Serving The Lord
April 25, 2019
The Bible has a lot to say about money, influence, and wealth from a material perspective. The Bible refers to money as amoral – that is, a substance that is neither good nor bad. The Bible shows that manner in which money is used is what makes it good or bad, but the substance in and of itself is nothing. This means that people are the issue. We use amoral objects and resources for either good purposes or evil purposes. Since the Bible warns us about money so often, it becomes clear that human tendency is to use money for evil purposes. It is important to recognize how the Bible classifies “evil” when it comes to the use of material resources. According to the Bible, “evil” is predicated on self. Since God is the provider of all things, people are merely stewarding God’s possessions. We are expected to seek God and His intentions for our resources. Since He alone is wise, righteous, and good, He alone is qualified to know the appropriate use for what we have. If we don’t seek the Lord to know how to use what we have, we end up using what we have on ourselves instead of God’s purposes, and by extension, squander that which He gave. The use of our resources is only good when we use His provision for His purposes instead of our own.
The scriptures show that the natural person is not motivated to do this. The natural person thinks that our personal purposes are the priority instead of God’s. The natural person thinks that our purposes are better than God’s, and that God can take care of His own purposes. Thus, human nature finds more pleasure in gratifying self, rather than serving the purposes of God. It takes supernatural intervention and influence to change the condition of the human heart so that we learn to value God and His purposes more supremely. It takes the revelation of God according to His Word, and the understanding and influence of His Spirit to cherish God’s purposes more than our own. However, when God supplies His revelation, and fills us with the Spirit to change our motives, the scriptures show that God is able to use people in ways that match His own testimony according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, thereby providing satisfaction and joy in ways that are truly fulfilling, and don’t come by any other means.
The testimony of Job 26:7-17 shows this principle as true. In Job 26:7-17 Job remembered the good works that God equipped him for, and the joy that he had to do that which God ordained. Job remembered the days before tragedy came into his life, when his family was full and healthy, when he prospered greatly with riches, and when his life was comfortable and influential. However, when Job spoke about the past circumstances of his life, he didn’t speak in a manner that was focused on the materials that made the circumstances look good. Job didn’t really value the tools that God provided. Job valued the manner in which God used the tools He provided to bring glory to Himself. Job was more pleased with being an instrument of God’s righteousness more than he was pleased to possess riches. Job took pleasure in his past prosperity, but only because that prosperity enabled him to be used in a manner that paralleled the conduct of the Messiah.
Job first remembered the days when he was treated with honor, respect, fear, and his integrity highly honored. Job explained that he valued the days when he would take his seat of influence at the front gate, acting as a judge and man of influence. Young men would fear Job. Peers would respect Job. Authorities valued his wisdom. Job didn’t cherish this past manner of living because people liked him. He cherished this past manner of living because it provided him with an opportunity to use the wisdom that God provided according to the revelations God gave by His Word. It provided Job an opportunity to share the things that God first gave according to the Word. It provided Job an opportunity to make his faith public. When tragedy entered into Job’s life, he was despised, mocked, and people were afraid of Job as if he was cursed and that curse was contagious. People separated from Job, except for his friends who only sought Job to falsely accuse him and argue. Job’s current circumstances didn’t really provide him the opportunity to share his faith, to share the wisdom God provided, or to exemplify the righteousness God was teaching him. Job missed the days where he was used by God to testify of God through his words and his conduct. Though Job was prosperous and influential, Job valued the manner in which that prosperity and influence glorified God rather than himself.
Job explained that the reason he garnered so much respect and honor from the public was because of the manner in which he lived. Job explained how, before tragedy entered his life, his life was predicated on serving those in need. Job was wealthy and influential, but used that wealth and influence to serve those in need just like Jesus did as the Messiah. Job missed the days when he was able to help the poor, the fatherless, and the widows. It is interesting that Job referred to those specific three types of people. These are the same types of people that Jesus came to benefit according to the will of the Father in order to fulfill the promises of the Messiah.
Deuteronomy 10:18 states, “He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.”
Psalm 146:9 reads, “The LORD watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; but the way of the wicked He turns upside down.”
Isaiah 1:17 teaches, “Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
Clearly Job’s manner of living was parallel to the temperament of God Himself. Job was living according to the standards of scripture long before God influenced men to write these things down. Job used the increase that God provided to do that which God Himself wanted to do. Job lived God’s way and leveraged all that God gave in order to do so. When the people of the town saw the way Job lived, they couldn’t say anything bad. They couldn’t make accusations. The goodness of God flowing through Job’s attitude and conduct was stunning to the people so that they had no choice but to honor and respect such integrity. Job missed the days where God was glorified in his life in this way. Job’s concern was not the loss of riches, but the loss of opportunity to do the things of God in such a profound and public way.
Job explained that his motives were not his own. He didn’t do these things to be a “good person” seeking to draw attention and approval to himself. Job testified that he “put on righteousness.” In that Job “put on” righteousness shows that Job knew that such righteousness was not his own. He was taking righteousness from one place and putting it over himself to cover his true self. Once again, Job’s life was exemplary of that which the Father would do through the Messiah. In Isaiah 59:17 it says of Jesus, “For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.” This passage speaks of Jesus putting on the righteousness of the Father as the Messiah. That which the world was able to see through the testimony of Jesus was equal to seeing the righteousness of the Father. Job lived in a similar way. Though he was not the Messiah, he relied on the righteousness of the Father too. He received the Word of God, the revelation of God, the wisdom of God, and the provision of God in order to do the things of God, but made sure he did them in the manner of God. Job didn’t serve the needs of others by his own standards of goodness. Job didn’t serve the needs of others to impress others. Job died to himself in order to make sure people saw the righteousness of God. Job missed the days where he could freely live in such a manner.
Job confessed that his life was all about serving the needs of others. He was eyes to the blind. He was feet to the lame. He was a father to the poor. He stood up against wicked people on behalf of the weak. He defended those who weren’t able to defend themselves. Job didn’t use his money, power, influence, and prosperity to profit himself. Job didn’t even use that which God gave to provide comforts for his family. Job trusted God to take care of his personal needs and the needs of his family. Job lived in a selfless manner that aided people who could not aid him back. When Jesus came into the world, He sought to serve the needs of those who were humble, but also those who would never be able to pay Him back for the service He rendered. Even when Jesus healed ten lepers, He did so knowing that only one would return to give thanks. Likewise, Job served those who couldn’t provide any gain or gratitude in return. His service was unto the Lord, showing that Job’s life and the things he possessed in it, were given back to the Lord as a bondservant seeking to provide profit to the Master, not self. Job cherished the opportunity to glorify God this way more than he cherished the tools and money God provided for the service.