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Inescapable Judgment

“Because there is wrath, beware lest He take you away with one blow; for a large ransom would not help you avoid it.” Job 36:18

Of all of the sobering truths of Scripture, maybe none is quite so powerful as the reality of inescapable judgment. It is this fact that Elihu reminds Job of in chapter 36 of the book. Indeed, I believe Elihu is reminding Job, and us, that every affliction we endure is something of a warning about judgment. It is as though the Lord has put warning sides along the road of life. Every pain, every sorrow, every affliction are but forewarning that a day of judgement is coming.

Elihu tells us several things about this coming judgment of God


This judgment is real. “Because there is wrath.” Many want to believe that there will be no judgment by God against sin. the Bible says otherwise. There IS wrath. Do not think for a moment that the wrath of God is an imaginary thing. And those who doubt it, will say one day “For the great day of his wrath has come, and who is able to stand (Rev 6:17)?”


This judgment, once it comes, will be swift. “Lest he take you away with one blow.” This will not be a long drawn-out court case that goes through numerous appeals. When it comes, it will come quickly. There will not be, like a long boxing match, many rounds in which you will go toe to toe with the living God. No. A single blow will take you down. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians “For when they say ‘peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them (1 Thes 5:3).”


This judgment, finally, is inescapable. “For a large ransom would not help you avoid it.” There will be no way to avoid this judgment. No argument or excuse will relieve you. No sum of money will buy your way out. There will be found, in that day, no loophole in the righteous judgment of God by which the guilty will somehow be pardoned. As the author of Hebrews puts it, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation (Heb 2:3).”


But the Bible does not leave us without hope. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Rom 8:1).” Christ has taken the wrath that was due our sin. He died for us. He shed his blood for our souls. So that now “…having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

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