Being Right Before God

Truly I know it is so, but how can a man be righteous before God?”—Job 9:2 (NKJV)

Out of his perplexed pain Job asks the rhetorical question, “How can a man be righteous before God?” As with all rhetorical questions, a statement is actually being made . . .

Keep in mind, this is a direct answer to his friend Bildad, who had just run down a list of all the “good” ways that God deals with “good” people. It’s not hard to see what Bildad was telling his friend in a roundabout way: He was drawing a connection between Job’s conduct and his conditions.

Granted, our actions often do have a direct effect on our circumstances, but not always, and certainly not in Job’s case! Bildad was well-intentioned but misguided because the issue wasn’t a matter of Job’s righteousness or lack thereof.

In fact, Job had a better grasp of righteousness than Bildad did, because he understood that man is incapable of making himself righteous before God. He understood there’s an immeasurable distance between a perfectly holy God and the best human being on their best day. Think of the two most opposite things in all of creation and it still does not compare to the disparity between the Creator and His creation.

Righteousness—the condition of being right before God—isn’t some kind of currency that we can print up so we have something to transact with God. It does not work like that, it never has and it never will. Rather, righteousness is something that God gives to us. It is not produced by us, it is bestowed upon us! This is how it has always been and how it always will be. It is a gift from God and not something we could ever earn.

This gift of righteousness is placed in the open hand of faith of those who believe God to be true to His promises. In Job’s day, there was evidence enough of God’s goodness, mercy, and love to entrust one’s existence to. Even in his deepest pit of suffering, Job continued to cling to what he knew regarding the good character of God.

How much more evidence do we have before us, knowing God sent His beloved Son to live, die, and rise from the dead for our sakes? God’s good promises have never been clearer at any point in history than they are now! And when we simply trust in them, take them into our hearts and own them as true, the gift of righteousness is given to us.

Remember what Paul said: “But now the righteousness of God . . . is revealed . . . through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” Romans 3:21–22 (NKJV).

DIG: What was Job’s statement?

DISCOVER: What did Job understand about man’s righteousness? Where are you in relation to righteousness?

DO: Reflect on the goodness and righteousness of the Lord as you consider the wide gap between us and Him. Ponder the righteousness He bestows upon us through faith in Jesus. 

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.