Thursday, October 29, 2015

PRAYERS OF THE BIBLE SERIES: THE BOOK OF JOB, Prayer #4

Job is starting to progress in his prayers, or in a sense - his one-way conversation with the Lord and ask some questions which many alive, throughout the ages, either thought of asking or asked. Here is a major timeless question which has burdened the soul of men and women forever who often wonder about the meaning of life: "If a man dies, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14a).

JOB 14:13-17
13  “Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
14  If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.

15  You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.
16  For now You number my steps,
But do not watch over my sin.
17  My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my iniquity.
Even with the previous ramblings, brought on by excruciating physical pain, Job has a great question and reveals a certain Truth that should comfort the Christian. When a Christian dies, he/she is concealed in rest in the grave (i.e. with the Lord) until God's wrath is past and we go on to our reward. (See Verse 13)
One thing to keep in mind when we come to God's answer to His Prayer in Job Chapter 38 is this - Job gets exactly what he asks for! In verse 15 here, Job prays "You shall call, and I will answer You". When the LORD- Yahweh (Jesus) answered Job in the whirlwind in Job 38, Yahweh says "brace yourself like a man- I WILL QUESTION YOU, AND YOU WILL ANSWER ME!" (Job 38:3). The moral of this prayer is - BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, because you may not be able to handle the answer!

Next, in verses 16 and 17, Job lays out for us a confession of the three progressive ways which mankind has gone against God:
Sin
Transgression
Iniquity
Of these three, Iniquity is the worse and unless one pulls back from the cliff, it is the worse of the three which can lead to eternal separation from God. Sin is missing the mark and even Christians sin - daily sometimes, in both little and even big ways. Transgression is what King David did when he not only purposed in his heart to steal one of his Mighty Men's (Uriah the Hittite's) wife, but ignored his duties and broke the commandment against adultery. Iniquity is when he went even further, had Uriah killed and covered this transgression up for two years, putting himself completely out of the Will of God. If he had not confessed and repented (as recorded in Psalm 51), it was all over and he would have been just like the late lost King Saul. 

In short, when you and I wonder as Job did in verse 14"if a man dies, shall he live again", the answer can be found in how we pray and respond to the teaching found in verse 17 as regards the various forms of sin. A person can only live again if his/her sin/transgression/iniquity has been covered by the Lord and that can only happen through the Blood of Christ and the Atonement He made for us on the Cross of Calvary. Confession and repentance - these are the lessons of this prayer from Job, of which he was completely unaware he was doing at this point in the wonderful Book of Job!
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