Job 4 & 5 – Eliphaz Speaks

Interesting to me that Eliphaz accuses Job of ‘impatience’. He lost everything of value to him, save is wife, and he has sat in silence for a week. Doesn’t sound like impatience to me.
The gist of Job 4 and the intro of Job 5 is that calamity doesn’t come without sin, the just aren’t punished, so surely Job has sinned. We know from our insight in Job 1-2 that Job was upright, called out by God as an example of righteousness. Yet God allowed Satan to attack him.
So this was not of Job’s doing, and we see this in our lives as well. Hardship comes upon many people, most people frankly, and often it is not deserved. Callous religious folks will tell you it’s due to a lacking in your faith or behavior, but the facts do not bear this out. People suffer and much of the time it is due to nothing in their control. To say otherwise is heartless and does injustice to their pain.
Eliphaz councils Job to seek God in his pain (Job 5:8-16), wise words, but there is an undercurrent of cynicism there (or maybe it’s my own cynicism). He seems to be saying, “Go to God, you’ll see, He’ll set you straight.” as opposed to “Go to God for comfort.” His words speak of God’s opposition to sinners and protection of the right and humble, implying that Job is certainly in the former since he was not protected.
In fact, in Job 5:17-27 he goes on about how God takes care of those he loves, even telling Job that folks with God laugh at destruction (v.22) and their offspring will be many (v.25), a bit callous to say to a man who has just seen destruction and the ruin of his offspring.
As I said earlier, there are religious ‘councilors’ that will try to tell you amid great tragedy and pain all the reasons that you have brought this on when there is no evidice to support it (notice that Eliphaz doesn’t accuse Job of anything specifically, just implies that there must be something). Run from them. Seek those who will not shy away from confronting your sin when needed, but will comfort, care for and bandage your soul when wounded by the storms of life common to us all.
Jesus cared for the afflicted, over and over and mostly without comment on the reasons for their suffering. He simply cared for them.

Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
He will not quarrel or cry out;
no one will hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out,
till he has brought justice through to victory.
In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 12:15-21

Joy Runs Deep

Jared Wilson talks about how the expanse of the Gospel is far bigger than anything we know, bigger than our traditions and expectations. It bursts forth, requiring us to change our ways of thinking and our expectatuions.
And it’s founded, at least in part, on the joy of ‘God with us’. The disciples had no reason to fast, for Jesus was with them (Mar 2:18-22), and He is with us too so, as Jared says, “those united to Christ are not to be typefied by grief but by joy”. Indeed:

When we have this deep joy, we navigate seasons of suffering and brokenness with both the firmness of faith and the flexibility of it. We are able to confidently say, “This day” — with all its troubles — “is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24) Because we know that the joy is so deep, it will buoy our souls for all eternity.

It’s a great post, go read the whole thing.

Job 3 – Job Laments

Job 3:1 starts “After this …”. The ‘this’ was 7 days and nights of just sitting. Sitting in his funk, in his sores, with his friends there, just sitting.
He waits a week to start his lament. I doubt it’d taken me that long.
Then, in Job 3:1-10, he doesn’t simply lament all that has happened to him in recent days, no, so great is his sorrow that he laments that he was even born. All the good, all the joy, all the blessings in his life added together, and any that may someday come, are not enough to offset the pain in his heart right now. He curses the day that brought him into being and that ultimately lead to where he is now.
In Job 3:11-20 he wonders why, why was I brought into existence for this? Wouldn’t it have been better to skip straight to death. In death evil is silenced and the weary and oppressed are at rest. There both the small and great have the same fate, a fate preferable to that which has now.
Why bother, he asks in Job 3:21-26, to give one in misery the light of day, when all he longs for is for his days to be done? Of what use is the day?
I can imagine that many in Colorado feel this today, as any victim of any tragedy would. The pain is so raw, so real, so great that there seems that there can be no escape. Daylight or night, it comes, no matter where they turn it is there, they want to run but know that it will still envelope them everywhere. While I can imagine such despair, I cannot imagine what it’s like to live under it.
You can feel the depth of Job’s pain here, and it makes me mindful to never trivialize or dismiss the pain of one who’s suffering.

On This Day

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