Job

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“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7 NKJV).

August 31, 2017

God speaks, asking Job where he was when the universe was created and the singing and shouting of worship first resounded. Who or what are these “morning stars” that sing and these “sons of God” that shout? Many see both of these as metaphors for angelic beings. Certainly, Isaiah described Lucifer as a “morning star” before his fall (Isa.14:12). Yet, surprisingly the Lord may actually be referring to the stars themselves. As Dr Bill Chaplin, an asteroseismologist at Birmingham University, has reported, “Essentially stars resonate like a huge musical instrument.” In other words, stars sing! Even the stars were made to worship the Lord!

“My harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the voice of those who weep” (Job 30:31 NKJV).

August 28, 2017

The grief that covered Job like a cloud affected even his ear for music. The harp, a stringed instrument, was often employed by David to lighten the mood of King Saul. It was an instrument used in worship and in times of celebration. Yet, to Job’s ear, the vibration of the strings sounded mournful, vibrating at the frequency of his sorrowing soul. And the flute, a wind instrument, with its light, breathy lows and clear sparkling highs, was often heard accompanied by percussion at times of feasting. But to Job, the flute had become like a weeping human voice breathing out a dirge, perhaps reminding him of the times when his children enjoyed such feasts. Grief is like that. It darkens the sights and sounds of human perception, so that the spectrum of life’s color is reduced to gray.

The book of Job helps give vocabulary to our grief. But we must read to the end. For we are not to grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13). Our hope is in Christ, the One who has defeated sin, death and the grave.

How does the music sound to you today?

“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14 NKJV).

August 22, 2017

Job charged his friend, Eliphaz, with a lack of sympathy and kindness for him in his severe affliction. Instead of attempting to correct Job’s theology and fear of God, he should have been full of pity and solace towards him. Eliphaz, who had come as one of Job’s comforters, had joined his chorus of critics. So, on top of Job’s afflictions, he now had to endure the religious barbs of his friends. There is a time to correct and a time to comfort. A true friend, whose heart is motivated by love, will know when the time is right for each.

“If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14 ESV)

August 24, 2016

Job, the man of sorrow, asked, “Is there life after death?” Or more specifically, “Is there a resurrection of the dead?” Those suffering grief have joined Job throughout the centuries asking the same question. Yet, no definitive answer to this question was given until the coming of the Man of Sorrow, Jesus, who answered, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Job’s question has been answered.

“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You” (Job 42:2 NKJV)

September 1, 2015

Job’s response after God answered his questions with some of His own was brief. He basically concluded, “You’re God and I’m not.” This is not fatalism, but acceptance that even though God’s good purposes are higher and better than ours, He still hears us and responds when we cry out. God is not afraid of our hardest questions. Yet, be aware when you ask that you may learn as Job did that your “arm’s too short to box with God.” Or that your intellect is too limited to understand. Are your questions motivated by a desire to know God better? Or are they really expressions of doubt or accusation? Suffering did not cause Job to doubt God. And God heard Job’s cry and answered him.

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman?” (Job 31:1 NKJV)

August 29, 2015

Job made a “covenant with his eyes” that is a much needed one for today. His covenant (pledge, sacred promise) was with God and with his wife, that his eyes belonged to God and to his wife alone. He had predetermined what he would allow his eyes to gaze upon and what he wouldn’t. Looking upon a “young woman” was not allowed. Why? Because he had made a covenant that restricted his vision. He would not let his eyes linger on a young woman, therefore avoiding the temptation to covet or lust after her. It is an accepted fact that men are more susceptible to visual stimulus than women. Yet, both should make a covenant with their eyes that protects them from temptation.

“Why do the wicked live and become old, Yes, become mighty in power?” (Job 21:7 NKJV)

August 26, 2015

Job’s friends kept challenging him to repent because their simplistic assumption was that since evil had befallen Job, he must have done something to deserve it. Yet, Job continued to claim that God had done him an injustice. He also questioned their hypothesis further, by asking why God would let the “wicked live and become old” and “mighty in power.” Job was wrestling with the problem of evil. Why do bad people get to enjoy good things? And why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God’s justice? Job is not the only person to ask these questions. We still struggle with them today. Perhaps we can catch a glimpse of understanding by hearing what Jesus said about this in the gospel of Matthew. He said that the Father “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). The truth is that God sheds His grace on all of us, even those who have made Him their enemy. Yet, someday an account will be given. And only those found in Christ Jesus will be saved.

“I am one mocked by his friends, Who called on God, and He answered him, The just and blameless who is ridiculed.” (Job 12:4 NKJV)

August 24, 2015

As Job maintained his righteousness, his friends continued to disagree with him. Job, who had lost his children, most of his possessions and whose body was covered in sores, now had to contend with the accusing advice of his three “friends.” While there is much to learn about the problem of evil and human suffering in the book of Job, there is also something to be learned about how to be a friend to one in grief. Job’s three friends did a couple of things right at first. They showed up. They sat quietly with Job for the first seven days. These are good things. But then, they began with the advice and the accusations. When we seek to comfort a friend in grief, be present and listen, grieve with them. But stop telling them you know how they feel, or how they should feel, or what they did wrong, or what they should do next. If you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything. Just pray for them, hug them, bring them food, clean their house, offer to run errands. If they want your advice, they will ask. Don’t be like Job’s friends.

And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (Job 1:7 NKJV)

August 21, 2015

Satan, whose name means “Accuser,” appears prominently in the book of Job. When God asked him from where he had come, Satan answered, “From going to and fro on the earth.” This response described his wandering existence since being cast down from heaven. So filled with rage and restlessness against God, he continually circles the earth like a lion looking for prey, desiring to destroy those whom God loves. This is why the apostle Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).