The chronological reading for the second week is JOB Chapters 8 through 31…As you read through those verses that literally jump off the pages, pray those truths back to our Good God who is present in all of our suffering. Job suffered in the same ways that we all suffer today: loss of family, loss of finances, loss of health
“Suffering calls our lives into question, not God’s. The tables are turned: God-Alive is present to us. God is speaking to us.” Eugene Peterson
Are we listening? “If it is true that God is speaking, than nothing matters more than listening.” Brennan Manning.
And praying what is true right back to HIM for WHOM we live and breathe and move. Acts 17:28
Return to your God. Wait for Him continually. Expect Him to do much. Hosea 12:6
That’s what twenty of us have been doing this week. Expecting their good God TO DO MUCH as they meet Him in the Book of Job and pray through the Bible.
The twenty are: Annette, Helen, Jen, Jenny Hope, Holly, Fran, ‘Nise, Patty, Deborah, Jean, Alana, Mary Lou, Lindsee, Denise, Angie, Sharon, Kim, Shonda, Bob & Bev (anyone can still join us, just e-mail me)
“Sufferers attract fixers the way roadkill attracts vultures.” wrote Eugene Peterson. People are lightning speed quick to jump in and tell us what we need to do to “fix” our lives…exactly what went wrong, and how to make life better. Sometimes they are way too quick to apply the bandaid of the Word of God to our wounds. Like Job’s friends, our friends sometimes give answers that hold truth but are void of a personal relationship with their good God. Or, sometimes, our friends give answers that reduce Mystery to explanation. “Intellect without Intimacy.”
Those of you who are in this chronological study, scroll down NOW to the COMMENTS section and share with all of us….
What lingers with you from Job 8-31?
What stirred in your heart as you read these passages?
Let’s take a look at Job 8 through 31 to hear Job’s well-intentioned friends meaningless talk…and to hear what Love’s Silent Voice is saying in the midst of suffering…
You may want to print the theme verses from each of the chapters we read. Let the Truth sink deep into our hearts by getting out of the way of controlling and directing our lives. Let the Author do that today.
Job 8:4 – “When your children sinned against Him, He gave them over to the penalty of their sin.” Bildad’s conviction is not true that Job’s children perished because of their sin
Job 8: 5,6 – “If you will look to God and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now He will rouse Himself on your behalf and restore you to your rightful place.” Bildad’s belief that God brings blessings to the righteous and punishment to the wicked, this is simply not true.
Job 9: 2 “How can a mortal be righteous before God though one wishes to dispute with Him.” Man is not righteous by what he does. What is true is for Job and all of us is that God is the One Who makes us righteous.
Job 9:4 “His wisdom is profound, His power is vast, Who has resisted Him and come out unscathed?....He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Even in midst of loathing his life, Job concludes the truth that God’s wisdom is profound.
Job 9:15 - :”I can only plead with my Judge for mercy.” What is true is that Job recognizes his need for God’s mercy
Job 10:1 “I loathe my very life; therefore, I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul.” What is true is that Job had done nothing to warrant the affliction he was receiving.
Job 10:4 “Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as a mortal sees? Are your days like those of a mortal or are your years like those of a man” What is true is that Job insists he had nothing to do with bringing on the afflictions.
Job 10:12 “You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit. It is true that God is always present.
Job 10:14 –“If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.” What is true is that Job didn’t do anything worthy of affliction he was going through.
Job 11:13 – “If you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, you will lift up your face without shame and you will stand firm and without fear, and you will surely forget your trouble, and life will be brighter.” What is true is Zophar’s statement that the only hope for Job is repentance and life may not get brighter.
Job 11:20 “Escape eludes the eyes of the wicked.” What is true is that the wicked cannot escape. They may escape from the consequences of sin but not sin itself.
Job 11:14-20 – “If you do these things, you will stand firm without fear…life will be brighter….you will be secure in hop and rest in safety. What is true is that Job’s friends think Job needs a change in heart.
Job 12:11 – “Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food.” What is true is happening in the fray of our heart. What stirs inside of me as I hear these words?
Job 12:4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends though I called upon God and he answered.”
