Friday, June 9, 2017
The Book of Job starts out with a conversation in Heaven between God and the Accuser. God gives the Accuser permission to test Job. In just 23 verses Job, the richest man in the East loses his wealth in so many ways. His entire herds of livestock and the servants who care for them, are either stolen or consumed by lightning, and his ten children die in the collapse of a house where they’re partying. And if that isn’t enough tragedy on the plate, a satanic attack of boils covers Job from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. The crowning touch is chapter 2, verse 9 where Mrs. Job looked at her poor, wretched, suffering husband and sneers, why don’t you just curse God and die?
Chapters 3 through 37 are the conversations Job has with his three “friends” who try to convince Job he must have done something really awful to have ticked-off God so much to bring on this punishing turn of life’s events. How much worse can it get when those who are supposed to be your support system spend days and weeks questioning your character, kicking you when you’re already down, rolling on the ground in grief and physical pain?
In-between Job taking time to answer his so-called “friend’s” accusations, Job also carries on a soliloquy with Heaven, imploring God to speak up and give a sane reason for all the suffering this good man has had to endure. In short, Job is daring God to vindicate his character and show the world this is all unjust and makes no sense. The problem, of course, is that Job doesn’t know it does make sense.
But as the 38th chapter opens, Job’s jaw drops and then his mouth seals shut as God answers with four chapters of kicking every bit of Job and his friends’ so-called wisdom to the corner. Listen to just a little bit of the response God gives to Job’s ranting demand that God be accountable to Him:
“Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night’s wickedness? As the light approaches, the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal; it is robed in brilliant colors. The light disturbs the wicked and stops the arm that is raised in violence.
“Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know!
“Where does light come from, and where does darkness go? Can you take each to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced! Job 38:12-21(NLT)
Job’s final word back to God was that he had no more words; Job understood that there is only one God…God was God, and Job was not!
Sometimes we tend to go-off on God when we see things that we know inside are wrong, and we just want God to speak up. At those times, before we speak what we do not know, and before the boils cover our bodies, and the Chaldeans steal our jobs and 401K’s, it would be a good thing to sneak a peek at the last few chapters of Job and follow his example….rant over!