Sunday, September 25, 2016

Dial Daily Bread: Job and the 144,000

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

This week, millions of Christians will begin studying the story of Mr. and Mrs. Job--probably the oldest book in the world, written by Moses when he was exiled in Midian for 40 years. There is similarity between this story and the last book of the Bible, the Revelation.

The story of Job tells of a man who was "blameless," a man whom God declared several times as "upright," who refused evil. Revelation climaxes with the story of a corporate group of people who are likewise described as "without fault before the throne of God" who "follow the Lamb [the crucified Christ] wherever He goes" (14:5, 4).

This idea of perfection of character is intriguing; the entire human race as the descendants of the fallen Adam are repeatedly described as by-nature sinners ("all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Rom. 3:23; "there is none righteous, no, not one," vs. 10, KJV).

The idea is not that Job was immaculately sinless, sinless in nature; the idea is that God accepted him as blameless in character. Likewise, the Bible idea is not that the "144,000" are sinless in nature or immaculately, physically perfect (for example, who claims that Jesus Christ when He was a carpenter never bent a nail?). But they are "upright," they still have a sinful nature but they have "overcome even as [Christ] overcame" while burdened with a sinful nature inherited from Adam.

In other words, Job and the 144,000 share the joy of learning to surrender self to be "crucified with Christ" (Gal. 2:20). As such, they are privileged to honor God in a cosmic crisis when He is on trial in the most severe litigation imaginable in the universe: the issue is whether He, the Lord, is worthy to continue as the sovereign Ruler of the universe.

We have long understood "the hour of [God's] judgment" in Revelation 14:6, 7 as the hour when He judges you and me; now enters the book of Job with the idea that it is God Himself who is on trial before the universe. And poor humble Job ends up with the task of defending Him in court.

He succeeds; he defends the Lord of glory. But now in the end of time, the great controversy between Christ and Satan can not be successfully concluded until this corporate body of people from the last weak end of the human race, after 6000 years of desperate sin and moral failure, again defend Him on the witness stand by demonstrating the same "blamelessness" that Job demonstrated. Again they prove Satan wrong! Come, join them in court.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: August 30, 2007.
Copyright © 2016 by "Dial Daily Bread."



This week many of you are beginning to study the new Sabbath School quarterly on "The book of Job." For those who are not already receiving "Sabbath School Today" (SST) we would like to invite you to subscribe (SST is free). You will receive weekly essays on the lessons; some of the essays are prepared from the writings of Robert J. Wieland, author of "Dial Daily Bread."

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