Blessed Is the One Whom God Corrects?

Ben Van Arragon

Read: Job 4:1-6; 5:17-27

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” (4:1; 5:17 NIV)

A few years ago, I attended a preaching conference based on the promise of “customized, personal sermon evaluation.” An expert preacher examined my most recent sermons, told me what I was doing well, and instructed me on what I could improve. Of course, I assumed this expert would spend most of the time telling me what I was doing well. I was wrong. It was a helpful, if not entirely happy, experience.

Job’s friends try to be helpful. The first friend, Eliphaz, helps the way you and I might: by telling Job what he needs to improve. Eliphaz says, “Job, lighten up. God is clearly telling you you’re doing something wrong. Just figure out what it is, change it, and move on.”

But Eliphaz is wrong. He turns God’s correction into condemnation. When God corrects, he does not crush. In fact, God provided someone else to be crushed in our place: Jesus our Savior, of whom the prophet Isaiah said, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory” (Matt. 12:20 NIV). Because Jesus was crushed on our behalf, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Do not fear God’s condemnation. Trust that his good purposes are at work, even in your worst struggles. —Ben Van Arragon

Prayer: Precious Jesus, thank you for receiving God’s condemnation, so that I may receive his love.