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Job, typical of Israel

The paradox of Job is: why does a "righteous" person need to repent?

Consider the typical teaching of the Book of Job as a prelude to answering that question:

  1. Job 1:4,5: Job diligently offers sacrifice for himself and his children. Does his trust in these sacrifices, and his own righteous life, rather than God's promises of mercy and forgiveness through the Abrahamic covenant, repr the same mistake of self-righteousness that Israel makes?
  2. Job clams to be righteous because he has kept a set of laws perfectly (Job 31). Cp Israel in Rom 9:31; 10:3. But no man can save himself by his own righteous deeds only: Gal 3:1-9; Rom 11:8-12; 1Co 1:23; Rom 4:1-8; Gal 2:15,16.
  3. Job tries to justify himself rather than God (Job 27:1,2; 9:20,21). Likewise, with Israel: Eze 18:25; 33:17; Jer 2:23,29.
  4. Job's incurable wound (Job 9:17; 34:6). Israel's incurable wound: Jer 10:17-20.
  5. Job a witness (Job 16:7-14). Israel as a witness (Isa 43:10; 44:8,9).
  6. God is a witness against Job (Job 10:17). God is a witness against Israel (Jer 29:23; Mic 1:1-3).
  7. Both Job and Israel long for an arbitrator, but there is no one (Job 9:32-35; Jer 30:13).
  8. Job pleads with God, but seems to receive no response (Job 16:20,21; 30:20-26). Likewise, with Israel (Jer 3:21; Eze 36:37; Amo 8:11,12; Hos 3:4,5).
  9. Finally, God speaks to Job (Job 38-41). Likewise, with Israel (Isa 54:7,8; Mic 7:9; Eze 20:35-38).
When Job finally repents of his self-justification, and realizes that only God can deliver him, then he is once again blessed by God, and that even more abundantly than before (Job 42). Likewise, Israel will do the same (Isa 59:20; Zec 12:1-14).

Job thus becomes a witness to the righteousness and blessings of God, to all his neighbors round about -- and a means by which they in turn might draw closer to God (Job 42:7-9).

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