My Good Is Not In My Hand

Job 21:13 – They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.

Job 21:14 – Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.

Job 21:15 – What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Job 21:16 – Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.

Hello readers, another week has come and just about gone! Job said in Job 12:10 “In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” Job, of course, was speaking about the hand of the Lord, and Job realized that everything and everyone is in God’s hand. Do you and I realize that our life is in God’s hand and not our own?

I was reading Job today and noticed something I had noticed before but forgot about. This little phrase “their good is not in their hand”. The context is that Job is talking about the apparent prosperity of the wicked. They get a lot of “good” stuff. They experience a lot of “good”. They’re happy, safe, successful… and Job observes that though the wicked have much good in their lives, they do not realize that all their good is in God’s hand… leading them to a Christ rejecting mindset and lifestyle that validates their wickedness and sin.

But what an terrible mistake to make, thinking that the good we have in our lives is in our own hand to get and retain. The truth is, we do not have the power to retain our own lives. We do not control what we think we have control of. We are not as independent as we think.  We just don’t realize that anything and everything can be taken from us in one bad day… because we somehow get into this security and comfort that the good in our lives provides us, but which is ultimately, vanity.

Having a lot of good ought to make us thank God even more. But for many people, particularly for the wicked, they take that good as validation of not needing God from whom all goodness comes. They’ve got everything already, they don’t need God. They’re satisfied, full and content. They think they earned all that good, they think they’ll keep the good and the good will keep them. But how stupid is that!

We have to recognize that God gives all  good things to all of us. There is nothing good that does not come from God. And he is good to us, far better than we deserve. But somehow all this good we can receive with a totally wrong and vain mindset. The goodness of God should lead us to repentance, but for many people, it just further consolidates their rejection of him.

It is so crucial for me to remember that my life is in God’s hand, not my own. I have no control. I have no power. I am breathing on the grace of God. I am living by his mercy every day. And that causes me to fear God. He can take everything I have in a flash. Job knew that, Job had experienced it. How would I do if he took it? Would I curse God? Boy we can be quick to blame God when something bad happens, even though in that bad, God is often doing the greatest things in our life that will ever be done.

But it is so important to appreciate how temporal the things of this life are. It is so important to remember what really matters, and to appreciate the good, but not make it our God or center of worship. This world is full of people worshipping the good, not the God who is good to them when they don’t deserve it. Yes, appreciate the good, and enjoy the good, but realize that it comes from God, and that you will be brought into judgment, and it is not in our power to retain it. God can give or take from you and from me, and from anyone. We can really fight him over what he decides to do, as Job did a bit, because it seems to be the wicked get good and the faithful get a raw deal quite a bit in this little life here.

That’s why we need to arm ourselves with the mind of Christ, with the right mindset. Having good things and having a good life is not the apex of our existence, nor is it the ultimate purpose for living. You weren’t created for the good, you were created for God. Yes, God loves to shower us with blessings, and he knows what’s good for us more than we do, just like in Job’s life, as impossible as that was to grasp for him at the time. We weren’t created just to live a life with good stuff and good things,…Paul said ” that I may know him”… we were created for relationship and fellowship with God. Good in this life comes and goes, but Christ is forever. Often we can idolize the good over God, and that is a mistake. By the way, the true good is for the Christians forever, there’s a lot of good ahead, even if you’re in the midst of a pretty bad storm right now.

So the wicked can and do have all this good stuff … that is a legitimate observation … and we see all this good stuff happening to them and in their life, but they don’t realize it is not forever, and most definitely not in their hand to give to themselves or to retain. Think about this, our lives aren’t even in our own hand. Jesus’ life was in his hand, he laid it down voluntarily, no man took it from him… but he said our time is always ready. You cannot prevent yourself from dying. It is not in your hand, it is in the hand of the Lord. We are so fiercely proud and independent… but even more vain in our thinking.

So we recognize here and now that we truly do live by the grace of God. And even the wicked enjoy the goodness and grace of God. God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. But instead of the goodness of God leading the wicked to repentance, it instead serves to fortify their Christ rejecting lives. And because they seemingly have everything, they say, “I don’t need you God”. “I’ve got everything, what do I need you for?” People don’t need forgiveness or salvation anymore, they’re happy and content in all this good which life is not all about, which cannot save them, which ultimately will flee from each one of them when, not if.

We have become so materialistic, we think that having “good” stuff is the purpose of life. But it just isn’t. Even professing Christians make the mistake of supposing that gain is godliness. Even Job’s esteemed friends were doing this, they’d basically equated “good” with God. But their logic and thinking and theology was way out.

Yes, of course, circumstances of life affect us, but those circumstances change, but they are not God. Through it all, Job trusted in his redeemer. See, God gave him good, God took his good, then God restored his good… but all through that, God stayed the same and was just as “God” when Job had it good to when Job had it bad. And Job was not materialistic anyway. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust him”. Through all the book, the number one thing on his mind was his relationship with God.

So we see that realizing that our good comes from God and is in God’s hand is an important part of life. If we get to idolizing that good, and drawing our comfort and security from that good, we can get to thinking we don’t need God. But we do. “Good” should not sit on the throne of our hearts… God should. And now more than ever. We need God. We need to be right with him. We need to be saved. We need to give him the honour and worship that he is due. And you can have a lot of good, but have a bad heart and be on a bad path, after all, the wicked have “good” but are going to hell. So let’s weigh up this matter really judiciously.

Our good is not in our hand. It’s not in mine. It’s not in yours. If you’ve got a lot of good, well good for you. But that comes from God. Your health and money and every carnal security could be gone this time tomorrow… would you still praise God? Job did. Yes he appreciated the good that God had bestowed on his life, but good was not his God… God was. May we not slip into the error of the wicked thinking we got our good, we keep our good, and we don’t need God… when now, more than ever we do, for everything beginning with repentance, forgiveness and salvation of our souls.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – :)

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