The Land of Uz
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job,
and that man was blameless and upright,
one who feared God and turned away from evil.
(Job 1:1 ESV)
O God, you are our advocate and friend, give us sensitive souls today in the presence of your Word and may its precepts and saving power find a lasting place in our lives, in the name of Jesus. Amen
Uz, not Oz! There’s no Dorothy or Toto in this story, only a man by the name of Job (rhymes with “robe”). What catches my attention is his “job” description. He is a man who was “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.”
Who does that anymore?
The heroes in today’s box office movies and NETFLIX originals are anything but. Even the made-up heroes in the DC comics world have gone 50 shades darker than ever before. Batman has become the Dark Knight who blurs the lines between good and evil. The latest Batman movie’s working title as it heads into production is Vengeance. Something has clearly gone wrong in Gotham City and in our world.
Today our crimes include being “unmasked” and attending social gatherings of more than 10. But the real crimes seem to go unpunished. Our world has become the “upside-down” world. Good is evil. Evil is good. Dark is preferred to Light.
And then there is Job who stands out against such a dark background. A man of integrity. A man who lives in the Light, who turns away from every evil.
Job is a type of Christ, a foreshadowing (or should we say “forelightening”?) of greater things to come. Jesus is the Righteous One, the Son of God, who goes through unjust suffering for the sake of others, like Job. Job prays for his three friends and God restores them in the end. Christ prays for all who call upon him and God gives them eternal life and blesses them beyond measure.
In a much greater way than Job, Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, and became a sin offering for us. He personally paid for the sins of the world by his suffering and death on a cross, so that he might give the gift of righteousness to all who call on him. The moment we believe in Jesus, he gives us his righteous “robe” to wear.
This is of critical importance to all of us. Because even though we live in a dark world, our “job” description is the same as Job’s. We are called by God to be blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.
But what does a blameless and upright person look like? What does it mean to fear God and turn away from evil?
One powerful example is given in Proverbs chapter 2. I invite you to read it sometime today. But if that isn’t clear, look to Jesus. His way of life is how we are to live. But lest we think that we are saved by our actions, meditate on this: Christ alone is our righteousness! By his grace alone, He has given us His righteous life as a “robe” to wear that we receive by faith alone.
To this end, the apostle Paul encourages us with these words:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. (Philippians 2:12-16)
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
Living by the grace of God,
Pastor Langdon Reinke