GOOD MORNING, SIBLINGS!
Today’s readings are Job 21-23
Disclaimer: I’m getting back into the groove of things after being away on a family trip. That, combined with the book of Job in and of itself has my notes a bit shorter today.
Job’s frustration with his friends is understandable and evident in our readings today. I think he feels as if they’ve been talking over him, not truly listening to what he is saying. He begins by telling them to listen carefully and once he is done they can continue mocking him – a heartbreaking acknowledgment on his part that he does not have hope for his friends to change course.
He goes on to discuss at length how people who have shunned YHWH still prosper, in contrast to his current state. This argument refutes the claim of his friends that he must have done something wrong to have had all of this happen to him, because people who clearly and intentionally live ungodly lives prosper in this very same world he is in.
Job ends his plea with an admonishment that the words of his friends are empty and he finds no comfort in their answers – they clearly lack in understanding.
“Behold, I know your thoughts
and your schemes to wrong me.
For you say, ‘Where is the house of the prince?
Where is the tent in which the wicked lived?’
Have you not asked those who travel the roads,
and do you not accept their testimony
that the evil man is spared in the day of calamity,
that he is rescued in the day of wrath?
Who declares his way to his face,
and who repays him for what he has done?
When he is carried to the grave,
watch is kept over his tomb.
The clods of the valley are sweet to him;
all mankind follows after him,
and those who go before him are innumerable.
How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?
There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.” Job 21:27-34
Rather than listen and take a step back, in chapter 22 Job’s friends dig in their heels on the thought that it is his behavior that has brought this about. It’s stunning, when you think of it, how religious they are based on their words. They clearly know who the Father is and seek to walk in His way – but their concept of doing this is so directly ties blessings to performance.
We most assuredly must humble ourselves and submit to Him.However, we have to be ever careful to submit out of love, not out of desire for blessing. The relationship with Him IS the greatest blessing, and that can deliver us from many trials in our lives.
In chapter 23 Job speaks of his deep longing to take his case directly before YHWH. I can only imagine the desire to understand what is taking place on a deeper level. How many of us have asked questions of the Father and begged for an immediate answer, only to find we had to live our way into the answer years later to truly see what He was doing.
I want to assure you that the Father is at work in your life right now. His unseen hand is protecting, orchestrating, and building a strong foundation for those who seek Him to stand on. He is leading some of us out of the bondage of Egypt. For those of us already out, He is working on getting Egypt out of us. Keep seeking, keep following, and with every step you take, look down to make sure you’re walking in the footsteps of our Messiah.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!