Thursday, July 13, 2017

"Through All This"

Job 1.22 NAS

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

Somewhere around two thousand years before the birth of Christ there lived a very influential man. He was “the greatest of all men of the east” (Job 1.3) and his name was Job. Job was a good man “fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1.1).

Tragedy befell this good man. He lost all his money and possessions. His seven children died in a hurricane. Then he was stricken with “boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job 2.7). If this was not bad fortune enough, his wife urged Job, “Curse God and die” (Job 2.9). He sat in a pile of ashes scraping the oozing sores of his diseased body with the fragment of a broken clay pot (Job 1.8). Job was a broken man. Yet,...


Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God”.

I’ve lost a lot of money but never all of it. Some of my seven children went astray for a while, but I’ve never had a child die and go away forever. I’ve been sick but giant boils have not yet covered my body. My wife has never advised me to deny God nor wished me dead. I’ve had plenty of bruises and taken my share of stitches, but I never had to scrape my bloody skin with a dirty piece of broken glass. I’ve been depressed but I never sat in a pile of ashes.

If I had been Job, I probably would have sinned and blamed God. I may even have agreed to “curse God and die” (Job 2.9). But not Job…

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.”

Broken pots and pieces from Shea's Gallery on PicasaNone of my troubles have ever compared to those of Job’s. Nevertheless, I have sinned and blamed God for much lesser adversity. I’m not even as sympathetic as Job’s much maligned three friends. They wept out of pity for Job. I can’t remember the last time I cried for the misfortune of a hurting friend. Job’s friends tore their clothes and “threw dust over their heads” (Job 2.13) to identify in some small way with Job’s grief. I’ve never done that. And most amazing of all…

“Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”
Job 2.13 NASU

Seven days! I’m lucky to spare fifteen minutes for a sick friend in the hospital and probably never went more than thirty seconds without talking. Job’s friends were more sympathetic than I will ever be and Job’s suffering is greater than any I will ever endure. I am inspired by a man who could wait for the mercy of God in the midst of his pain.

“You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of
the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”
James 5.11 NASU

Job and his friends offer me two lessons:
  1. Learn to suffer with more dignity and less whining.
  2. Learn to better empathize and comfort my hurting friends.
No one gets out of this life without some suffering. “Through all this” I need to stop complaining and accept my minor suffering with courage and grace. I thank God for historical mentors like Job and his friends who help us get “through all this” whatever “all this” may be.

Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God”.

__________________

"Broken pot and pieces" is from Shea Lemley's Gallery on Picasa's Web Albums (http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/k2cr3xhQOLxiHM58hBJP0w). The image has been flipped and slightly tinted.

5 comments:

One Sided said...

I have a life long friend, Charles. At the first of the year Charles started a new business ventire, and the rain here in Texas continue to delay construction. His wife lsot her job. And the Texas rain, did I mention that Charles works for the Red Cross, the rain has pulled him away and continues to delay progress. His daughter and Son-in-law came to help, worked all day. His son-in-law fell asleep driving home. Broke his daughters back, a lung failed, infection set in, an old heart problem showed up, an already small lady lost down to a weight of 66 pounds, two hospital over sights almost cost him his only child. Who is now Praise God recovering. The son-in-law assist again on the building dropped a sheet of tin, it badly cut a 17 year old neighbor who was helping. Delays in getting the building open ar now running to $1000 a day in lost income and expenses. Had to front $6000 for the bills for the young man that was injured.
We just spoke of Job, yesterday and wondered if Job ever wondered , "What else can go wrong?"

Dave's Bible Blog said...

Hi One-Sided,

That is a lot of suffering and it certainly reminds me of Job. "What else can go wrong?" I assume Job did ask questions like that. This question is similar to many questions Job posed throughout the book of Job.

Thanks for your comments, my brother.

Dave

Anonymous said...

I concur with the two lessons that you have written but I would like to add. Hearing from Job I learn that I need to not panic when suffering, but instead to ponder the fact that His will can be done through these circumstances. Further, I can take comfort and even have joy knowing that I have prayed to have connection to Him so now He is standing beside me, affirming me, and protecting me. Bottom line is that I can relax, take a deep breadth, and rely on Him.
- Michael

Melinda said...

Wow. What a comparison of time: the friends sitting with Job for 7 days and nights vs. what we usually make ourselves available for!

Dave Scriven said...

Thanks Melinda.