Karen has some powerful words in her writing today about Jacob, Joseph, and Job as we read through the Bible chronologically at A Life Worthy. I am way behind on reading and know I don’t have any right to post about things I haven’t read, but I still stand in awe as I see Joseph and Job in their faith and their incredible understanding of God’s provision and His power over our lives–their acceptance that all things are unfolding exactly as they are meant, despite what circumstances look like. As I read your posts and scanned the book of Job, I remembered last year how tired I got of Job and his friends as we read day after day of Job and his suffering, his friends’ seemingly altruistic hearts asking him what he did to deserve God’s harsh hand, his own mourning and pity and finally, self loathing. Don’t take this wrong. I don’t know if I could have been tested like Job and lived to see the other side. But while we are here in the middle, before it gets better, (which Job did not know), I picture his friends sitting with him for days on end in silence. What else was there left to say? When grief permeates every corner of the mourning house, what can you do? They were there for their friend, but really were they? Condemning and trying to figure it all out logically for Job? Job realizes he’s all alone in this. It’s his test, one with his name on it, and it is his to deal with ultimately with God alone. But right here at this moment, where he is paralyzed in his loss, I hear Bildad (I remember last year calling him Bill Bad) accuse Job of not even knowing God. He’s fed up with Job and his self righteousness, and just lights into him. (Job 18.) That’s right, Bill Bad–just kick him while he’s down.
Is there a more faith-filled expression of trust than Job’s understanding,”Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”? (Job 13:15)
And here, after Bildad’s attack, probably before Noah even built an ark, we have Job who knows the redemption story in his heart, without the Torah, without the history, except perhaps his father telling him what his father told him of God’s faithfulness. “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God” Job 19:25-26 is a Scripture that encapsulates our entire doctrine of faith. Redemption. Life. Healing. Restoration. I love Job because he knew this. I love Jesus because He did this. We’re all Job, lost in our circumstances. But can we be the Job so full of trust? May it be so for you and for me. I just want to sing with Nicole C. Mullen and Job. “I know that my Redeemer lives!”
You might be interested in this online commentary “Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job” (http://www.bookofjob.org) as supplementary or background material for your study of the Book of Job. It is not a sin to question God, to demand answers from God. There is a time and a place for such things. It is written by a Canadian criminal defense lawyer, now a Crown prosecutor, and it explores the legal and moral dynamics of the Book of Job with particular emphasis on the distinction between causal responsibility and moral blameworthiness embedded in Job’s Oath of Innocence. It is highly praised by Job scholars (Clines, Janzen, Habel) and the Review of Biblical Literature, all of whose reviews are on the website. It is also taught in 262 US high schools in 40 states through Chapter 17 in The Bible and Its Influence. The author is an evangelical Christian, denominationally Anglican. He is also the Canadian Director for the Mortimer J. Adler Centre for the Study of the Great Ideas, a Chicago-based think tank.
I have been reading the bible too chronologically at bible on line .com and job has really comfort me these week as he grieved in silence ,
he bless with his attitude
he never sin in all of these and his friends sound so much like the world …
but he was strong and came out of his morning and that is what is so confront me the most his attitude. marina
ps. attitude is really the key in everything in life !
Such a touching post, Annette.
Why do we allow our circumstances to dictate our faith? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, by the end of this year, I was able to walk completely in faith despite my circumstances? (I’m almost afraid to set a goal like this for fear of a “Job-like” test!) Regardless I hope to have the grace and acceptance of Joseph and Job, no matter what life brings. (but wouldn’t it be nice if it brought donuts for a change? Or maybe it did since lots of people seem to be doing donuts on our roads today. As for me, I think I’ll stick to the ones I can eat.)
Amen Annette! I want the steadfast faith of Job no matter the circumstances, but fall short. Job’s friends have taught me to just be quiet and be there for those who are going through difficult things and not try to “fix it”.
Job . . . his life with its victories, desolation, and restoration — what an example of how we should behave in our times of testing.
I just finished teaching the book of Ruth in my Sunday School class. The last week was, of course, the Kinsman Redeemer. Our Goel Redeemer lives and is forever faithful!
I love the song. It should be the anthem of every Believer.
Blessings, dear friend.
I forgot to put that in my post but I also so that part in Job where he says……I know that my Redeemer lives
Sitting here in a coffee shop staring at the tiny screen of my iTouch holding back the tears. I know that I know that I know… Waiting for Him with friends like you who listen and care make it a lot easier.
Amen, our Redeemer lives! I am behind on posting, will get my thoughts and impressions of Job up sometime today. I did post the end of Genesis, though I didn’t read it and have no idea if it makes sense….
Love to you dear friend!