What Am I Owed?
What Am I Owed?
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
- Psalm 149:4 (NKJV)
I have endured a bit of discomfort over the past weeks with Achilles tendonitis. Although it is healing and really minor in the big scheme of things it caused me to think back on the examples of suffering, we have in scripture. Although many come to mind perhaps the most extreme example of this is Job.
We are told that Job is blameless, upright, and God fearing (Job 1:1). Although Job was not sinless, nor is any man, we know from this statement that he was in a relationship with God such that any sin was covered. We see that Job is blessed in his life both materially and spiritually. However, Satan objects that Job is only God fearing because of the life of comfort and ease he has enjoyed. God allows Satan to bring about suffering in Job’s life, the likes of which most of us cannot fully comprehend.
In the depths of Job’s suffering several men come to visit in order to comfort him (Job 2:11). Poor comforters most turned out to be for Job. In turn most of them bring doubt upon Job’s character insisting that he must have done something horribly wrong in order to merit this suffering. Finally, when Job can bear no more he defends himself asserting his own righteousness (Job 32:1) and silencing those critics.
However, one comforter remained, Elihu, who was outraged both at the false comfort afforded by the other friends as well as Job’s own self-righteousness (Job 32:2). In doing so Job implies that he is owed better circumstances than he finds himself in at the time. Elihu confronted both Job and the other friends with hard truths. The friends were in no position to judge Job based on his current suffering. Conversely Job was in no position to think that just because he had lived a good life that God owed him material and physical blessing.
Finally, the Lord answers them all (Job 38-41) by calling out Job’s pride and showing the many ways in which man can never fully comprehend our Creator. We will never understand all the suffering in our lives or that we witness in this world. However, God did not owe Job anything and neither does He owe us today. In spite of the present discomfort we all face, we can learn the lesson Job did and approach God with humility as well as with the honor that He deserves.