Summary: Recognition of sin and its effects on us should always bring us before the throne of God to forgive and restore us to fellowship.

In Job 13:23, the suffering patriarch is pleading his case before God, asking Him to specifically name those sins Job has allegedly committed in order to see some justification for the untold misery he has undergone so far. He desires to confess any unknown wrongdoing so that he can be made pure before the LORD. The conclusion of the book, Chapters 38-42, show God asking Job a series of questions and pronouncements that demonstrate His sovereignty and majesty over all life, meaning, design, and purpose, including Job's time of trials. The LORD restored Job's wealth and gave him a new family, among other blessings. The point is that Job never abandoned his faith or trust in God (19:25) even in the midst of his suffering, to the chagrin and defeat of the plans of Satan.

Job is a portrait of all of humanity without exception or favor. God shows us in His word that we have all fallen from grace into sin, and we cannot make ourselves righteous before Him in our own strength or method. We have a broken relationship with God of our own making that can only be restored by His mercy, grace, and power. Until we are given our new bodies and redeemed soul that will be free from sin, either at the Rapture or death, our lives will be entangled at times with varying degrees of destitution (Job 5:7). Anyone possessing an internal concept of right and wrong can see that this world and the life upon it is not working as it should (Romans 8:22-23).

There are times when even the most devout follower of the Lord Jesus will get the impression of being alone and God has decided to remain silent in your crisis or time of decision. Our prayers sometimes feel as if they are hitting the ceiling and nothing more. Still, you continue to persevere and trust Him even in this time of the "dark night of the soul." Others that experience a similar feeling of isolation will slip into varied forms of temptations with the futile belief that no one is watching and we can get away with our pet sins. Scripture rebukes that way of thinking (Numbers 32:23; Luke 12:2-3; 1 John 1:8). In His mercy, the LORD opens our eyes to make us realize that it is us who have forsaken Him. His Word always shines the light of truth into the dark recesses of our souls, showing us that we are nothing more than wayward sheep, lost and in need of a Shepherd.

The state of our souls is a major theme of the Scriptures. Its saliency makes us face the hard facts of where we stand before a holy God.

1) Our transgressions tend to multiply and dominate us (Isaiah 59:9-12). We prefer to walk in blackness and ignore the light of God's mercy and direction. We are willfully and deliberately blind to our need for salvation in neglecting God's commands. The sins we possess and embrace are the evidence used against us. We have lied and willfully departed from the LORD with righteousness and truth set aside and far off, which is what we prefer in our wickedness.

2) Only the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us redemption and forgiveness of sin. Nothing and nobody else need apply (Isaiah 53:12; John 10:11; Romans 5:6, 14:9; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). There is NO OTHER WAY to God the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 1:7).

3) It is the Lord Jesus Christ, and not anyone else, who will bring all history to an end, judge both saint and reprobate and bring about a new heaven and earth, making all things new (Genesis 3:15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15).

4) Without Jesus Christ, the Scriptures serve no purpose, are of no use, contain unfulfilled promises, and condemn us to hell eternally for our sins since there is no Redeemer (1 Cor. 15:12-19).

5) Jesus Christ was the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 53:1-12) of whom God the Father would place our sins and iniquities and be the final sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 7:25). We cannot in our own strength or ability ever pay the sin debt we owe due to our wicked nature and rebellious nature before God (Romans 3:10-18). We are worthy of nothing but death and eternal punishment save for the everlasting mercy, grace, and compassion of God (Romans 5:6-11, 6:23).

The late theologian and teacher R.C. Sproul (1939-2017) wrote that we are not just rescued from sin by the mercy of Christ, but it is He who breathes new life into our dead and rotting souls. Without Christ's intervention on our behalf, we are nothing more than stinking corpses, helpless and hopeless. Lazarus was falling apart in the tomb and decaying when Jesus raised him back to life (John 11:38-44). Lazarus could not do the job, or even assist in the process. It was only through Jesus Christ that he had any chance of life at all. You cannot make yourself "un-rot". I have yet to witness a dead person take the paddles out of the doctor's hands, yell "clear", and then shock his heart into beating again.

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