Job 34 & 2 Corinthians 4

Job 34

    Then Elihu answered and said:

    “Hear my words, you wise men,
        and give ear to me, you who know;
    for the ear tests words
        as the palate tastes food.
    Let us choose what is right;
        let us know among ourselves what is good.
    For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
        and God has taken away my right;
    in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
        my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
    What man is like Job,
        who drinks up scoffing like water,
    who travels in company with evildoers
        and walks with wicked men?
    For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
        that he should take delight in God.’
    “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
        far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
        and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
    For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
        and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
    Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
        and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
    Who gave him charge over the earth,
        and who laid on him the whole world?
    If he should set his heart to it
        and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
    all flesh would perish together,
        and man would return to dust.
    “If you have understanding, hear this;
        listen to what I say.
    Shall one who hates justice govern?
        Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
    who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
        and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
    who shows no partiality to princes,
        nor regards the rich more than the poor,
        for they are all the work of his hands?
    In a moment they die;
        at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
        and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
    “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
        and he sees all his steps.
    There is no gloom or deep darkness
        where evildoers may hide themselves.
    For God has no need to consider a man further,
        that he should go before God in judgment.
    He shatters the mighty without investigation
        and sets others in their place.
    Thus, knowing their works,
        he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
    He strikes them for their wickedness
        in a place for all to see,
    because they turned aside from following him
        and had no regard for any of his ways,
    so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
        and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
    When he is quiet, who can condemn?
        When he hides his face, who can behold him,
        whether it be a nation or a man?—
    that a godless man should not reign,
        that he should not ensnare the people.
    “For has anyone said to God,
        ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
    teach me what I do not see;
        if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
    Will he then make repayment to suit you,
        because you reject it?
    For you must choose, and not I;
        therefore declare what you know.
    Men of understanding will say to me,
        and the wise man who hears me will say:
    ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
        his words are without insight.’
    Would that Job were tried to the end,
        because he answers like wicked men.
    For he adds rebellion to his sin;
        he claps his hands among us
        and multiplies his words against God.”

(Job 34 ESV)

2 Corinthians 4

    Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

    Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

(2 Corinthians 4 ESV)

2 Corinthians 4: Our response to adversity reveals the authenticity of our faith and reflects the awesome power of our God. The apostle Paul refuses to let affliction drive him to despair because he knows that pressing forward in the midst of persecution will only help to advance this ministry that he now mediates through the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3). The truth of the gospel enables us to endure adversity, reflect the power of God and rest assured in the hope that no matter what, we will one day experience the resurrection and glory promised by our Lord who’s gone before us. 

So if we were to take the time to heavily consider what we already possess and what we’ve been promised, why would we let momentary adversity in this life devastate or destroy our entire livelihood? May we not dwell upon the things that we currently see before us but rather continually contemplate the things we haven’t seen yet. Life in this world may throw its heavy burdens upon us, but we must remember that this life is the mere preparation for the eternal weight of glory that will be beyond comparison.