Job is one of the most intriguing and challenging writings in all of Scripture. Job was a good man. Job was also a very blessed man. Satan told God that Job would not be a good man if here were not a blessed man. So God allowed Satan to cause the loss of all Job’s blessings. Job was still a good man. But he was a tad bit bitter and angry – as we all would be. And he was a little off on some of the conclusions he had about life – as we all are. The book is basically Job building a court case against God and for himself and the thoughts of some others who try to disprove him. At the end of all this not so great collection of human thought about the Divine – God speaks. And, man, when God speaks God speaks.
Job 40:8 says “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” Stop and read that second question again. Read it again. Read it again and allow it to be conversation between you and God. (Even if you have to for a minute pretend that there is a god because you don’t believe in him.) Let God ask you that question one more time.
Do you see and hear the power in that question?
Be honest. How often in your life have you done that? When did you do it today? In what ways have you discredited who God is to justify who you are? How many times have you criticized what God does to justify to what you do?
The reality of this question is found in the rest of this passage. Pick up a Bible and read it or check it on biblegateway.com. (all you have to do is type in Job 40 to get to the chapter. The verses are already there.) The reality behind this question is “who are you?”
I mean really “who are you?” Who are you to decide how things should work in the world? Who are you to decide what is just and unjust? Who are you to tell God how the universe should lay out? Where were you when he laid it out?
My basic premise with this blog is that I think this one verse sums up the whole reasoning behind every argument we have against believing in God, obeying God, and following God.
The truth is we justify ourselves by declaring him as unjust. You might simply do this by declaring the belief that a god even exists as unjust. Why? It is more comfortable to believe in what you can grasp than to believe in what you can not. You justify your own desire to have a control on your understanding of all things in this universe by declaring there is nothing in the universe that you can not understand.
I don’t want to harp on the person who declares there is no God in this blog, though. The truth is this verse catches up to us all.
It catches up to us when we see things that we don’t think are right or are unjust. How could a just God allow? It is amazing how people will blame everything bad on a God they do not really believe in but never credit him with the good that is all around them. (Job, however, in all his trials, did not have such a problem.)
It catches up to us when we decide to disobey God even when we know it is wrong. We choose our own way. We justify it. We tell ourselves we deserve that sin in our life because it makes up for the unjust hurt or pain someone or something else has caused.
We do this all the time. We do it every day in our lives. We justify ourselves by dejustifying God.
We condemn the one we condemn because that condemnation makes us feel better about our own. Whether that condemnation is a Biblical truth, a lie you heard over and over again while growing up, a self-induced condemnation, or societal judgment we do not enjoy it. Condemnation is no fun. So we all try to condemn the one that we believe is ultimately responsible for our feeling of condemnation.
Condemnation will kill you. It will destroy your life. Whether you are living in the feelings of condemnation or doing the condemning, it will kill your spirit and drain the joy from your life. Strangely enough, it will not kill God. Your condemnation of God will not change him one bit. He will be no less who he is because you do not believe that He is who He is. It is your life this condemnation condemns, not his. It is your existence this condemnation ruins, not his.
The truth we must all realize is that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” There is no condemnation for us because there was condemnation for Jesus. Yes, condemnation is real. God – in his justice – must condemn all that is condemnable. (If there were any argument against his condemnation it would be its strongest if he did not condemn all that is condemnable.) So God did condemn. He condemned his one and only son so that you might no longer have to live in such condemnation. Literally his son “bore your sins in his body.” The Son of God “who knew no sin, became sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.”
So today if you desire to live where there is no condemnation…
Stop condemning the only one who has cared enough about your condemnation to do something about it…
Accept the reality of your shortcomings in life and the reality that your own actions have already condemned you not his unjust declarations…
And ask Jesus to forgive you of all your sins.
And the only one worthy of casting the stone of condemnation will instead take upon himself your condemnation and give you freedom.