Alright, so we’re about half-way through Job. I hope you’re hanging in there. As I mentioned at the start of Job, this book is a challenge to read, and as one person commented yesterday, it even is a bit depressing. So what are its redeeming qualities? I had mentioned in an earlier post that Job has been called everyone’s book because it speaks to the anguish we all feel from time-to-time in life when we are going through something we truly don’t understand. Where else in the Bible do you see such raw emotion and questioning of God’s motives and actions? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have definitely wondered about all of those things.
That doesn’t change the fact that Job is hard to read and has a fairly pessimistic outlook. So, how about a challenge for today: can you find something positive in today’s reading of Job? I realize that might be a large challenge, but there are some positive things. Allow me to offer one thought, one that grows out of today’s reading. Eliphaz, in chapter 21, accuses Job of pride (vs 1-3), of thinking that his character and conduct are important to God and somehow beneficial to God in some way.
But this is the beauty of the book of Job, we know the back-story, we know what the characters don’t. We know, for instance, that indeed Job’s character and conduct ARE important to God. Remember back in Job 1 God declares: “Have you considered My servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.” God does indeed care about Job’s character, He is NOT some distant Judge who is looking to punish humanity, as Eliphaz insists on. Job’s current situation is indeed serving God’s purpose in silencing the Devil and, in the end, proving Job’s friends and their opinions wrong.
It is important for us to realize that Job happens within the context of rest of scripture. And scripture tells us that God takes great delight in His people as Psalm 18:19 proclaims (He brought me out to a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.) and seeks to bring redemption through His presence as Isaiah 63:9 proclaims (In all their suffering, He suffered, and the Angel of His Presence saved them. He redeemed them because of His love and compassion; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of the past.)
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 24-28