I Labor in Vain

I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain? If I wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye, yet you will plunge me into a pit, and my own clothes will abhor me.
Job 9:29-31
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I Labor in Vain
Job laments the fact that there is nothing he can do to change his fate.  Job believes God has decided Job should suffer unjustly and there is nothing he can do to change this.  He says, “I labor in vain.”  No amount of washing is enough. No detergent is powerful enough to remove Job’s guilt.  For even his own garments reject his soiled condition.  Though Job is mistaken in that God is the one causing his suffering, he is right in the statement that there is nothing he can do to purify himself.  There is no amount of good works or right living which will cover his sins.  And so, Job would in fact labor in vain if he was to attempt to justify himself before God.  And so would we if we were to pursue this line of thinking.  Thankfully for us we do not have to.  Jesus has done it for us.  The Holy Spirit has brought us to the waters of Holy Baptism and made us new creations in Christ.  And in doing so we are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.  By his wounds we are healed.  By God’s grace we are saved.
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