Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Year 8, Day 101: Job 7

Theological Commentary: Click Here

As we moved along into Job 7, we start out with more of same.  I don’t really have an issue with what Job says here.  He’s experienced a good deal of heartache.  He’s going to complain with his friends.  He may not exactly see with the perspective of God, but he is human and he is going to complain when his life seems to warrant it.

This is Job in the moment.  He doesn’t see the future; he only knows the reality of the past.  He is a man in suffering.  Emotionally his wife is telling him to die while he knows only the death of his sons and daughters.  His wealth has been stolen away.  His health has been attacked.  The poor guy can’t get sleep at night because of his sores, their oozing, and the pain.

This should teach us a good bit about ministry in the moment.  Job’s friends have come to him.  Eliphaz has already given him advice without listening to Job.  All that it has done is riled up Job and caused him to speak again about his unfortunate circumstances.  Usually we cannot reach people until we know where they are.  We cannot reach people until we’ve walked a mile in their shoes – or at least alongside them.  When we come in and merely speak platitudes into their life, we sound hollow and do no good.  When we prove to them we aren’t listening, we only give them reason to cycle back through their complaints again.  To do ministry, the first and most important thing that we must accomplish is to stop and listen.

I really like how Job ends his complaint.  He returns to talking with God.  While he may push it a bit too far, he is at least open and honest.  He asks God why this is happening to him.  He doesn’t accuse God, but he also clearly doesn’t understand.  He is caught in the middle of an unfortunate circumstance and simply is struggling to put his understanding together.  He will get it, but it will take some patience.  Life often does.