Thursday, January 19, 2012

Job 27 - Job Curses His Enemies

LINK: Job 27

BACKGROUND

Job continues with his response to Bildad by reaffirming his innocence, "I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go" (27:6). He claims that the Almighty has denied him justice and made him taste bitterness (27:2).

Job 27:7-23 includes a description of the fate of the wicked. Job never denies that the wicked are ultimately punished (24:18-24), but he does deny that they are punished immediately as Zophar had claimed in 20:5; 21:7.

In the East, it was not enough to just claim your innocence; you also were to call down the wrath of God on those who accused you of guilt. It is like the imprecatory psalms we have learned about earlier in the Bible Book Club (Psalms 58, 69). As believers in Jesus, it sounds so cruel to call down the wrath of God because Jesus taught that we should forgive our enemies (Matthew 5:38-48), but we need to keep in mind that this book was written even before the Law was given to Moses. According to Warren Wiersbe in Be Patient: A Commentary on Job, "We must not expect him to manifest the kind of spirit that was seen in Jesus."

REFLECTION

Job may not have been expected to manifest the spirit of Jesus, but as followers of Him, we are!

In Matthew 5:38-48, Jesus said:
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever
slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
May we follow Jesus' example!

APPLICATION

Are you persecuted by modern day "enemies"? Look at the example of Jesus, and pray for them today.

PRAYER

In light of what Jesus has taught us, please help us to pray for those who persecute us and to love our enemies so that they might be loved into Your Kingdom. Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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