Job 35:6-7 — If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him? And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him? If you are righteous, what do you give to him? Or what does he receive from your hand?
Every human has needs. From the time we are born until we die, we are in need of all kinds of things. We need oxygen to breathe. Food and water are a requirement for survival. We need to shelter, clothing, hygiene, love, and all sorts of other things. We pretend as if we lose our neediness after we grow up, but our very nature as humans is one of dependence.
God is never in this boat. Our passage today teaches us this basic aspect of theology. God is self-sufficient. He needs nothing.
In Job we read this series of questions aimed at helping us see that nothing we do can take away from God or add to Him. We can’t impose upon Him any needs or create any situation of deficiency in Him. If we sin, we don’t accomplish anything against Him. If our transgressions are multiplied, it doesn’t diminish His holiness. His righteousness isn’t hindered. If we are righteous, we don’t give or add anything to Him. He doesn’t gain esteem or acclaim from our obeying Him. He remains who He is. And He continues unhindered regardless of our actions. Then the question is asked: what does He receive from your hand? It is rhetorical. The answer is: nothing.
God receives nothing from our hands because He is in need of nothing. This doesn’t lessen our awe of God, it increases it. It is only a God who has no needs that we are free to worship and obey without the illusions that we are giving something to Him He can’t live without. It is also a comfort to us to know that God possesses everything needed and necessary to be Himself. He has every resource at His disposal to provide for our needs, comfort us in our struggles, and direct our lives according to His purposes. We add nothing to God, and cannot provide Him anything, but He has everything we need and is generous to give it when we approach Him through Christ.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some examples in your life of not being self-sufficient the way God is?
- What does it mean that God is self-sufficient?
- How does God’s self-sufficiency touch our everyday life and devotion to God?
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