Thurs 7/26/12: Job 35: 1 to 8
- Job 35:1 (NIV)
- Job 35:2 (NIV)
- Job 35:3 (NIV)
- Job 35:4 (NIV)
- Job 35:5 (NIV)
- Job 35:6 (NIV)
- Job 35:7 (NIV)
- Job 35:8 (NIV)
By Hanna Thomas
Elihu in his third speech in this chapter continues the debate regarding Job’s innocence before God and the unknown reason for Job’s infirmities and calamities. Elihu is first concerned that Job is holding to the hope that the Lord Almighty would find a way to prove his innocence and speak on his(Job’s) behalf somewhere at the end of this long drawn and exhausting struggle against the odds.(Chapter 19 :25,26).
He counters this by stating that the Lord Almighty is enthroned in heaven above with little if any regard for man’s righteousness .The reason, says Elihu, is that He is too lofty to be bothered by it.(verse 7,8) Elihu’s tone is clearly getting more and more accusatory since his first speech to the current. He seemed to be aggravated that Job just wasn’t getting it. It had to be Job’s fault not God’s. And so God could never think highly of Job’s righteousness and possibly he had fallen short somewhere. I fail to understand Elihu’s clarity into diagnosing Job though. Why would my God not care about what I do? Is there no rhyme or reason to what I go through or do as God cannot look beyond certain self conceived principles of his own in judging me? Does He keep a precise record of all my sins everyday to decide what punishment He needs to dole out to me the next day as a consequence?
The psalmist in Psalm 103, would beg to differ (verses 8 to 12). Job’s god and my God is omnipotent and omniscient(all knowing), but everytime He sees me, He sees Christ’s sacrificial blood pleading my case; to lavish me with his unmerited favor. He does care about everything I say and do because He paid a huge price for me and the last time I checked my bible, He does not enjoy watching his children suffer or agonize just because they couldn’t meet his standards.
Then why was Job suffering like this? What would you tell Job if he looked at you for an answer?
Interestingly God continues to stay silent.
As Job struggles to come to terms with his calamities, it is very apparent from the preceding chapters that what was more concerning than the sheep, donkeys, cattle and precious children that he lost was God’s stand in all this. What drove the loving, just God He knew so far to such unthinkable extremes as to strip him of everything and as if that were not enough, saddle him with the most unkind friends, who were contributing relentlessly their two cents worth to his mental agony. The man hardly refers to his materialistic losses, clearly its his stand with God that he is constantly agonizing about. This speaks volumes about Job. The Lord was his alpha and Omega, the centerpoint of his religion.
This patriarch came from a time where the scriptures and fellowship and worship as we know it was unheard of, but even in the middle of his distress, his heart earnestly seeks his God. What is your primary focus during a crisis, your material losses or the lessons God is trying to teach you through that? None of his trials are mistakes or a coincidence. They are a part of a divine plan to incorporate another beautiful thread into the beautiful tapestry He is making your life into. As the weaver weaves each thread into our lives, our Master uses every situation, every person, every incident to fulfill his will in our lives. The carpet has no idea how the black, the green and the pastels can ever look presentable together, it just has to trust the weaver ,trust his discretion, his sense of beauty. Since the creation of the world our Lord has been at work, weaving together beautiful pieces of tapestry and they were commended as men(and women) of faith(read Hebrews chapter 11). Interestingly they were so different from each other, in terms of situations, abilities, vocations, challenges trials ..however they all had one thing in common, they all believed that God existed and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him(Hebrews 11:6) and so God used them(eg: Noah, Moses, Abraham) through the very unique challenges each of them faced in the different situations they were in to glorify his name.
I can understand the pathos of Job’s agony but not the depth of it. I am wondering whether it would have been more beneficial for him to “Be still and know that I am God" or figure things out. Being silent before the Lord in times of distress requires not a passive faith, but a very active, robust faith; a faith that doesn’t try to figure out God but one that brings you to your knees and makes you acknowledge God’s sovereignty in your life, that He can do as He pleases even if it means your discomfort. It should make you say if my discomfort is working in me a weight of glory that far surpasses the pain and agony today, so be it (2nd Corinthians 4:17). Let me only yield to my master and I will be an asset to Him.
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