Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Year 8, Day 100: Job 6

Theological Commentary: Click Here

When I read through Job 6, I hear Job’s humanity ringing true.  That is both a compliment and a cautionary tale.  It’s great to study humanity; it’s dangerous to study humanity.  We learn about ourselves best when we study ourselves.  We also can get the wrong idea or even learn bad habits when we study our own kind.

For example, take Job’s words.  He has a pretty grievous error in this chapter.  He thinks the Lord has cursed him.  In one respect, He has.  God has removed His hedge of protection and allowed Satan to direct His wrath upon Job.  God is even the one that has lifted up Job into Satan’s attention!

However, Job doesn’t see the whole picture.  That’s a point that hits home quite frequently for me.  How many times do I make mistakes in judgment or action because I fail to recognize the whole picture?  God hasn’t cursed Job because of dislike, vengeance, punishment, or any other reason.  This has happened to Job so that Job could learn a bit, so that Job could be a witness to others, so that Job could be restored into an even greater stature than he had before Satan found him!  Job cannot understand this, though, because he cannot see the endgame as God can.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not saying that it would be pleasant to go through what Job went through.  I’m not even saying that I wouldn’t complain.  The truth is that I am just as likely to be doing what Job is doing here as Job is!  I’m just as short-sighted as he is; I’m just as human.  I think what has happened to Job is pretty awful.  We must remember that in the end, we who are with God win because God is all powerful.  In the end, we have life eternal with the Lord.  Our perspective should never lose sight of the fact that in the end, we will live in life eternal with our Lord because He has saved us.  That’s the end of Job’s current misery: life eternal with God.

This brings me to the hopeful side of humanity that I see in this chapter.  As short-sighted as Job may be in his accusations, there is proof that he is living with the hope of the eternal.  There is such hope in Job 6:5-8!  Job is in such a low place that he would rather die than live.  While that isn’t particularly hopeful, Job response to this condition is.  While Job would prefer to die, he understands that such a decision is God’s.  Job doesn’t act upon his desire to cease life, Job is willing to put up with his condition.

In other words, Job won’t kill himself.  Job is willing to give God the time and space that He needs.  Job may not know the salvation and restoration that is coming, but Job is willing to allow the space in his life for God to provide for it.  Job believes in the sanctity of life and that life is best left in God’s hands.  This is faith in its purest form.  Even in the midst of Job’s darkest pain we see the bright ray of hope and faith at work!

Truthfully, I think this is a major part of the book of Job.  This is what life looks like when we live in faith.  We can stare into the darkest day, recognize our pain, understand our own shortsightedness, but still give God the room in our life to show us His hand.  The greatest act of faith is to be in a place where we have no hope and turn to God and continue to choose Him.

After all, isn’t that what Jesus did on the cross?  Jesus stared into the darkness of death, allowed Himself to be crucified, and gave room for the Father to show His hand at work?