Passage of the Day: Job 12 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Don’t you just love our hero, Job! And what Job brings to the table in Chapter 12 is a model for any who’ve had to deal with the contentions or claims of legalists, … those who claim that they have a corner on understanding and wisdom but who represent darkness and doubt. And that is what Job had to listen to in the previous diatribe by Zophar and his other so-called “friends.”
Chuck Swindoll points out that LEGALISM often presents its ugly head in the form of cohorts of believers who act like bullies on the playground trying to take over the basketball court by intimidation. And it’s always interesting to see that a few loud bullies can draw a crowd of weaklings to themselves; and they can take over the playground unless someone is willing to stand up to them.
And that’s exactly what Job did here in Chapter 12; and don’t you just love the sarcasm of his open rebuke of Zophar, where he says, poetically and powerfully, in verse 1, “No doubt you are the people, … And wisdom will die with you!” And then Job goes about taking a stand up for what he believes is truth; and that is what we are commanded to do in God’s word by 1st Peter 3: 15 … to have an answer for those who challenge the truth of God’s word or misrepresent His truth. Now, I don’t exactly know if Job’s retort of Zophar fit into the latter part of Peter’s exhortation to confront our adversaries in “meekness.” However, he did have an answer for his three friends who were trying to place the legalists finger-pointing blame on Job, questioning his faith and his past life.
But as we can read here in today’s passage, Job didn’t let the legalists have their day. And I love the word picture Swindoll presents in explaining the importance of not letting legalistic bullies have their way. He says legalists are like roaches. They crawl around in the darkness and proliferate by feeding on the ooze of distrust and misunderstanding with gossip and half-truths. And if they are not brought out and confronted with the light of truth, they will gain strength and numbers. But Job, in Chapter 12, gave these three bully boys a dose of truth and light with his argument that God is the source of all truth; and that even when the circumstances of life seem out of control, God is in complete control. And Job shined the light on these roaches in the darkness of innuendo and doubt with forcefulness and truthfulness.
And Swindoll is right by extending the word picture of legalist bullies. When they are confronted with the light, you will see them run and hide. And that is when you often see splits in churches which are caused by legalists who, when they can’t get their way, will take their numbers and run to another church with their dogma of doubt and despair. But God will bless those who stand for right and righteousness, which is what good Christians must do when they are confronted by legalism in the church. And Job becomes a good model for this by his arguments today.
So, my friend, when you are confronted by the darkness of legalism, stand for God’s truth with love and with as much gentleness as God’s grace can give you; BUT … STAND and be heard and counted for truth. For, dear one, the light always dispels the darkness; and God’s will, which is found in His word, will always help the believer find God’s way to lead his people through that “valley of the shadow of death.”
My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to shine Your light into the darkness of misunderstanding and doubt. Amen