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An Offering of Suffering

Read Job 9-10

"Though I were innocent, I could not answer him; I could only plead with my Judge for mercy." Job 9:15

In Job 9 and 10, Job asks three questions: (1) "How can I be righteous before God?" (9:1-13); (2) "How can I meet God in court?" (vv.14-35); and (3) "Why was I born?" (10:1-22). You can see how these questions connect. Job is righteous, but he has to prove it. How can a mortal man prove himself righteous before God? Can he take God to court? But if God doesn't step in and testify on Job's behalf, what is the purpose of all this suffering? Why was Job even born?

Job could not understand what God was doing, and it was important that he not understand. Had Job known that God was using him as a weapon to defeat Satan, he could have simply sat back and waited trustfully for the battle to end. But as Job surveyed himself and his situation, he asked the same question the disciples asked when Mary anointed the Lord Jesus with expensive perfume: "Why this waste?" (Mark 14:4; John 11:2). Before we criticize Job too severely, let's recall how many times we have asked that question ourselves when a baby has died or a promising young person has been killed in an accident.

Nothing that is given to Christ in faith and love is ever wasted. The fragrance of Mary's ointment faded from the scene centuries ago, but the significance of her worship has blessed Christians in every age and continues to do so (Mark 14:6-9). Job was bankrupt and sick, and all he could give to the Lord was his suffering by faith; but that is just what God wanted in order to silence the Devil.

Applying God's Truth:

  1. With what top three questions about life and God are you currently struggling?

  2. Can you think of an event in the past when you couldn't understand what God was doing (or why) but later were able to see His plan clearly?

  3. Mary offered ointment. Job offered suffering. Can you think of something equally unusual or unique to offer God?

Devotions for Patience and Wholeness ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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