From Impure to Pure
Day: 14 | Plan: Suffering and Sovereignty
Today’s Reading : Job 14
Job 14:4 (NIV) “Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!”
It’s hard to imagine how frustrated Job must be with his situation. He is destitute and in pain and without any worldly support. But one thing this time of suffering does give him is the opportunity to really reflect on what he believes to be true. When all else is stripped away, what else does he have?
Through this musing, Job comes to understand something very critical about himself – and therefore mankind as a whole. He understands that he is impure and has no hope of being anything but. (Job 14:4) He knows that sin has touched him from the very beginning and his hope of shaking it off is impossible. We, my friends, are exactly the same.
Job understood that no one could be born pure from impure people. We are born with a heritage of sin, saturated into us from the very beginning of our life on earth. (Genesis 3) This is where death enters the scene. (Romans 6:23)
Not only are we born impure, but we also have no way to reach purity and goodness on our own. (Ephesians 2:1-3) Because of sin, we are nothing, so we can produce nothing that adds value to God.
Friends, that is as hard to say as it is to hear. It can be hard to really, truly believe. The reality of our sinful nature seems impossible to grasp and we will try to twist it to be more palatable to our sense of self – but that is what Satan would have us do. We do not need to twist the truth of our impurity because God makes it clear that He loves us in the midst of our unworthiness. Understanding our complete sinfulness brings us to the reality of the true greatness of God.
When we ignore the reality of who we are as sinners, we diminish the holy work of Jesus Christ and the amazing transformation that the Holy Spirit is working in us.
Job is stuck in an impossible situation. He’s hurt, broken, hopeless and wishing for death. But he is still waiting for his “ renewal to come” (Job 14:14). He’s realized that he needs his sins to be covered and he trusts that God will do it. (Job 14:16-17) We haven’t seen yet what renewal will come in Job’s story – but we’ve seen what came for ours.
Romans 5:17-18 tells us of our great renewal – “ For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people .”
We’ve found the renewal and cover for sin that Job so desperately desired. May that lead us to walk in peace.
Prayer: My dear God, grow me that I might more fully see the reality of my sin and therefore my need of You. I confess that I don’t always rely on Your Son to be my righteousness, but think that I can add something to my own righteousness. May the Holy Spirit work through me so that I can rest in You alone. Help me to feel the desperation for You that Job felt. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Job 14 uses a lot of analogies that are found in many other parts of Scripture. This gives us a... Read More
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