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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

YOU CAN SAVE YoURSELF

Job 40:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

From the initial chapters of this book, we find God allowing Job to be punished severely by Satan. His three "friends" try to convince him that such punishment had to be due to sins that he had committed. There are a number of accusations brought by Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz. Job refuted each accusation. In each case, the friends were unable to win their arguments.

As these accusations came to an end, a new character was introduced in Chapter 32 - Elihu. All we know about this person is revealed in these few chapters. He was the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram. Scholars indicate he was a descendant of Nahor the brother of Abraham. However, in these passages, Elihu appears to be the moderator of the discussion between Job and his friends.

Elihu berates the friends for condemning Job (Job 32:3). He also brought an accusation against Job. He quotes Job as saying, I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me (Job 33:9). This, Elihu indicates, was an irreverent expression - one that showed the self-righteous side of Job. This side of Job can be noted in his own self-descriptions. In Chapter 29, we find Job describing the time when he sat at the gate to the city and the young and old showed their respect to him. Even the princes and nobles respected his wisdom. He says that he caused the widow's heart to sing for joy, was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, and he comforted the mourners. Job said, Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel (Job 29:21).

Job was a good man. All seem to agree to this point. However, Job appeared to be caught up in the praise and accolades of men, to the extent that he felt powerfully righteous - even self-righteous. A self-righteous person is one that, in his own opinion, is right, godly and moral. This seemed to have beenthe attitude of Job.

The lesson text brings this point home to Job. Was Job's righteousness sufficient to save himself! Then, with the beginning of the lesson text is in Chapter 38 we find God clipping Job's righteous wings. God says to Job, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? (Job 38:4). If you are so mighty, let me see you make the earth. What holds it up? Job, can you create stars, clouds, and seas? Can you cause morning, evening, and night to come upon the Earth; cause thunder, lightening, rain, snow, frost and hail to occur. Can you provide food for the animals, birds and fishes? Can you set the time for the animals to deliver their young? Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? (Job 39:26-27).

These, and many other examples, God enumerated to show Job how insignificant he really was. God then said to Job, if you can do these things, Then will I confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee. Indeed Job was a good man - a righteous man. He accomplished much and received the praise of men. Job did many things, but one thing he could not do wassave himself. Our Maker and the Creator of the heavens, the earth, and all things therein, is God. Only God can save mankind.

Job learned that his righteous works could not save him. Paul tells us today, through his instructions to Titus, that our salvation is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7). Reader, understand this: regardless of how knowledgeable you are, or how successful or powerful youbecome while here on earth, you cannot save yourself. Salvation can be found only by submitting yourself to God, and becoming obedient to His will. Salvation is found in God's grace through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!