Today’s passage is Job 22:21-30. These are Eliphaz’s final recorded words in the book of Job. If we had to separate the wheat from the chaff in all the words Eliphaz has spoken throughout this book, there would be much unhelpful chaff, but these final words in verses 21 to 30 would be the wheat worth keeping. If looked at in isolation, verses 21 to 30 might be a helpful sermon for us to hang onto. But given the context, seeing as these words follow a whole bunch of unfair accusations and judgments Eliphaz has already made against Job, it is likely that Job was not encouraged or helped when Eliphaz spoke these words. But here let’s give Eliphaz some slack and treat Eliphaz’s words in verses 21-30 as a sermon for us today on how to live a life that God blesses.
Job 22:21 (NIV) 21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.
On verse 21: The first point Eliphaz gives on how to live a blessed life is: surrender to God. When we keep demanding our own way, we have no peace. When we surrender to God, the result is peace. My soul prospers and is at peace when I lay down my agenda and say, “God, Your will be done.” Peace in my life is not dependent on me figuring everything out, or me getting my way; rather peace comes when I willingly submit to God and surrender to His way.
Job 22:22 (NIV) 22 Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.
On verse 22: The second key to living a blessed life: Be teachable before God. Don’t just be one who rants and raves against God when things don’t go your way. Instead, be willing to be taught by God. Store His words in your heart.
Job 22:23-25 (NIV) 23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored: If you remove wickedness far from your tent 24 and assign your nuggets to the dust, your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines, 25 then the Almighty will be your gold, the choicest silver for you.
On verses 23-25: The third key to a blessed life is: Return to God and find restoration (v23). Lay aside everything else that might compete for the throne of your heart. Treat God as your greatest gold, your choicest silver and your most precious treasure.
Job 22:26-30 (NIV) 26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty and will lift up your face to God. 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows. 28 What you decide on will be done, and light will shine on your ways. 29 When men are brought low and you say, ‘Lift them up!’ then he will save the downcast. 30 He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.”
On verses 26-30: These verses describe the benefits that flow into your life when you treat the Lord as your greatest gold and most precious treasure:
your heart will be satisfied (“find delight”) (v26)
you will have confidence and security in your relationship with God (“lift up your face to God”) (v26)
you will have a powerful and active prayer life (“You will pray to Him and He will hear you”) (v27)
you will have power to live the life God made you to live (“fulfill your vows”) (v27)
you will walk in authority and there will be resoluteness in your decisions (“What you decide will be done”) (v28)
God’s favour will be with you (“light will shine on all your ways”) (v28)
God will use you to help the hurting (v29) and to lead sinners to righteousness (v30).
When I read verses 26 to 30, I see a good description of the life of Jesus, in particular verse 30: “He will deliver even one who is not innocent, who will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.” It is through the cleanness of Jesus’ hands, that guilty sinners like us have been delivered. It wasn’t through the cleanness of our own hands that we can enter God’s presence or experience His deliverance. It is through the cleanness of Jesus’ hands. Heavenly Father, I surrender to You and Your plans today. Your ways are so much higher than mine. Teach me to see things as You see them. You are my greatest gold, my choicest silver, my most precious treasure. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!