I forgo my regular pattern of following my daily Bible guide and I go back to Job.
I am curious as to whether I’d have been as intrigued by Job twenty or so years ago as I am today.
An Old Testament book that reads like a novel to me, not one with lengthy lineage lists of unpronounceable names or one that details all of the practices and laws, I love the emotion of Job.
The emotion of God in this book.
Would I have felt the same many years ago, years when I felt forgotten by God and others?
I don’t know.
Because God knows, I didn’t really know God back then.
But, He knew me.
He surely knew Job.
In Chapter 3 Job laments. Chapter 4 and then 5 are the first of the attempts to comfort, redirect, to talk about the perceived unfairness of God by Eliphaz, his friend.
Life includes the expectation of trouble he told him then told him to complain, God would understand, would intervene.
“For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.”
Job 5:6-7 ESV
Eliphaz is confident of Job’s innocence and so he tells him essentially, tell God how you feel and since He knows you’re a godly man, He’ll come through.
“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.
For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.”
Job 5:17-18 ESV
And so the chapter ends on a good note, a friend hopeful in his advice to a friend.
Chapter 6 of the Book of Job is 30 verses in the words of Job, a valid and lamenting complaint to God.
A plea for redirection, for rescue.
“Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray.”
Job 6:24 ESV
As far as the rest of the story, (after a long while) God restores Job in new ways. Job’s old days of integrity, of blessing, of beautiful things, those no longer remained.
But, God gave more and He gave even greater understanding to a man who stuck with Him.
I suppose this is why I consider the Job story so important and uplifting in between the lines of damage, death and destruction for no reason other than one.
Trust God in smaller ways.
Trust God in your present day, your past is only a reference for all the goodness, the rescue from what could’ve, should have killed you.
Trust God in your unknown.
His hands hold your beautiful future here on this evil tainted earth and your unfathomably sublime and peaceful heaven.
Job, Chapter 5, a chronicle of the advice of a friend who eventually tossed him aside, named his “wickedness great” and joined in with Job’s wife saying throw in the towel, “curse God and die”.
Leaving Job with one sole friend, advisor and listener, God.
Lord, thank you for Job, thank you for his trials that were unmerited and for his decision to stay aligned despite confusion with You.
May I learn even more from him and from you. Because of mercy, I pray, Amen
Linking up with others here, prompted by “Five”.
Happy Anniversary, FMF!