Lent Devotional: Job 22
by Jonathan Haefs
Job 22 (click here)
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up; if you remove injustice far from your tents, 24 if you lay gold in the dust, and gold of Ophir among the stones of the torrent-bed, 25 then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver. 26 For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty and lift up your face to God. (Job 22:23-26)
With these words, Eliphaz reveals the root problem with his (and Job’s other friends) theology. We’ve already seen that he has a “transaction” based theology. In other words, do good and God does good to you. Do bad and God does bad to you. This is the exact belief system that Satan assumed Job had in chapters 1-2.
Yet, right here, in chapter 22, Eliphaz reveals the ultimate problem created by such a “transactional” faith. He tells Job that if he will repent and return to the Lord he will be built back up… i.e. God will bless him with wealth, health, and favorable circumstances again. Then come his words in verse 25… and it is the kicker…
Once Job returns and is built back up, THEN God will become his treasure. Eliphaz believes that God is treasured through things. This could not be further from the truth! This is a treasuring of things… not of God! It is a treasuring of gifts… not the giver! Eliphaz cannot imagine a scenario in which God is treasured when all the gifts are gone.
Job is struggling with what God is doing in his life, but he has not let go of God, because he understands what it truly means to have God as treasure… to love him more than any of the possessions or people in your life… to treasure him more than your own health. If God is not our treasure amidst pain, he will never be our treasure amidst pleasure. We, like Eliphaz, will deceive ourselves into believing that we delight in God when, in reality, all we delight in are his gifts.
*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.