And then there is Job.
I don't enjoy reading Job.
It's tedious, and his friends get on my nerves. It's frustrating because none of Job's answers are given in the way I would like them to be given. It's difficult because many of the lies are so woven in with truth that it's hard not to be deceived, misled into believing that sin does in fact equal suffering and a righteous life mean prosperity.
It's scripture. Which means above all else it was included for my benefit, for my instruction and for further insight into the Living God, and so I decided that rather than focusing on what I don't like about Job, I would focus on what Job has to teach me.
- Job has God's attention. It isn't Satan who brings the idea of Job to God, it's the other way around. Job's very righteousness is what led to the events that unfold in his life. This does not make me comfortable...at all. However, Job is also is one of the few people in Old Testament scripture who gets a face to face audience with the Lord Himself. I can't speak for Job, but when I do speak to him, I expect he won't regret the outcome.
- Sometimes silent presence is the best comfort we can give a suffering brother or sister. There aren't always explanations, there is only knowing God is in control.
- Raw honesty, questioning, weeping and anger do not negate faith or praise. Job questions God completely and thoroughly and in the end it is not the questioning that is rebuked, but the elevation of Job's own status to think that God is answerable to him. Job never stops praising God. He never doubts His authority. Job is the very essence of humanity, and God has compassion on him. That is a message of hope to me.
- Satan cannot touch me without God's permission - that in and of itself is reason enough to read the book.
- God is God. I am not God. I cannot begin to fathom His wisdom, power, glory, might, love and justice, but I will continue to seek Him, and maybe one day get a whirlwind of my own.