Resist Temptation (Job 36:21) - Radical

Resist Temptation (Job 36:21)

“Take care. Do not turn to inequity. For this, you have chosen rather than affliction.”
-Job 36:21

I want to lead us to pray according to this verse, because of this council that is given to Job in the middle of his suffering, “Take care, do not turn to inequity.” So these miserable comforters in the Book of Job have constantly said, “Job you’re suffering because of your sin.” And we know that’s not specifically why Job was suffering. That was clear to us in Job one and two God makes that clear to us. At the same time, there is definitely a temptation in the middle of suffering to turn to inequity, to turn to sin. We certainly saw that in Job in the very beginning when he did not sin with his lips, when all of these horrible things were happening in his life, and to his kids, and with his wife, and his health, he didn’t turn to sin.

Job 36:21 Reminds Us of the Temptation to Turn from God

But we should realize that when we walk through suffering, even innocent suffering, suffering not due to some particular sin in our lives, there is so much temptation to sin in the midst of our suffering. To turn away from God and to not trust God. To think thoughts about God, or say things about God that are not true. Even just to rebel against God. This is one thing we need to pray for in our lives, and to pray for in others lives when they walk through suffering, or when we walk through suffering that God would help us to take care. Not to turn to in inequity.

Job 36:21 Tells Us Suffering is Not Always Directly Because of Our Sin

And think about it this way. Yes, some suffering we experience in this world is not directly because of specific sin in our lives. At the same time, all suffering in this world is ultimately a result of what in this world? It’s all ultimately a result of sin. Sin, from the very beginning, Genesis three introduced into this world has led to the suffering and pain and grief and hardship, and death that we experience in this world. Ultimately then, even if we are suffering not because of some specific sin in our lives, our suffering should still cause us to hate sin all the more.

This is another one of God’s good purposes in suffering. We’ve prayed in different podcast episodes, according to God’s purpose, to refine our faith, and teach us to rely on him. And I would say that even when our suffering is not because of some specific sin in our lives, God still is using suffering to lead us to hate sin, to repent of any and all sin in our lives, to renounce sin in our lives, to take care that we don’t turn to inequity.

Job 36:21 Warns Us of Dealing with Sin Casually

If we walk through suffering, and we are still casual with sin in our lives, then we’ve missed part of the point. Suffering is intended, ultimately, to cause us all to hate sin in this world, and hate sin in our lives, and to take care that we run from it. So God made be so in each of our lives today, help us to take care not to turn to inequity. God, whether we’re going through good days or hard days, we pray this.

Help us to take care, to be vigilant, to run from sin and temptation today, to trust your good commands in our lives, to trust your law, to trust your love for us, and to walk in obedience to you. In God we pray, especially for those who are walking through suffering and difficulty. Pain, grief, whatever the valley might be, help them especially to take care not to turn to inequity. God, even in the valley, help us to hate sin all the more. To run to righteousness, even in the middle of our suffering. Especially in the middle of our suffering.

Jesus, we praise you for your purity, and for your holiness in your suffering, and going to the cross, in your submission to the father’s will, and your trust in the father’s goodness. Even as you are suffering, God, may it be so in our lives. Help us to take care that we don’t turn to inequity. In Jesus name we pray, according to those words in Job’s 36:21. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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