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February 4, Day #35 – No Further Dispute

Coming today to Job 30-32, we encounter the discourse that Job began before his three friends back in Job 26. At the end of chapter 29, Job remembers the “men [younger than Job] who listened expectantly to him for his counsel” (29:21), but here in chapter 30, Job states that “now they mock” him (verse 1), and “now their sons mock me” (verse 9). He says that “they spit in his face” and “throw off restraint” to “lay snares at his feet” (verses 9-11). He feels like even God has abandoned him (verse 20). In chapter 31, Job begins his final answer to his three friends by presenting evidence for his own righteousness: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” (verse 1); he contends that he has not walked “in falsehood or hurried after deceit;” his “steps have not turned from the path;” his heart has not been “enticed by a woman;” he has not “denied justice” to his servants; and more (verses 1-13). Job says that his motivation was God’s accountability – “What will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account?” (verse 14). Accountability is an effective deterrent to sin – especially by God. As Job comes to “the end of his words” (verse 40), he says, if only “I had someone to hear me! Let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing” (verse 35). When Job made this statement, he probably had no idea that the Lord would grant his requests – the Lord is going to address Job (cf., Job 38-41), and the book we have been reading serves as that written account. In chapter 32, we read the words of Elihu – who is angry at Job “for justifying himself rather than God,” and at Job’s three friends for not “refuting Job” (verses 2-3). Elihu is younger, so he respectfully waited to speak until now. Interestingly, Elihu agrees that Job has been righteous when he says to his three friends, “Not one of you has proved Job wrong.” Thus, Job ends his defense - remaining innocent before his three friends and their harsh accusations.

In Psalm 18:16-24, we read that “God reached down and took hold” of us - drawing us “out of deep waters” to rescue us from “foes who are too strong for us” (verses 16-17). This is exactly what God does when He saves us from sin. He did this because “He delighted in” us (verse 19). What reason have we given Him to delight in us? He takes delight in us when we acknowledge and honor Him because of His great love for us - not ours for Him. God’s “mercies are new every morning, and because of His mercy and grace, we are loved rather than “consumed” (i.e., destroyed; cf., Lamentations 3:22-23). God is the Originator and Initiator of all things - love, salvation, provision, protection, etc., - and everything good flows out from Him to us because He is good. This truth should cause us to worship Him freely from hearts of gratitude and thanksgiving.

In Matthew 22:15-46, we see that the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians again come before Jesus with the intent to trick or trap Him. It’s clear that these Jewish leaders did not apprehend any of these truths or principles taught in Psalm 18; otherwise they would have humbly come before Jesus with thankful hearts prepared to submit to Him rather than come to Him the way they did – with spiteful hearts - jealous of His ability to teach the Word of God. Jesus answers their question about paying taxes to Caesar, about the truth of the resurrection, and about the greatest commandment. Once again, turning the tables, Jesus closes this section by asking them a question: “Whose Son is the Christ” (verse 42). Ordinarily, King David - by virtue of his kingship - is greater than his son, but David calls his Son, ‘Lord’” (verse 43). Here, Jesus is demonstrating His deity and His divine origin – He is greater than His father, David - by virtue of His divine Sonship. And to this teaching, “no one could say a word in reply” (verse 46). No further dispute.

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