So now that I have finished Job, what have I learned?
One thing I learned is that my actions, good or bad, do not affect who God is. I think I used to have this idea that my sins devastated God, and to overcome this He sent his Son. This means that God sent his Son so that for himself, so that he would be able to allow me into his presence. Now I see it a bit differently. While God is Holy, and he is disgusted by my sin, God could easily live without me. The fact that he sent his Son was done out of love, and was for my benefit. God is ultimately content regardless of my choices. When Adam brought mankind into sin, God was not viewing himself as a failure. He cannot fail.
So what is the impact of this? It means that my love for him is based on what he has done for me and me alone. Sending his Son was not something he did so that he could be with me, but something he did so I could be with him. A subtle difference to some, but something I see as a major shift in thinking. I was completely and selflessly done on my behalf. Just like when God commands us to worship him or live in holiness, it is done for me. Therefore my response should not be to be a moral good-nick because that is what makes him happy. My response should be to love and worship him completely because that will ultimately bring me the greatest joy.
Job saw God and repented. Previously he was a hearer, but upon becoming a seer of the truth, seeing his worth to God in light of his standing before God, Job came to appreciate and love God. I think it was at this point that Job received his salvation, and that everything in his life was leading up to this moment. Just like when Satan had Jesus crucified, thereby cementing our salvation, God used Satan to ultimately bring Job into a true relationship of salvation, taking him from a Pharisaical hypocrite to a true child of God. I love that.
BTW: If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that struggles that I have with the institutional/evangelical church. Here is a great series of 5 short posts that not only highlight how I feel, but also relate to what Job endured from his 3 "friends."