Does life ever seem like a weary process to you? Do you ever feel like you are all alone and that no one cares? Not even God? There are many Biblical characters who experienced these thoughts, and the one we will look at today is probably the most known. His name is Job.
My reading today was Job 10 – 23, but let me do a little recap of chapters 1 – 9; particularly the first chapter or two.
It is said of Job that he was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed (avoided) evil”. He was a man who had a large family of seven sons and three daughters, and he was a wealthy man (1:1-3). We are told by Scripture that the “sons of God” which probably is referring to angels came before the LORD, and Satan came too. Then we learn that the devil is challenging God’s treatment of Job. God has protected Job and blessed him. “No wonder”, the devil says, “he will not turn away from you the way you have blessed him. However, if you would take all that away he would curse you.”
Job loses all his children, his wealth, and finally he loses his health as well; and he begins to feel as though God will not hear him. He has three wonderful friends; Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar; who show up to give him comfort. We should all be so blessed to have friends who are willing to come, sit with you and listen to your heart, aches and all. For seven days (2:11-13) they sat with him, weeping and mourning with him, not saying a word; but then, they should have gone home. I had a friend who is now in Heaven with the LORD who had the philosophy of time on the phone should be no longer than three minutes; and if you spent any longer than that you started saying much more than was necessary.
It is great to mourn and weep with those who mourn and weep; however, it is probably best to let them do the talking, and you be silent, and just listen. Understand, they are hurting, they are expressing their anguish and pain. It is not the time for big theological discussion.
Be assured Job was encouraged by the visit of the three friends, but when they started talking, accusing him that this was all due to the sins of his children and his own sins; then, they became a source of further pain and grief.
There is much evidence in Job’s testimony that he was feeling like God was not listening to him. You will never hear him deny God’s existence, or see a lack of faith in God, in any of Job’s words.
“My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.” Job 10:1 (KJV)
It seems sometimes like all I get done is go to the doctor. I have blood pressure problems, heart problems, with five stents put in veins of my heart last April. I am not telling you this to feel sorry for me, please do not. My wife had heart surgery on September 21, 2010, and she sees the doctor quite a bit, and we are still a young couple; we feel that way. There are times, however, I feel a lot like Job felt. Job was a far more righteous man than I am. He was a man of much faith; mine seems weak much of the time. My soul gets weary of this life, my life at times. Life, however, is in God’s hands. That is where I will leave it.
I know there are many others who are suffering much more than my wife and I are. So many have cancers eating away at their bodies, weakening them physically, and gradually taking their lives. Some overcome the cancer; and we struggle with God, and our faith.
There are many faith statements which Job makes in these 14 chapters read today.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him: but I will maintain mine own ways before Him.” 13:15
With this statement Job is saying that he will continue to trust the LORD even if He does not grant him a session with Him. He will trust God and believe His word no matter what. If you never heard from God again, never sensed His presence again; would you still trust and believe Him?
Another statement of faith from Job;
“If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.” 14:14
Though put in the form of a question you will notice that Job is waiting for that day when he rises from the grave, and “My change comes”.
The final one I leave you with today –
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” 19:25-27
To me that statement is probably the strongest statement of faith that Job has made thus far. “I know that my redeemer liveth…” Even though we may question God in our pain and grief, those questions are a statement that we believe God and are trusting Him. If we did not would we be calling out to Him. I think not.
That redeemer that lives is Jesus the Christ, Son of the living God. He is the One on whom Job believed, trusted and confided in. No Jesus the babe in a manger had not yet been born, but here is another manifestation of the presence and glory of Christ even in the Old Testament. He is LORD.
-Tim A. Blankenship