Job 35 & 2 Corinthians 5

Job 35

    And Elihu answered and said:

    “Do you think this to be just?
        Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
    that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
        How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
    I will answer you
        and your friends with you.
    Look at the heavens, and see;
        and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
    If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
        And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
    If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
        Or what does he receive from your hand?
    Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
        and your righteousness a son of man.
    “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
        they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.
    But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
        who gives songs in the night,
    who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
        and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
    There they cry out, but he does not answer,
        because of the pride of evil men.
    Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
        nor does the Almighty regard it.
    How much less when you say that you do not see him,
        that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
    And now, because his anger does not punish,
        and he does not take much note of transgression,
    Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
        he multiplies words without knowledge.”

(Job 35 ESV)

2 Corinthians 5

    For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

    So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

    Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

    From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

(2 Corinthians 5 ESV)

2 Corinthians 5: As the apostle Paul focuses on the eternal state that we are currently waiting for in faith, he essentially tells us that his aim in this life is pleasing God and persuading others. Although he’d rather be taken out of this world and into the eternal presence of our Lord, he understands the meaning and purpose of his life, and he carries out this purpose knowing that soon enough he will be standing face to face before our Lord in judgement.   

Do we truly understand and embrace our reason and purpose for living in this world? Do we live our lives with our eyes fixed on the eternal state that God has in store for us? How much do we contemplate that inexplainable moment that we are standing face to face before our Lord? 

Knowing that we will stand before the Lord and knowing that some of our friends around us may stand before Him unreconciled in their relationship with Him, we ought to be making it our aim in life to please God and to persuade others. Therefore, as ambassadors for Christ, may we plead with others on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. May the gospel motivate us and the Spirit move us as we remember and reveal to others the way in which for our sake God made Christ our Lord to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might be made righteous and reconciled to God.