I am working through the Biblical story of the experience of Job again. This morning, I read chapters six and seven.
Life has turned Job over and over. He lost his children and his wealth to storms and robbers and now, he has lost his health. Boils and sores cover his body and he scratches himself with broken pottery shards.
There are modern Jobs who have gone through similar kinds of disappointment. The losses are difficult to understand.
But now, Job’s friends have come to try to comfort him. At first, they just sit with and cry with him in his pain both physical and emotional. But then, they start responding to the things he is thinking and saying.
It is one of my big mistakes when trying to help someone whose life has fallen apart I open my mouth and start trying to give answers for things that don’t have easy answers.
Job responds by saying, “For a despairing person, there should be kindness from his friends.” (Job 6:14)
Dr. Doolittle, in “My Fair Lady,” describes himself as having the milk of human kindness by the quart in every rein! Sounds good, but just not true, at least too many times it is untrue. Certainly not for Job’s friends.
In Job’s despair, he came to the place that he wished he could die. “Would that God were willing to crush me, that he would loose his hand and cut me off!” (Job 6:9)
He just wishes at this moment things could stop hurting physically and emotionally. Most of us don’t really know this kind of moment. It’s hard for us to relate here; and it is at this moment when we all hold our breath to see what God will do.
Then, God gives Job a shining moment when he says something profound: “But it is still my consolation, and I rejoice in unsparing pain, that I have not denied the words of the Holy One.” (Job 6:10)
It should be the prayer of every evangelical believer, “Dear Lord, help me be faithful to your Word!”
We live in a world that wants us to accept all the winds of change that are blowing around us. And it is tempting, at times, to go there.
But look at God’s faithfulness to Job in very bad moments, and see the faithfulness of Job to God’s Word. “My foot has held fast to His path. I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the command of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food!” (Job 23:11,12)
May God help us to have this same commitment to His teachings. Amen.