I’ve been reading the Old Testament, book by book, and then it came time for Job.
I didn’t want to read it.
Some of my friends and relatives were suffering and I didn’t want to hear about one more.
But I knew I’d regret it. It had been a long while since I’d read the book, so I took a deep breath, held my nose, and plunged in.
Here are some insights from my reading:
I was surprised at the many verses I recognized that come from Job.
“For my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water.” 3:24 It echoes Psalm 22.
“Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?” 4:17 The psalmist in 119: 9 asks the identical question.
“For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” 5:6 The psalms are full of the woes of man in sin, and so are the Proverbs.
I was also shocked at some of the wisdom that came from Job’s friends. Things like, “I too, was pinched off from a piece of clay.” 33: 6 It reminded me of when God made Adam.
“Where is my Maker who gives songs in the night?” 35:10 That’s from Job in his suffering and confusion. It’s reminiscent of Zephaniah in 3:17 when he tells Israel, as they face judgment, that God will restore and rejoice over them with loud singing.
Towards the end of the book, God finally addresses Job. What astonished me was how God described himself to Job. He could have shamed him into realizing his frailty in comparison to God’s power or verbally whipped him with his wisdom. Instead he asked him questions like, “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?” or “Who has let the wild donkey go free?” or “Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?”
These are rhetorical questions and Job knows it.
God continues to the end of the book to describe the creatures he has made, just as he did man, and no one can take credit but him.
By the time God finishes, Job is speechless.
And I was given a shot in the arm. I came away realizing since God is the creator and caretaker of everything the eye can see, he certainly will take care of me and my loved ones. It’s laughable to think he’d forget me and my prayers.
The only reason I’m still around today is God’s faithfulness to me. I earned none of it. I fail him more than I care to admit. And everything I am and have he gave me as a gift because of his Son.
I’m left speechless, too.
So really my life needs to be a showcase of gratitude.
Talk to me.