He opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity.
He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.Job 36:10&15
I have been enjoying my reading through Job the last few weeks. It is a difficult book in a lot of ways, but there is some really challenging wisdom in these passages and I want to be careful to think through them all. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have caught all of it due to our covid-19 challenges, but I will try to at least capture the verses I missed earlier this week.
What have I learned this week?
- Christ is not only with me, but is in me. He dwells within me in my heart. The temple of his presence is my heart.
- That I “conceal transgressions by hiding iniquity in my heart”. This creates the tension I feel of having Christ in me alongside my secret sin. This does not and can not work. Light and dark cannot both reside together.
- Job’s failure was that he justified himself rather than God.
- Christ has redeemed my soul.
- Adversity and Affliction are the avenues of deliverance for this soul trapped by sin and iniquity. He opens my ears and delivers me.
See how they all fit together. My heart is the centerpiece of God’s glorious mystery. His gospel message is that Christ resides in my heart. Not only resides, but dwells there. There’s a permanence to this in that he lives fully in my heart. My heart has become a temple where the presence of the Lord now dwells like the days of old. Jesus lives in me and with me. There’s a union of our spirits.
Which is why it is all the more important that I fight against sin and temptation. My heart is prone to follow after my eyes and harbor secret sin within the very place my God and Savior dwells. By doing this, I become more and more numb to my sin. I justify myself and my actions. I make excuses for sin in my heart and convince myself that it’s natural and normal for it to be there.
But God does not see it that way. He has redeemed my soul from the pit. He has entered into my heart and brought the light of Christ to bear on my soul. There can be no double mindedness in a heart where Jesus is dwelling. So he brings adversity into my life. This adversity opens my ears and brings to my attention the seriousness of sin and the consequences for not dealing with it before my merciful God. He delivers me in this adversity through affliction. The pain and shame and guilt are an alert that calls attention to the seriousness of my failure. That if I don’t turn from the sin that is concealed in my heart, it will draw me away from Christ and I will leave my Savior forever.
So this adversity and affliction are beautiful. Just as the storm is beautiful to witness from afar, so is adversity and affliction. It’s easy to lose sight of this beauty in the midst of the storm. It’s easy to see the pain and heartache. But I must always remember that this is my deliverance. Jesus learned obedience through suffering. Should I expect any less? Should I expect to be pain and sorrow free? Of course not. If the Spirit is alive in my through Christ and my soul is in union with my Savior, then there will be conflict with my flesh. There will be adversity and trials. Sometimes this adversity is due to my sin and sometimes it is an opportunity to prove my character. In all of it, there is always an opportunity to give glory to Christ alone.
Journal Entry // January 09, 2021