2016 4th Quarter
Lesson 13, December 17-23, The Character of Job
Thursday, December 22
Eliphaz the Temmanite, for being a friend of Job, must have known very little about Job’s character. In Job 22, he starts a character attack of the worst kind. He accuses Job of feigning righteousness by not confessing sins he surely had to have committed in order to be retributively punished by God in taking away wealth, servants, children, and now health. Job refutes these accusations most effectively in chapter 31. But we will look more closely at how maintaining integrity in the face of enormous loss in fact brings God glory and honor.
“Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?” KJV, Job 22:2-4.
God is infinite wisdom, and in maintaining His kingdom with wisdom and love He not only profits Himself but the whole kingdom of Heaven benefits by the sweet peace and harmony resulting from the cheerful and willing obedience of all free moral agents created by God.
God judges the whole earth, and makes a distinction so that righteousness perfects and profits those who submit to God’s laws. “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house.” KJV, Psalm 101:6, 7.
Jesus calls us to be perfect and holy even as God is perfect and holy. (KJV, Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:16; Exodus 22:31.) He provides us with this wonderful insight into how God is profited when we perform the works He has ordained from the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 2:8-10). “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” KJV, Matthew 5:16.
When we transgress the law, we bring shame to God. The wisest of men, Solomon, wrote, “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.” KJV, Proverbs 28:4. So we honor and glory God through praise that is consistent in obedience to God’s law.
“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” KJV, Revelation 14:7.
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” KJV, Ephesians 3:10-12.
“The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.” (Ellen White, Desire of Ages, 671.)
“The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love. The children of God are to manifest His glory. In their own life and character they are to reveal what the grace of God has done for them.” (Ellen White, Christ’s Object Lessons, 415.)