My own studies have immersed me in the awful book of Job. This man lost everything–there is much we can learn from him. But it may be a definite challenge to plow through these “dark” issues. But we need to do this, sooner or later.
First of all, Job is a mysterious book. There’s no reference to the Temple or the Temple services. No connection with other biblical writings or persons. Most students believe that the book of Job is the first one written in the Old Testament.
It’s not Jewish, but it’s not pagan either. In a real sense, it speaks about suffering and pain. Job lost everything. The book tries to explain what brokenbelievers face every day. We all struggle. We all will experience suffering and loss.
Job connects us with those with illnesses–mental or physical.
We are people who must try to navigate through dark things. Most will never really understand this, but we are those who must face adversity and conflict. Like Job we ask why. We may even end up accusing God of attacking us.
We have to sort things out and believe me, it’s never easy. As we try we’ll often ask “why me?” We often accuse God. But I’m thoroughly convinced that the Almighty isn’t fazed by our questions and we should never think we’re wrong when we so challenge his goodness. He’s big enough to handle these.
In Job we’ll hear God speak to us through “the whirlwind.”
I want to encourage you (the reader) to find place in your heart for this book. Job isn’t easy to read–but I’ve gained a lot by reading it in the Message translation, but any other modern Bible works.
We’ll realize all of our questions will probably not be answered, but that’s okay. The problem of our suffering will most likely remain. There are no pat answers. I’m sorry.
“Anyone who has suffered knows that there is no such thing as “getting a grip on oneself” or “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps. The only bootstrap in the Christian life is the Cross, sometimes laying hold of the cross can be comforting, but other times it is like picking up a snake.””
“Job knew this firsthand. From him we learn that there are no easy answers to suffering. That the mark of true faith is not happiness, but rather, having one’s deepest passions be engaged by the enormity of God. And through Job we learn the secret of the gospel: that “mercy is the permission to be human.” The Lord never gave Job an explanation for all he had been through. His only answer was Himself. But as Job discovered, that was enough.”
2 thoughts on “Losing Everything”
I love Job, though I did not the first time I tried to read it. I was in law school, newly baptized, and deeply depressed. I thought a good way to begin reading my Bible was to let it fall open and begin there, assuming that was where God directed me. I only made it a few chapters before I have up and didn’t open my Bible again for many dark and despairing years.
Job is a brutal (but necessary) book. It asks that we wrestle with very, very hard things. As I get older the more scared I get with it. I read it in the Message version, I can’t figure it out in the NIV, Nasb, KJV. But I’m learning (far too slowly) that our faith will be warped if we don’t. We need it esp. today. Job is like fighting with “leviathan” (his words, not mine) and sometimes we’ll win, and other times we will lose. But that’s ok.
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