To his friends who maintain his suffering is because of sin, Job says, “I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.” (Job 27:6, ESV) “As long as my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, my lips will not speak falsehood, and my tongue will not utter deceit. Far be it from me to say that you are right; til I die I will not put away my integrity.” (Job 27:3-5)
Job rather indicates that God ignores the wicked “when distress comes upon [them].” (Job 27:9) Now he believes he must be one of their number in God’s sight. “Oh that I were in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me, when His lamp shone over my head, and by His light I walked through darkness, as I was in my prime, when the friendship of God was upon my tent.” (Job 29:2-4)
Job argues that God is unfair. God is treating him like He treats the wicked, allowing the forces of nature and the will of men to bring calamities against him as if he were one of the godless. “Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves… This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:” (Job 29:12-13) “For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life? Will God hear his cry?” (Job 29:8-9)
Job argues, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; and I searched out the cause of him I did not know. I broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made him drop his prey from his teeth… Men listened to me and waited and kept silence for my counsel. After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them.” (Job 29:14-17,21-22)
Lord God, thank You for this picture of Jesus — of His complete righteousness, of His total integrity — as He faced Your wrath on the Cross of Calvary. Thank You for this reminder of how deep the agony must have run as You treated Him as one of the wicked and of how much He did not deserve this treatment. Give us Your Spirit; help us to love and follow You all the days of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, amen.