When I was growing up, I would often hear my mother say in Maltese “paċenzja ta Job!” – meaning “give me the patience of Job!”. It was a worthwhile thing to ask for when raising four boys 🙂
Besides Job’s patience with his situation, I am always amazed at Job’s staunch faithfulness to God. After bearing a tongue lashing from Bildad, his conclusion is amazing:
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
yet in my body I will see God!
27 I will see him for myself.
Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
I am overwhelmed at the thought!
28 “How dare you go on persecuting me,
saying, ‘It’s his own fault’?
29 You should fear punishment yourselves,
for your attitude deserves punishment.
Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment.”
Job knew he could trust his redeemer even in the depths of his pain and rejection by friends and family! He could always trust in the grace of his good God.
In Acts 7 we read that during the stoning of Stephen, the men who stoned him placed their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.
The first version of chapter 8 reads:
And Saul approved of his execution.
The beginning of the chapter continues with a description of how Saul ravaged the early church and dragged many off to prison.
Now in chapter 9 we read about the crux of God’s plan for the gentiles. Saul, the greatest persecutor of the church would become it’s greatest evangelist to the gentiles!
Crux means cross. And just as the cross of Jesus was a significant turning point for all of humanity, God’s recruitment of Saul (or Paul) was a significant turning point in the spread of the gospel to the gentiles.
The Zondervan Bible Commentary says of Paul:
Long afterwards Paul spoke of God’s providential workings in him from his very birth (Gal. 1:15) for, born a Hebrew, son of Hebrew parents, trained in the best tradition of Judaism and yet a citizen of Tarsus and of the Empire, thoroughly conversant also with Hellenistic culture, he was ideally fitted to bridge East and West, bearing the message prepared and nurtured in Israel to the ends of the earth. His rare intellectual endowment was energized by a strong temperament which knew nothing of half-measures. As persecutor he was terrible, but once he had yielded obedience to Jesus the Christ, his loyalty was absolute and his service unstinting. This was God’s chosen vessel, the great teaching apostle, commissioned by the glorified Lord to mark out the lines of missionary strategy and to be the principal ‘steward of the mystery’ of Christ and His church (Eph. 2; 3; Col. 1:24–2:7; 1 Tim. 1:12–17; 2 Tim. 1:8–12; Ac. 26:16–20).
Paul was a prolific writer with at least 13 of the 27 new testament books attributed to him. As we have seen from our study of Galatians, some of the deepest arguments for the Gospel of Grace have come from the pen of Paul of Tarsus.
Truly we can be thankful that God changed the heart of this man to bring the gospel to the western world we are part of.