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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed. But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God's paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food.”—Job 23:9–12 (NLT)
Did you know there are several ways of purifying gold? I didn’t know that until recently. When I think about it, it does make sense there would be more than one way. Apparently, though, you can purify gold using acid, electricity, and—what I consider the most well-known and commonly seen on TV and in movies—fire. You know what I’m talking about . . . picture the formation of the One Ring. This process removes impurities and makes it moldable so the purifier can shape it into whatever he wants.
In today’s passage, Job is once again responding to his best frenemies. He speaks of a testing that will be conducted by the Lord. You know what I picture in the context of this passage? I see a jewelry appraiser and auditor . . . the person with the big eye glass and the tools to inspect and ensure the diamond is high quality or the gold is pure. And Job tells us that when God shines a magnifying glass on him, his life will be shown to be a pure gold. What a bold claim!
Job believes he has lived a true Philippians 1:27 life, which says to “conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Like Paul, thousands of years later, Job would say “I have fought the good fight, I finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 NIV). And why would he say this? What does he offer to support his point?
Job 23:11-12 (NLT) shows us:
He has “stayed on God's paths . . .”
He has “followed his ways and not turned aside . . .”
He has “not departed from his commands . . .”
He has “treasured his words more than daily food . . .”
Having gone through all manner of purification processes, having passed through the fire, having felt the acidic pain of tragedy, and having endured the shock of extreme trials, Job’s life is an example to us. How do we hold up when the metal of our faith is tested? How do we respond to the fires of the Lord’s purification? Are we allowing Him to mold us into the perfect and brilliant image of Christ?
My friends, if you want to know whether or not your life will stand up to the Lord’s gold standard test . . . Job 23:11–12 is a great test. Have you stayed on God’s path? Have you followed after Christ and His ways? Have you treasured His words more than food? Are you living for the Lord or for yourself?
DIG: The Bible mentions the purification of gold quite a bit. Why do you think that is?
DISCOVER: Why is Job so sure his life will be shown to be like pure gold in the eyes of God? What evidence does he present? How does your life stack up to Job 23:11–12 and 1 Peter 1:7?
DO: Ask the Lord to do a purifying work in you during this season of your life, that He would remove impurities and mold you more and more into the image of Christ.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.