“If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.” (Job 8:6-7) It is unfortunate how the book of Job is degraded in religious circles. 42 chapters of Divinely inspired insight into the ways and purposes of God reduced to a grossly ill-informed summary that, more or less says, “God beats you up to fix you up.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, just as we quote Job, who said, “The Lord gives, the Lord takes away” we invest in the same ignorance that God, Himself, sharply rebuked Job for. God makes it evident to Job how vast his mindless thinking has become when He asks, “Who is this who clouds wisdom by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2)
And so it is when anyone blames God for the unfortunate nature of their present circumstance. But the opening verse of this devotional lays out an answer for you and I as we seek increase. “If” is an invasive word. “If” demands examination. And in this statement from the scripture, it takes an accusatory position: “IF YOU were pure and upright.” This examination determines the reason behind the sudden diminishing of Job’s wealth. Shockingly, the reason is laid on Job himself. But what is more intriguing about the nature of these two verses is that they simultaneously deal with the past, present, and future.
When exploring the scripture, we find that this is actually an exercise of grace. Ephesians 2:4,5,7… “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we WERE (past) dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are SAVED (present)…That in the ages to COME (future) he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” This short passage is perhaps the most well-known in the bible regarding the subject of grace. And though it is dealing with the grace for salvation, it is also laying out for us a pattern by which grace operates. Looking at our opening verses one more time from the light of grace’s pattern… “If thou WERT (past) pure and upright; surely NOW (present) He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end SHOULD (future) greatly increase.” Grace examines us. It examines what was wrong, interjects a present solution, and establishes a future blessing.
Personal Prayer Point:
“Father, prepare me for increase. Clothe me with the grace necessary to increase in the place you have called me to.”
Scripture to Stand On:
(Psalm 119:124 — Psalm 23:2-3 — Job 8:6-7)
Corporate Prayer Point:
“Father, examine us by Your grace. And fit each of us together into the role you’ve called us to in the church, to supply to the vision of this ministry with our gifts and talents. Edify and build up this body.”
Scripture to Stand On:
(Ephesians 4:16 — Colossians 2:2 — 1 Corinthians 12:14-27)