Job 13:1 “My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it. What you know, I also know. I am not inferior to you. But I desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.” Would it be true to present your case before God? When asked about his cancer, Francis Schaeffer said that it was entirely unbecoming to demand anything in the face of Almighty God.
Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him.” Despite the fact that Job’s affliction is unexplainable, Job states that he will trust in God and that is always the truth no matter what the hand of the Almighty allows.
Job 14:19 “As water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil, so you destroy man’s hope.” What is true is that Job’s accusers destroy his hope rather than offer hope.
Job 15:5 – “Your sin, Job, prompts your mouth. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine.” What is true is that there is no vindication by God from accusations of Job’s friends.
Job 15:11,12 – “Are God’s consolations not enough for you…why has your heart carried you away so that you vent your rage against God?” What is true is that there is no correlation between amount of wrong we commit and amount of pain we experience
Job 15:25 “Because you shake your fist at God and vaunt yourself against the Almighty
Job 16:5 – “If you were in my place, my mouth would encourage you.” What is true is that Job believed he would not treat his friends like Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar did. Out of the abundance of the heart, our mouths speak. You cannot offer what you don’t have.
Job 16:16,17 – “My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes, yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.” The truth is that Job did not follow his wife’s advice to curse God.
Job 17:4 – “God has closed their minds to understanding.” It is true that God is the One who opens our minds. Pray to Him today that your mind be opened.
Job 18:3 – “Why are we considered stupid in your sight?”
Job 18:21 – “This is the place of one who knows not God.” It is true that Job’s internal conflict crescendos to its height in this chapter over the conclusion that Job’s sin has made him worthy of these afflictions.
Job 19:2 – “How long will you crush me with words?...God has wronged me…there is no justice…all acquaintances are estranged….my breath is offensive to my wife…have pity on me for the Hand of God has struck me.” What is true is that Job believes God has turned against him without cause.
Job 19:15 – “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, I will see God.” What is true is that Job’s Redeemer lives today for Job not for the day when he dies. What is true for Job is that God alone is his Redeemer who will defend him from the false accusations. Job still does not recognize that suffering in Christ followers comes from the hands of a loving God.
Job 20:2 – “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer. I hear a rebuke that dishonors me.” What is true is that Job’s friends do not have intimacy with their God like Job does. They are arrogant and haughty.
Job 21:9 – “The home of the wicked is safe and free from fear and they go to the grave in peace saying to God ‘Leave us alone.’ “ The truth is what the wicked believe is false.
Job 22:2 – “Can a man be of pleasure to God? What pleasure would it give the Almighty if you were righteous?” What is true is that this friend believes all who suffer do so according to the measure of their sins.
Job 23:3,4 – “If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling. I would state my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments.” It is true that Job demands an audience with the Almighty.
Job 23:10-12 – “But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed his steps. I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips. I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” It is the truth that even in Job’s immense doubt of God’s presence, Job confidently states that God is working in his life.
Job 24:23 – “God may let you rest in a feeling of security, but His eyes are on your ways.” The truth is there is no rest in places in our heart if our ways are not God’s ways.
Job 26:14 – “Who can understand the thunder of His power?”
Job 27:2 – “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty who has made me taste bitterness of soul…I will not speak wickedness.” What is true is that Job chooses to walk uprightly in character.
Job 28:20, 23, 28 – “Where does wisdom come from? God understands the way to it and He alone. The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.” The truth is wisdom comes only from God not from right living.
Job 29:2-4 – “How I long for the months gone by , for the days when God watched over me when by His light I walked through darkness, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me.” The truth is that God is with you Job now. Will Job accept prosperity and not affliction from the same hand of a loving God?
Job 30:15 – “My life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me.” What is true is that your momentary light affliction is working a far greater weight of glory.
Job 31:4 – “Does God not see my ways and count my every step?” The truth is that the eyes of the Lord run back and forth throughout the earth this moment to show Himself strong to you. II Chron 16:9
Job 31:35 – “I sign my defense. Let the Almighty answer me.”
When we completely finish the reading of a book, then I will post a prayer to God of truths from that book. His word hammers and heals. May His Word burn in your hearts this week and soften the beliefs you hold too dear that need to change. Thank you so much for being a part of this in whatever way you can each week.
Monday, January 14, 2008