Can We Be Pure? (Job 15:14) - Radical

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Can We Be Pure? (Job 15:14)

What is man that he can be pure or he who is born of a woman that he can be righteous?
– Job 15:14

So this is another statement from one of Job’s friends, speaking truth, but applying it, unhelpfully and in a sense, inappropriately, falsely because his friends keep telling Job that what he’s experiencing is a direct result of some sin in him and not just in him, that what his kids experienced in their death was a direct result of some sin they committed against God, which is not true.

Job 15:14 emphasizes the fallen, sinful nature of human beings.

At the same time, what Eliphaz here is asking is a good question, “What is man that he can be pure or he who is born of a woman that he can be righteous?” Eliphaz is pointing to the sinfulness of human beings, including Job and his children and all of us. So how do we process this?

I want to encourage you, when you think about suffering in your life, when you think about experiencing tragedy, yes, there are times when sin in our lives directly leads to suffering in our lives or sin can lead to tragedy. Sin always leads to dark places. And so there are times when that is true, when our suffering is a result of sin either in our lives or sin done against us. At the same time, there are other times when suffering in our lives is not a direct result of a particular sin in our lives.

Always be on guard against that kind of theology that says, “Okay, if I have cancer or if I’m walking through this trial. If I’m experiencing this tragedy, then I’ve somehow sinned.” That’s not necessarily true. And even still, yes, suffering, and tragedy, these things are ultimately a result of sin in the world.

Things in the world are not as they should be. We experience suffering and tragedy ultimately because of sin in the world. And here’s where the gospel speaks to all of that because, in the gospel, God has sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for the sins of all who trust in him to rise from the grave and victory over sin and death for everyone who trusts in Jesus.

Job 15:14 leads us to the hope found in the person of Christ.

So this is where our hope is found. When we experience suffering as a direct result of our sin, we can know that that suffering will not be the end of our story. That forgiveness from God is the end of our story and victory over sin and death for us who are in Christ will be the end of our story. And when we experience suffering that has nothing to do with a specific sin in our lives, we can know that that suffering will not be the end of our story.

We can know that we will have victory over the suffering we are walking through, ultimately because of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross for us, and the resurrection of Jesus from the grave. Job 15:14, “What is man that he can be pure or he was born of a woman, that he can be righteous?” We can be pure. We can be righteous.

One day, we will be clothed and the very righteousness of Jesus himself because of the gospel. And so we pray… God, all glory be to your name for the gospel, for the good news of your love, for us. Jesus, we praise you that sin and suffering will not be the end of our story through trust in you. We praise you for your forgiveness. Even when we experience the consequences of sin in this world, we praise you that the ultimate consequence of sin, death itself has been defeated on our behalf.

This verse reminds us that in Jesus we can be clothed in righteousness.

We praise you for your forgiveness, for clothing us in your righteousness. God, we praise you… Because when we walk through suffering due to sin and evil generally in the world going back to Genesis 3… We know that that’s not the end of our story. We’re created for another world, a new heaven, and a new earth. There, sin will be no more. Sorrow will be no more. Cancer and tumors and tragedies will be no more.

We long for that day, come Lord Jesus. We pray that you would help us to hold fast to you in purity and righteousness until that day. And to proclaim this good news to share it with other people around us today. God, help us to share the gospel and the power of your Holy Spirit with someone today… How they can be made pure and righteous through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Prayer for the Gil Bedouin People

And God, we pray for people who’ve never even heard this good news. God, we pray specifically today for the Gil Bedouin people of Morocco… 50,000 of them, no known followers of Jesus in the Algerian Saharan. God we pray, please cause the gospel… The good news of your love to spread to the Gil Bedouin of Morocco… That they might be made pure and righteous before you, through your love for them in Jesus. Help us raise up laborers to go into the harvest field for the spread of your gospel… For your glory, your hope, your righteousness in the Gil Bedouin people. We pray all of this according to your word in Job 15:14… As sons and daughters, men and women… Children of yours who have been made pure and righteous by the blood of Jesus. In His name, we pray, Amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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