S (Scripture): Job 34
10 “Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding.
Far be it from God to do wickedness,
from the Almighty to do evil.
11 For he repays a person for his work,
and according to the conduct of a person,
he causes the consequences to find him.
12 Indeed, in truth, God does not act wickedly,
and the Almighty does not pervert justice.”
O (Observation): Job’s friend, Elihu, is speaking. Elihu is making it clear that he believes God to be just, righteous, regardless of what has happened to Job. Job has been wondering if God is really just…since Job has been struck with calamity.
Elihu confirms that God does not commit acts of wickedness or evil. People who commit evil acts do experience the consequences of their actions, their separation from God…though that punishment is never instigated by God. God would not purposely cause harm to anyone.
A (Application): A loved one is sick. You’re a good person, but you’re late to EVERYTHING! You get a flat tire on your way to work. These are not punishments from God. God is not “out to get you.” At least not as far as I’m concerned.
We live in a broken world…a world in need of redemption. That includes the likes of you and me. We are less than perfect, but we are not subject to “getting what we deserve.” Evil and wickedness just exist in the midst of the brokenness of this world.
Jesus’ resurrection has begun the process of redemption and will come to full fruition when Jesus comes again to judge the world in righteousness. In the meantime, we catch glimpses of the Kingdom breaking into our world, in our time.
If you find yourself falling in line with Job’s ever-growing pessimism, think on Elihu’s words…and think on the bright spots of God’s inbreaking Kingdom, like the stars that shine forth in the night sky.
Look for people sharing God’s love with their neighbor. Look for someone picking up trash. Look for someone paying for someone else’s groceries, which I happened to see just the other day.
And if you cannot find a glimpse of God’s goodness breaking into our world, invite others to point out the way for you.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to see the signs of your inbreaking Kingdom. Amen.