How can a mortal be just before God? If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in one thousand. Job 9:2-3 

I will get up and go to my Father and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you.” Luke 15: 18.

Job asks a question we have probably all thought about. How can we mere mortals ever justify ourselves with God? The Living Bible translation of verse 3 makes it clear:  “But how can a person be declared innocent in God’s sight? 3 If someone wanted to take God to court,  would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times?” Job know he is not sinless, but wishes he could have his day in court to prove his innocence of such a great sin that has led to his suffering. Although despairing, he does not abandon or curse God.

Job continues in his discourse, declaring that God is mighty and powerful and in charge. Not someone he, or we, could have any chance against in court. So what do we do? We see an answer in the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke. The younger son in the story has clearly sinned, taken his inheritance early and squandered it. When he realizes this he returns home to his father  and confesses his sin. Sins not only against his own father but against heaven. The father could have said, Sorry, you’re a sinner. We know that is not what happened.

The father loves his son just as God loves us. He immediately welcomes his son home. Not only welcomes but rushes out to meet him and honor him with a special meal. He restores the son to his place in the household. In the same manner God is ready to welcome us back and forgive and forget our sins. We are welcome in God’ family. 

Compassionate Father, perfect in wisdom and absolute and power, thank you for never-ending love and mercy greater than our sin. We have sinned and yet long for your presence, depending on your kindness to receive us back into your open arms The grace that you have extended to us, dear God, is difficult to comprehend. Your forgiveness of our sins is so radical in a world of conflict.  Thank you for setting this example, and for being our strength when it is our turn to forgive a wrong done to us. Amen... In Jesus name. Amen.

Chris Gabel