Knowing God (Job 18:21) - Radical

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Knowing God (Job 18:21)

Surely such are the dwellings of the unrighteous, such is the place of him who knows not God.
– Job 18:21

This is the last verse and this chapter from Bildad. This supposed friend of Job says over and over again that what Job is experiencing is because of Job’s wickedness. We know this is not true. Yes, we know Job is not perfect, no one is but Jesus. But God and His Word have made it very clear in this story that what happened to Job was not a result of his wickedness. That job was righteous before the Lord.

Job 18:21 reminds us that suffering is a reality for those who walk with God.

Here’s why this is so important, Bildad and these other friends are assuming they know that when someone goes through suffering, it’s because of sin in their lives. And there’s a theology that’s very prevalent around the world that says the same thing, that if you obey God, you honor God, you worship God, then things will go well for you.

If you disobey God, then things will not go well for you. And there’s obviously truth to both those statements in a sense like yes, sin has consequences when we disobey God, and yes, it leads us away from the one who gives life. And yes, when you obey God, you are walking with the one who gives life. But that does not mean that life will be easy in this world. It does not mean that everything this world offers will go well for you and be favorable to you. Jesus shows us that with his life and with all that he says and what we see all throughout the New Testament, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. That’s 2 Timothy 3:12. Suffering is a reality for those who walk with God. It’s all over the Bible.

Job 18:21 reminds us to trust God even when things are falling apart.

And so I just want to encourage us, one, to resist trite explanations of suffering in people’s lives and ultimately to resist a message of false gospel that says, if you follow God, everything will go well for you in this world, and prosperity will come your way. The reality is when you follow God, it will likely be harder for you in this world, and you can expect to experience suffering, challenges, and opposition. And yet in the middle of it all, you can know what Job knows and is holding fast to. God is good, that God is great, that God is just, and his justice, his goodness, his greatness, and his righteousness will be in the end, which means you can trust him even when things are falling apart.

Even when things are falling apart because you are walking with God. So God, I pray this reality over all of our lives that every one of us would resist the temptation to think that just because we follow you, everything in this world would go well for us. God, we pray you would help us to follow you, and hold fast to you, especially when things in this world are not going well for us, even when the gifts are gone or are not there in the same way they once were.

This verse encourages us to hold fast to God and His Word.

We pray that you would help us to hold fast to you as the Giver of all good gifts, and we pray that you would help us to proclaim the good news, a far better news, a far better gospel than things going well in a world that will not last. We pray that you’d help us to proclaim the gospel, that you are the Giver of all good gifts, and that through Jesus we can be reconciled to you and we can have you in such a way that no matter what happens to us in this world, we have hope and strength and joy and confidence, and we have eternal life.

Prayer for the Turk People

All glory be to your name for the true gospel. We pray you’d help us to hold faster and help us to proclaim it. Help us to proclaim it all over the world. God, we pray for Turk men and women and children all across Turkey and spread throughout other countries in the world. God, so many Turkish men and women and children who don’t know you, who’ve never even heard the good news of Jesus in their lives, God, we pray that they would be reached with it. We pray for every single individual among the 3.2 billion people in the world today who don’t have this hope.

We don’t want to have this gospel who’s never even heard this gospel. Please God, use our lives to cause this gospel, the gospel of you, the gospel, that you are better than everything in this world put together, that you have loved us and sent your son Jesus to die for us to reconcile us to yourself. God, we pray this good news would spread to all the peoples of the world, including Turks all over the world. Let we pray this in Jesus name, in light of your Word in Job 18:21.

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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