In the thought of one who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip. (ESV Job 12:5)
Isn’t it easy to see this in our society – those who are well off judging those who are not? It is Sound of Music theology, “somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” At least it is a view that sees justice at work in our world; that a just God rules over the nations. But the sad reality of this kind of thinking is that the well off do not see their own depravity. We tend to think that since we are doing okay, we must be okay in the eyes of God, and thus have a basis to judge others without condemning ourselves. But the reality is that all of us deserve far worse than we receive, even if evil and suffering is the what we receive. The only thing that separates the fortunate from the unfortunate is the hand of God. Job goes on to say this,
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; (ESV Job 13:15)
Thus it is not our own goodness that is our hope, but God alone. Job understands the essence of the gospel – that salvation can only come from God. Admittedly is it sometimes hard to pull out of the book of Job, as Job’s friends spend their words connecting God’s rescue from calamity to a man’s own good works. But Job’s friends are constantly being rebuked, first by Job and then by God. Thus, salvation and favor from God must come out of God’s mercy and grace.
What is your first thought about those begging on the street, or those in the occupy movement, or those who are simply out of work?
Ask God to give you compassion on the human condition, even toward the sinner (because that is what you are).
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Job 10-13, Ps 6