How can we become ‘PROFITABLE’ to GOD and OTHERS?
May 31 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 22-24
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: "Can a man be profitable to God, though he who is wise may be profitable to himself? Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that you are righteous? Or is it gain to Him that you make your ways blameless?" (Job 22:1-3)
Eliphaz begins the third cycle of speeches (22:1–27:23) by taking a new approach and asking whether Job’s righteousness did God any good (v. 2; 21:15). His questions are designed to show that God doesn’t need Job or anything he has or does, including his blameless ways. He begins with the assumption that wickedness brings only God’s judgment (vv. 1–5) and compiles a catalog of sins of which Job must be guilty including, taking wrongful pledges from the poor, refusing water to the weary, bread to the hungry, taking land by force, and oppressing widows and orphans (vv. 6–20). That, according to Eliphaz, accounts for Job’s present dilemma. The facts, however, were otherwise; Job had shown great social consciousness and had been generous in his charity.
When Eliphaz asked Job if he was profitable to God, we need to understand that we should be profitable to God and others. There are four essential things that are profitable for us in order to become profitable to God and other people:
- Word of God: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16).
- Godliness: "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" (1 Timothy 4:8)
- Wisdom: "Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun" (Ecclesiastes 7:11)
- Good Works: "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men" (Titus 3:8)
John Mark accompanied Barnabas and Paul during their first missionary journey (Acts 12:25), but for some reason returned home to Jerusalem after they had traveled as far as Perga (Acts 13:13). This later caused a sharp disagreement between Paul and Barnabas. Paul refused to take Mark with him on another missionary journey, while Barnabas defended his young cousin (Acts 15:36-40). They did however reconcile at a later time because Mark was with Paul in his first imprisonment at Rome (Colossians 4:10, Philemon 1:24). Towards the end of his life, Paul acknowledges that John Mark was useful (profitable) to him in his ministry (2 Timothy 4:11b).