Accepting the Ransom
Elihu explains that although Job had seen his Redeemer as the Living One who would vindicate him in the day of His coming, he now has to see Him as the Ransom, the One who would be gracious to him and deliver him from going down to the pit. Not on the grounds of Job’s integrity—but on the grounds of His own sacrifice for the redemption of all men.
God was trying to tell Job, “I have found your Ransom,” the very message Paul preached “that is foolishness to those that are perishing but to us that are being saved . . . the power of God!”
Job was placed in a time of unparalleled suffering by the very will of God so that in the anguish of his suffering he would discover an aspect of his “life of self” that he had never seen before in his days of prosperity and power. The turning point of his deliverance must come to him by a fresh appropriation of the “Ransom,” the death of the Son of God.
It is through this atoning sacrifice alone that we can receive grace, mercy, and peace. They will be poured out in abundance to anyone that finds himself stripped, in desperate need, and that has truly discovered his absolute weakness.
During this trial and the confrontation of his friends, he resented being charged with sin. “Tell me where I have erred” he cries; and “If I have sinned . . . why don’t you pardon me” he pleads with God.
“My heart doesn’t condemn me from anything I’ve done”; “Till I die, I will cling to my integrity; I will hold fast to my righteousness and will not let it go.”
At the beginning of this story, we saw Job to be intensely sensitive to even the possibility of grieving the Lord. With his whole heart he “shunned evil,” and offered sacrifices to God even for the sins of ignorance of his children. That is why he cannot understand what God is doing with him, and why he—of all people, the just and whole-hearted man that he was, would be placed in such a furnace of trial. Every once in a while he would get a glimmer of light and see himself like gold being placed in a fire for refining away of the dross. Although, his last words to his friends show that he is still assured of his integrity and he’s determined to cling to that all the way to the end.
I am absolutely convinced that if Job had maintained his sensitivity to every possibility of sin when his friends first began their charges, instead of resting all of his confidence on his integrity and righteousness, the rest of the story would have been different. If he had just said “Maybe there is something that I missed, even though my heart doesn’t condemn me, Lord, I know that you are my judge, not myself, not my friends. Forgive me and cleanse me of unrighteousness.” That is all it would have taken, and the whole story would have been different.
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