Monday, November 27, 2023

Man Made Righteous? (Job 25)

“How then can man be righteous before God?” (Job 25:4).

Believing Job had properly grasped the profound differences between God and man, Bildad takes it upon himself to instruct Job in the matter. His instruction honors God in that it exalts His greatness and proclaims His righteousness to a creation that cannot compare with the glory of God. However, in the midst of Bildad’s praises to the Almighty, one thing is apparent. He still does not understand how a sinner can be made just before a holy God. This has been a stumbling block even for those who live in the enlightened age of Gospel revelation; just think of how perplexing such a question must have been to Gentiles in Old Testament times. Anyone who rightly understood the holiness of God would instantly have recognized that they were not holy, but were altogether unrighteous and powerless to stand before God. Where, then, is salvation? How can an unrighteous creature be made just in the sight of God?

Before we answer the question, let us first look at how Bildad arrives at the question. He proclaims to Job the power of God over all nations, over the heavenly realms, over the very laws of nature. Bildad declares that God is so above us, so transcendent in His holiness, that we cannot even begin to ascend to His level. Bildad rightly perceives the lowly condition of man in his finitude and his sin: “How much less man, who is a maggot, and a son of man, who is a worm?” If even the stars in the sky, and the light of the sun and moon, pale in comparison to God, how much more does man in the corruption of his nature?

Is it any wonder that when you consider God in His splendid array of power and holiness, you are compelled to ask “How then can man be righteous before God?” The answer is Jesus Christ. Those who have faith in Him are declared righteous because they are covered by His righteousness. They have been declared legally righteous by God Himself. But that is not the end of the matter. God gives them His Holy Spirit, who changes their nature and, through the process of sanctification, purifies them and makes them actually righteous. As they grow older, they are renewed spiritually day by day until they are glorified at the resurrection, when they will be like Christ, holy and righteous.

Make a list of what various philosophies and religions think of God and man. Get input from friends or family. How do other religions differ from the Bible? How are those views reflected in how people act toward God and people? How should your actions reflect your biblical beliefs about God and man?