Saturday, November 25, 2023

Does God Need Us? (Job 22)

“Can a man be profitable to God …?” (Job 22:1).

Eliphaz misunderstands Job as saying that God owes him mercy because of his righteousness. But Job never implies any such thing. He knows just as well as Eliphaz that God owes him nothing.

But do people in our day understand such a profound truth, that God is not obligated to show anyone the least bit of mercy? It would seem by the language of many Christians that they do not. People talk as if God owes them salvation, as if He is obligated to care for them and meet their needs. We see this most when someone is suffering. They become angry at God and complain bitterly against Him. Of course, the feelings of frustration acting in concert with our sinful desires can be the object of our sympathy in these situations, yet those feelings do not excuse casting blame on God. Because we have rebelled against God, we are by nature children of wrath, the only thing we deserve is God’s judgment. We do not deserve the many good things He gives us, the food, friendship, clothing, and comforts of life. And we certainly do not deserve His offer of redemption in Christ.

God is in no way obligated to save us. If He were, salvation would not be of grace, for the essence of grace is that it is undeserved. If it were deserved, salvation would be an act of justice. As it is, though, salvation is all of grace; and not only our salvation, but all our comforts in this life.

Eliphaz was also right when he said that man is not profitable to God. “For such is the perfection of God that He cannot receive any benefit or advantage by men; what can be added to that which is infinite?” Henry wrote. “And such is the weakness and imperfection of man that he cannot offer any benefit or advantage to God. Can the light of a candle be profitable to the sun or the drop of the bucket to the ocean?.… God needs not us nor our services. We are undone, forever undone, without Him; but He is happy, forever happy, without us.… God can enjoy Himself without us, though we could have but little enjoyment of ourselves without our friends. This magnifies His condescension, in that, though our services be no real profit or pleasure to Him, yet He invites, encourages, and accepts them.”

Do you understand the meaning of grace? Do you think that God owes you anything? Be very sober in your examination because it is very easy for us to think God is under our obligation. If you are angry at God for anything, then you think He owes you something. Repent of that today, and thank Him for the grace He has shown you.