Job opens his reply to Eliphaz’s strong, false accusations with a declared confidence in his standing before God.
Job dos not claim here to know precisely why God is doing this in his life. He just knows that if he could speak to God and hear His Word on the matter, He would not accuse Job as Eliphaz has. At a minimum, Job knows it is God Who is trying/testing him and all will result in Job’s purification – he will come out as gold.
As Job continues, it is clear, this truth does not remove the pain. What he is experiencing and suffering is real and it is painful. He is under a thick darkness. Yet he is able to confess confident faith in the midst of this darkness because he trusts in the character and purposes of God.
Peter says something very similar in 1 Peter 1:3-9
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
In the Ancient world a goldsmith would place all of the materials – rock, etc. mixed with gold – into a large cauldron and heat the contents until everything would melt and the dross would float to the top. He would then scrape off the dross, while applying more heat. This process would continue until all the dross was removed and what was left was the purest gold he could achieve. One of the tests to determine if the process was complete and if the gold was purified from impurities, is he would look into the cauldron. When he could see his reflection in the molten, liquid gold he knew it was complete.
Job knew God was at work purifying him. God holds one hand on the thermostat and another on the timer. He knows exactly how hot and for how long we need to be under the heat of any and all of the trials He designs for us as He seeks to burn away all our dross leaving us reflecting the image of His Son!
As Job and Peter both expressed. This process is painful. Yet in the midst of the pain, we can have a living hope and know an inexplicable joy when we rejoice in the salvation that is ours because of the new birth we have been given in Christ.
To God be the glory, great things He has done and is doing!
Soli Deo Gloria
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