But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. Job 19:25 (NLT)
Last night I got together with some ladies and the conversation turned to a funeral that one had recently attended. She shared that the person who gave the service talked about how everyone should straighten up their life and get it together because they were all going to die.
I am sure those were not the exact words but that is what most people came walked away hearing. Do you think that is what people think of God? That he’s up there, looking for ways to punish us for our mistakes? Ready to pounce at the first flub up?
Job’s friends thought that. When he was going through some really tough life situations, they sat around and said things like:
You must have done something wrong and you get what you deserve.
Think about it….you messed up somewhere. Why else would this be happening to you?
God punishes people through bad circumstances.
This is always how it’s been Job, why do you think you are any different?
There is a lot of back and forth with Job’s friends saying these things and Job, although he is frustrated and is asking God for answers, keeps saying “No, no, no! This is not the God I know. He says that his Redeemer is alive and well and he will overcome.”
Satan has painted a picture of this kind of God. The God who is sitting in Heaven looking down and trying to catch us at something bad so he can swiftly exact punishment to teach us a lesson. This is not the God the Bible represents.
How precious is your unfailing love, O God! Psalm 36:7
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:9-10
This is the God we serve. He gave His Son so that we could come and live with him forever. When God looks at you, he sees Jesus. When he looks at you, he is overcome with love. Where did this idea that God is only out to punish us come from? Ask yourself. Who would benefit from your belief that God is bad? There is only one. And he’s wrong. Dead wrong.