Job 21 & 22
Whatever is not done in faith … is SIN
Whatever Is Not of Faith
One person believes she is free to have a glass of wine with dinner. Another believes it is a sin. One believes it is OK to eat pork. Another believes the Old Testament dietary laws should still be adhered to. One believes a certain book, or movie, or TV show is allowable; another’s conscience is offended by it. One thinks “Christian contemporary music” is great, another believes worship has to be hymns.
Certainly, there are lifestyle choices which are clearly right and wrong, sinful and good, but there is also a great deal of freedom in Christ. Whatever we do, however, we need to be able to do it in faith:
But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin (v. 23).
Even if something is not sinful, in and of itself, if we believe it is and do it anyway, it reveals a heart that is willing to sin against God and is, therefore, sinful.
One of the key points in this chapter, though, is that we should be willing to forego things we believe we are free to do, if what we are doing could be offensive or a stumbling block to someone else (14.13). Love considers the welfare of others above his or her own (Phil. 2.3-4).
Today’s Other Readings:
What did you do about my son?
In chapter 21 Job tried to convince his friends that their conclusion about his suffering was wrong. He reasoned that because the wicked are not always punished in this life, they couldn’t say good is always rewarded and evil always punished. He pointed out that, at times, even people who shake their fist at God seem to do so with impunity.
We have probably all witnessed instances where that appeared to be true and it would have been easy to look around and say, “Why bother to live right?” but as Job said in verse 30, “the wicked are reserved for the day of doom …”
While sometimes the wicked prosper in this life, there will be a day of accounting when all the riches, all the success, all the fame will count for nothing!
Hardly a month goes by that we don’t hear of the death of some celebrity or politician or other wealthy or influential person. And, while some of them may very well be saved, there is often nothing to indicate that was true. When they stand before God, He won’t be impressed with their money, their political clout, or their great acting talent! The only question that will matter is “What did you do about my son?”
Sing a New Song
“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!” (v. 1)
While this primarily refers to the praise offered in the future millennial kingdom, we should have a “new song” attitude in our worship today. I heard someone say the reason we are commanded to sing a “new song” is so we will think about the words of our praise. The speaker said that when we sing music with which we are overly familiar it can easily cease to be “praise” and become nothing more than “nostalgia” for us. This is true for the same reason prayers that are repeated over and over can cease to be prayer and become “vain repetition,” something Jesus condemned.
It’s not that it is wrong to sing a favorite hymn or worship song, anymore than it is sinful to pray “the Lord’s Prayer” or some other familiar prayer, but it is important to really think about what you are singing or praying. It should be an act of worship to the Lord, offered thoughtfully and intentionally.
Eating with a Selfish Man
In verses 1-3 we were warned to be on guard when we sit down to eat with a ruler and not desire his “delicacies.” In verses 4-5 we were warned against lusting after wealth. And here in verses 6-8 we are told to not eat the bread of a “miser” or the NASB says, a “selfish man.” We should be careful not to take advantage of generous people, but we should be especially careful with a selfish person. Not only is it not given joyfully, but he begrudges you every bite.
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