Saturday, January 4, 2014

Quiet Sins

"Job did not sin"
Job 1:22

So here's some fun synchronicity in my life... New year, new Bible study. 

Well, not really a new study, just that we're starting a new book when we return next week.  We just finished Song of Solomon before Christmas, and now we begin a study of the Book of Job. 

There's something fun about diving into a new book.  Even though I've read it, and even gone through it chapter by chapter a few years ago at church, I'm excited to do an in-depth study of it.  We have homework that forces us to do more than just read, but focus in on key verses, and draw some understanding and application from them. 

What I always hope to do, though I don't always have time, is do some study on my own, too.  Words or verses I read cause me to wonder something, or questions in my study prompt other questions in my mind.  Hopefully I have the time and discipline to dig deeper.

One of those wonderings came to me in the very first lesson in our book, with a question that asked us about Job's response to satan's assaults.  My answer was from 1:22 ~ "Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong." 

That got me thinking about what it meant to say that Job did not sin.  Sinning encompasses a lot of different actions, words and thoughts.  So what does it mean to say that Job did not do any of these in response to all that had happened to him?  Well, here's the result of several days' worth of pondering that question...

I think, on the simplest level, it means that Job did not abandon his faith and commence doing things that would have previously been abhorrent to him in their sinfulness.  He did not run out and have an affair to forget his pain, or kill someone so that another father would suffer as he was. 

And he didn't, as it says, curse God, or accuse Him of being mean, or wrong, or uncaring.  If he were to abandon his faith in God, he would no longer care about the consequences of sin.  But that didn't happen, in word or deed. 

But since sinning also includes thought, it's significant to note that he did not sin even in his thoughts.  Not only did he not say anything unfaithful or untrusting of God, he didn't even think it. 

Man, that's impressive, isn't it?  Can you say that?  Can you look back at the most difficult time in your life and say that you were as strong in your faith as you are in the good times? 

Maybe you can.  I hope so.  And if so, can you also be confident that your faith would not waver if you ever find yourself in the extremely tragic circumstances that Job experienced?  I hope so.

It's definitely not something that's too hard for us to do, otherwise He wouldn't expect it of us.  But it is hard.  Actions.... words.... and oh, those thoughts.  Questions can start off innocently enough, but then easily turn to doubts and hesitations, which are only a hop, skip and jump from losing faith in Him.

Makes me want to strengthen myself in the good times, so my faith will be ready for the hard times. 

~ " 'Shall we indeed accept good from God,
and shall we not accept adversity?'
    In all this Job did not sin with his lips." ~
Job 2:10

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