Thursday, February 8, 2018

Is it Possible to Walk the Blameless Path?


Every profession has its own language. Medicine has three-and-four syllable words, often with Latin roots, that make sense to us, as physicians, but perhaps not to those outside the profession. 

Missionaries have our own language and conversational topics, too. Yesterday, we were taking a break together and one of my co-workers mentioned Job. "I've been wondering about that passage in Job when God says Job is blameless and upright. Was he really blameless? Did he really not sin?" 

We chewed on that question for a while. I wanted to grab my computer and do a search of the Hebrew words used in the verse, but saved it until this morning.

Was Job blameless?

When I ask that question, there's another that can't be denied. Can I be blameless? Of course, that leads me to the hardest question of all. 

If I can be blameless, why am I not?

This morning, I awakened with the question of perfection (or being blameless) on my mind. I won't bore you with the Hebrew, but the word translated as "blameless" is also translated as complete, guiltless, perfect, morally innocent. The man who is blameless is described as a "man of integrity" and "man of peace." 

I'd never been able to envision Job before he was covered with boils, a piece of broken pottery in his hand, scraping back and forth across his wounds. That picture was all too vivid in my head. Now, I have a little different picture. 

Integrity. Peaceful. Righteous. Humble. Obedient. Quick to repent in accordance to the law. Kind to animals, widows, and orphans, and everyone else, too. Generous. Well-liked. A quick smile and a ready laugh. Sincere.

When he did wrong, he followed the law concerning guilt and sacrifice for sin. Job wasn't sinless. He was forgiven. 

Job was considered blameless and upright because he kept short accounts with his sin, rather than allow it to pile it up as if it were a treasure to be hoarded.

I know a few people like Job. They're not sinless either, but they don't hang around in sin for long. They repent and move on. Doing right is a purposeful habit for them, a way of life they've chosen.

I want to be one who is seen as blameless, peaceful, kind, sincere, fun to be around because of the joy in my heart, generous, and humble. Don't you? There's good news. It's possible because of the forgiveness God offers us through the blood of Jesus. 

Job's sinful nature required the blood sacrifice of one animal after another. Every sin required another sacrifice. Because of Jesus, the final sacrifice has been paid with His blood. No more animals need die to buy our forgiveness. It's already been granted. He has dealt with our sin nature.

Does the blood of Jesus render us sinless? No. It renders us forgiven. 

Our job is to live as those who've been forgive and choose God's ways over our own. Will we sin? Yes. No more blood needs be shed, however. As God's adopted and much loved children, we need only repent and ask for forgiveness and it will be granted. 

Repentance does not mean we continue to sin, but that we turn from that sin and choose a different path - the blameless path.

God has laid the way out before us in His Word. It's well described and usually easy to recognize. It's obvious Job chose God's path and was rewarded for his faithfulness. 

We, too, have a choice. Will we walk the blameless path or one of our own choosing? 

I don't want God to draw the enemy's attention to me, as He did to Job, but I do want Him to look with favor on me. I'd like to be the one who's most like Jesus. I'm not, of course, but, once again, I choose to walk in the path of righteousness, to live blameless and relinquish my claim to sin, to surrender my bent toward wrong. I may not be as blameless as Job, but I can make a better choice. We can make better choices.

Our question for today is one we all must answer. Will we walk the blameless path or not?

"Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; for the man of peace will have a posterity." Psalm 37:37