2003-05-06 - Seek the Lord
Job 1:5 And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering Burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, 'Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did continually.
It is fairly unorthodox to break off verse five from three and four and deal with it separately, but I don't mind being unorthodox. The three verses really do deal with a common theme and that is why most deal with them as a unit. They all deal with how blest Job was in both possessions and in family. However, there are a couple of things I hope to hit on in this verse and thus I have taken the liberty of dealing with this verse by itself.
We have hit on how blessed Job was and we will probably mention it often. It is a big part of the story because it is his loss of his blessings that defines the history of Job. This verse talks about the faith of his family and there is at least one thing we can glean from that. This verse also talks about how Job cared for his children and looked out for what was best for them.
I admit that I have been baffled as to how to deal with this verse and I intend to look at one area in depth. I have read at least seven commentaries on this and I will admit that most of them are useless. They all lump this verse into the two earlier verses and basically ignore it. There is one exception. John Brown (of Haddington, Scotland) does look at this verse as the key to the three. I found his insights really profound.
First, I would like you to know just a little about John Brown. He was a shepherd when young. While watching the sheep he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He also learned Arabic, Syriac, Persian, and Ethiopic, as well as all the modern European tongues. He died in 1787, and as far as I know he is the last person to be called a universal scholar. There is much more to say on John Brown, but I will leave it here. I have been studying theology for about 15 years and I have never seen a systematic theology completely based on Covenantal theology and his is so convincing that I have two copies of the first edition --- and they are hard to come upon.
Here is his take on this verse and I will put it in my words: It is an incredible mercy that kids have parents who are deeply concerned about the welfare of their souls. This is a blessing in life that really is unmatched. This effects children as well as parents. Children need to be wise and respect their parents who long for their welfare. Parents need to live up to the responsibility of leading their children in righteousness. This honestly is what the first five verses of the book of Job teach us. With verse six there is a whole new program, but up to here we see the righteousness of a father who longed for his children to be right before the Lord.
To parents I would say "encourage your kids to rest in the Lord." To kids I would say, "If your parents are looking out for your growth in godliness -- listen to them !" We are in a different situation than Job was in. The price for sin has been paid by Christ. The penalty, for sin, for all those who rest in the sacrifice of Christ is done. Job could only look forward to that time that we are now in. We need to encourage each other, and Job, in this verse, shows it. He loved his children. He went out and offered sacrifices for sins he did not even know if they had committed. God is so gracious and His mercy, in Christ, is more than Job ever knew while he was alive. We must be so in wonder for the mercy that is ours in Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,