Job 22:2-4 (KJV) “Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?”
The word that I hear the most is “Why?” Interestingly, it is used most often in the context of “Why” God did, or did not, do something! We mortals are something else! We overprize ourselves in matters spiritual and financial; yet, we undervalue ourselves in matters ethical and moral. It seems most of us have declined to place any value on matters eternal; for, the decisions we continue to make present a philosophical stance that the temporal is everlasting, while the eternal is a fancy at best, and a fantasy at worst.
I experience a mixture of intellectual emotions every time I read the Book of Job. I am intrigued by the confrontational conversation between God and Satan, wherein God gave him permission and license to test Job’s consecration and conviction. I am incensed by the confrontational conversations between Job and his three “friends,” wherein Job is placed on “trial” and his friends call upon him to confess his sins openly since it appears that God is judging him openly.
All the confrontational conversations I mentioned were in response to “Why.” Satan accused God of favoring Job over everyone else. He told God that He had placed a spiritual hedge around Job, so he couldn’t attack him like he could other humans. In fact, Satan attacked the “Why” of Job’s consecration.
When Satan spoke to God, as recorded in Job 1:9, he challenged God as to “Why” Job was faithful in serving God. What’s intriguing is that God wasn’t asking “Why,” He was holding Job up as an example of someone who was faithful without ever seeing God’s Face! BUT, Satan was hung up on the principle of “Why!”
I find this particularly intriguing because I believe this gives insight into Satan’s heart. Did he choose to discontinue his devotion to God because he didn’t feel he was justly rewarded for doing so? It appears that his challenge to Eve was premised upon such a basis!
Consider Genesis 3:1 (KJV) “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” (Emphasis Added.) Was Satan suggesting that Eve was not being adequately compensated (rewarded) for serving God? Let me rephrase Satan’s question like this, “It is reasonable to expect God to allow you to eat of every good tree that He created. After all, He placed you here with the expectation of your guarding and dressing it. Isn’t the servant worthy of her hire?!”
Satan, and all that are “of the world,” and in league with his principles of evil, have no appreciation or understanding of God’s Grace. The premise of evil is, “Nobody does, or gives anything, without a price or expectation attached.”
Pay close attention to Satan’s offer to Jesus…
Matthew 4:8-9 (KJV) “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Emphasis Added).
IF Satan desired to “add” to Jesus of Nazareth, he would have given “All these things” freely, without any expectations. Satan looked upon Jesus as lacking something. Because the Man, Christ Jesus, had not surrendered to the “Prince and Power of the Air,” or the “god of this world,” Jesus stood out amidst the crowds of lost humanity. While Satan couldn’t have cared less, he was offering the Man, Christ Jesus the opportunity to be a “Co-Ruler” of the world.
The Man, Christ Jesus would have none of it! He recognized that worship and service are inseparable. His “gifting” allowed Him to see into the spiritual realm with precise clarity. Jesus was NOT motivated by the 10 Commandments. He was motivated by the “Law of the Spirit of Life!” In this, Jesus linked worship with service…
Matthew 4:10 (KJV) “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” (Emphasis Added).
The “Law of the Spirit of Life,” motivates those who abide in such with the Love of God. You will recall when some of the Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of the lawyers among them asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Ponder Jesus’ response…
Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Emphasis Added).
Do you see that Jesus stated that “worship” involves the body, soul, and spirit? Do you also see that Jesus placed the element of “service” as inseparable with worship? And “Why?” Godly “worship” and “service” are motivated by LOVE! Love has NO expectations!
Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
I mentioned earlier that I am incensed by the confrontational conversations between Job and his three “friends,” wherein Job is placed on “trial” and his friends call upon him to confess his sins openly since it appears that God is judging him openly. The reason I am incensed is because of their hypocritical argument.
In today’s Scripture, Eliphaz begins his argument with the principle that God does NOT profit by man’s righteousness…
Job 22:2-5 (NLT2) “Can a person do anything to help God? Can even a wise person be helpful to him? Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect? Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you and brings judgment against you? No, it’s because of your wickedness! There’s no limit to your sins.”
Indeed, God is not more Pure, Powerful, Perfect, or Prudent because we are made so! He doesn’t choose to save us through the Regenerative Word of God, through faith in the Blood of Jesus so that He can become enlarged. He does so because He IS LOVE!
That portion of Eliphaz’s argument is sound; however, he encourages Job to repent and serve God so that he could become blessed. Consider the end of his argument…
Job 22:21-30 (KJV) “Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee. Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways. When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person. He shall deliver the island of the innocent: and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.”
While this IS the Divinely Inspired Word of God, we must remember to keep all Scripture in context and concept. This is a record of God’s, Satan’s, Job’s, and Job’s three friends’ conversations. It is much like a transcript of a court session. Some have used this conversation as a basis to profess the errant “Prosperity Doctrine” that has become prolific in our day. You will find later in the Book of Job where God challenges all that is stated and calls upon Job to intercede for his friends – read Job 42:7-9.
With all the “Why” questions being posed today, I am most intrigued with the “Why did God choose to save?” The answer to this question is the same for “Why should I worship and serve God?” Because of LOVE!