We're only going to focus on one verse today.
Job 40:8 Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
Job had suffered terribly. He's like us when this happens: trying to process it; and feeling all sorts of feelings. In it all, Job accuses God of wrong doing.
Understand that your feelings both influence what you believe and reveal what you believe at any given moment. You feel what you think. You feel something ibecause in that moment you believe it.
Job feels, and therefore, in that moment Job believes that God is treating him unfairly.
We need to pay attention to what we're feeling and speak the truth, the good news to ourselves, bring our thoughts into submission to God's love in Christ.
Romans 6:12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
When we hurt and we cannot make it stop we may feel like God is being unkind, unfair to us. We can think, as Job, that God must treat us according to our merits. Fairly. He should treat us as we deserve and we deserve better.
Fortunately, the LORD our God is not obligated to treat us as we deserve.
That's law-thinking. It puts everything on us, which in my relationship with God, I don't want how God treats me to rest on me! My behavior. My pure heart. I trust God with me. I want it to all rely on Him and His grace…
If God's treatment of you, if His love for you rests on your performance, your good works, your great obedience, then you will perform for Him rather than love Him, which sucks for both you and God.
If God must treat you according to your merits, this also robs God of the freedom to lavish His grace on you, to love you and to act toward you as He chooses.
Ephesians 1:5 In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.
I want God to relate to me this way. Fortunately, He does.
Some of us get this. Thinking God must treat us as we deserve is scary for those who know you don't live this Christian life in a stellar way. God's grace goes down easy.
Yet others have a high view of ourselves. "I'm a good Christian." That's Job's leverage. "I serve You. I'm faithful. I tithe every week. I volunteer in the children's ministry. LORD, You're not supposed to let this happen to me."
There's one more thing Job feels though he may not realize it, we may not either. But God does.
Whether we see it or not, in that moment, as we wonder why God is allowing something, thinking it's not right, as we think like this we feel we are smarter than God. I mean if I think God is wrong, then I am right. I'm more knowledgeable, loving, righteous; better than God.
We may not identify this, but God does. You see this in God's three main questions to Job.
Job 38:2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"
God absolutely welcomes our prayers, our questions. This is how we process the pain and how we come to trust God through it. But God confronts Job for casting aspersions or casting a shadow on His counsel, judgment, wisdom. So His character.
God's second concern was that Job faulted God for making bad choices,
Job 40:1 Then the LORD said to Job, 2 "Will the faultfinder [will Mr. Blamer] contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God [or criticizes God] answer it."
Suffering Christians don't mean to criticize God. But that's what Job did.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 4 "Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth."
God probably let Job rest for a while.
Then He rings the bell for Round Two and God points out one more concern. This'll be our focus for today…
Job 40:6 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said, 7 "Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me. [This is exactly what He said in Round 1. Then God identifies perhaps His chief complaint:] 8 Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
Will you really annul My judgment? Is this really what you want to do?
How do we annul God's judgment? We annul God's judgment by judging God against our standard of justice. Whenever you tell God something like, "You shouldn't allow this; or You're wrong for doing this; or the wicked should suffer not me; or You're wrong for allowing this; OR there's nothing wrong with this" We annul God's judgment. We replace His judgment with our own.
Again, we may not recognize it but we think in that moment we are wiser, smarter, godlier than God.
This is what the Pharisees did.
Mark 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked [Jesus], "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?" 6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me; 7 in vain to do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."
Whey they were to teach God's Word they exchanged it with their own beliefs, they taught their commands as God's Word. And it's not just them.
We annul God's judgment when we say something is sinful, which God never calls a sin.
Getting rich. Spanking a rebellious child. Having a drink. We do this to protect people but also to enforce our view of right or wrong.
We don't want anyone to get drunk. We don't want children to be spanked. We do this to protect people but also to enforce our view of right or wrong.
But it's not just legalistic Christians who do this. Liberal minded Christians do it too.
Jesus warns sinful people about hell so that they trust Him to save them, yet Christians annul God's judgment when they say God won't send anyone hell.
We also annul God's judgment when we say there's nothing wrong with something that God clearly defines as a sinful or wrong.
Compassionate Christians annul God's judgment when they tell their unhappily married friend God wants you to divorce because He wants you to be happy, yet God says He hates divorce and puts super tight restrictions on it.
Other bighearted believers teach that God supports SSM despite Jesus' teaching that God created us male and female and how marriage is solely between a man and a woman. So they sound loving, and they'll never offend anyone, and their churches may even grow but they annul God's judgment.
Others claim the Bible endorses racism, slavery or hatred of any kind. They too disparage and discredit and annul God's judgment just like the others.
Soberly the LORD our God asks,
Job 40:8 Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
To condemn someone is to find or to judge someone to be evil, immoral.
God asks, "Will you condemn Me to justify yourself? Will you convict Me of wrongdoing, just so you can feel good about what you do?"
God has infinite understanding of life and biology, Creation and the cosmos, animals and humans. When He says something is to be a certain way it's not just opinion.
When people say God is meanspirited, unloving, unjust for not going along with our basest desires. When He's called bigoted, hateful, God asks, "Will you condemn Me to justify your unbelief? To justify your sin? Or to justify your son's or daughter's?
This is huge to God. Job didn't mean to do these. We don't mean to, but in any real loving relationship some of these things need to be brought out. God just tells us this is what you're doing when you change my word. When you question my goodness. When you bend my moral laws to affirm yours.
I've heard people say they could never love a God who would allow anyone to spend eternity in hell! Will you condemn Me having given up My Son, having paid for the sins of the world but for not forgiving those who of their own free will reject My free salvation and My forgiveness and my grace to all in Christ?
Understand Him. Or even if you don't understand Me, God says, trust Me.
Job 40:8 … "Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?"
For the believer, you don't need to justify yourself. Jesus has justified you. You don't need to justify your sins rather trust them over to God. Christ is sanctifying you. He does this by His grace as you walk with Him, believing, submitting.
If our LORD points out sin in your life it is not to condemn but to free you. If He allows something painful in your life it is not to punish but to free you into a closer walk and greater joy.
For those who don't have assurance of eternal life with God. For those who hold on to something important to you that God says is sinful, harmful.
Instead of asking you, "Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?" Jesus asks, "Will you trust Me that you may be justified?"
Will you trust Me to free you and forgive you and to love you like you never have been. But He only justifies the ungodly, sinners who believe, enemies who turn to Him.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus… 26 so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
This is the heart of God toward you.
Rather than judge God, recognize that Jesus Christ is the only Judge! Yet He does not wish to judge you but to love and adopt you and give you new life with Him.
Job’s accusations were wrong beyond imagination, but not beyond God's grace and forgiveness. Neither are you.
Will you condemn me that you may feel justified or will you trust Me that you may be justified before God now and forever?