Too Much of a Good Thing

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Job 6:1-4; 7:17-21

Then Job answered and said: . . . “What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment?” (7:17-18)

The deities of Greek mythology are capricious beings driven by human desires and passions. In these myths, gods treat humans as playthings and pawns. The human characters are better off if the gods keep their distance. Things are different in the Bible, where the one true God presents himself as humanity’s first love. Humans are created with the innate desire for God to be close.

But now we are fallen creatures full of sin and rebellion. Our instinct is to fear God. As Isaiah says, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and . . . my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isa. 6:5). We do not want to be close to God. As Job’s story unfolds, he expresses the pain of God’s proximity and the suffering caused by God’s scrutiny. In desperation Job asks God to give him space.

Can we live with the possibility of God’s proximity? Can anyone withstand the just judgment of Almighty God? The apostle Paul points to our hope—Jesus Christ: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). We can only bear God’s closeness because he covers us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. —Ben Van Arragon

Prayer: Almighty God—perfect in judgment and perfect in love—thank you for Jesus, who gives me his righteousness.