Perspective

Job 8-10

In his despair, Job struggles with God. He bounces back and forth, feeling that God has pronounced him guilty yet protesting his innocence. There is an edge of injustice here: Job feeling God has been unjust and is being unfair.

Even if I were innocent, my mouth would condemn me; if I were blameless, it would pronounce me guilty. Although I am blameless …He destroys both the blameless and the wicked. When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent. When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?” —Job 9:20-24.

He is afraid of God, afraid to speak. He wishes for someone to speak for him (9:33-35).

Job confesses to being bitter (10:1). He feels unfairly treated. Anger and bitterness often result in our saying things that were better left unsaid. For example: “Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the schemes of the wicked?” (10:3). He believes God to be angry with him (10:17) and continues to wish that he were dead (10:18ff).

Fear. Anger. Bitterness. Despair. All these are reactions to difficult circumstances. In Job’s case, he had no idea what heaven was up to. It might have been easier if he had been aware of what was going on there. But as Alfred Edersheim once said: “For God to explain a trial would be to destroy its object, which is that of calling forth simple faith and implicit obedience.”

There is one small ray of hope in Job’s discourse in these chapters. He says: “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit” —Job 10:12.

Life is fickle. Good circumstances fall into bad. Friends fail. The hardened steel of our goals melts like plastic in the heat of reality. It is easy to be distracted by the roller coaster of life and forget that God is no roller coaster. What he was yesterday, he still is today in spite of the change in our perception because of our circumstances. The God who gave us life and showed us kindness yesterday, the One who has watched over us, is still the same. It is in that constancy we put our trust.

Comments

  1. LOVE that quote from Alfred Edersheim. SO thankful for God's consistency amidst our opposite.

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