness!
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
If you want to deliver cups of cold water, you must first fill your cup! To be kind, you must receive the kindness of God. Have your received Jesus Christ, the Kindness of God? When you do, God promises to pour Himself on you! That would be like trying to fill a cup from a waterfall!
John 7:37-38 God still delivers kindness!
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water."
If you drink of Jesus Christ, God does not give you a tiny cup of kindness to divide among your friends. God digs a fountain inside of you that reaches from heaven to earth. Then he turns on a constant flow of living water.
Receive Jesus Christ. Keep drinking of Jesus Christ. Be washed and filled, then go out to a thirsty world and overflow with the kindness of God.
For me to live is Christ.