Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Job Does Good Job

"They make night into day; 'The light,' they say, 'is near to the darkness.'" - Job 17:3

I have considerate friends and family.  They understand me often-times more than I do.  I've been really blessed.  But I know many of you who are reading this blog (by now I'm sure it is very popular) who do not have sympathetic or considerate friends.  Your friends may even be abusive and not know it.

I've been picking up on this theme in Job.  His friends are not only unsympathetic, they are positively abusive.  And while many of their speeches would make good Psalms, this adds to the scariness of Job's situation. He was being abused by individuals who claimed to know God and his ways.  Their abuse is hidden behind a thick veil of spirituality.

This has me thinking (always a pain), how often do I abuse others with my dysfunctional spiritual life?  This God of rules that seems to be so entrenched in my thinking, how often do I use him to measure and diagnose my friends.

God is not some formula or robot.  We all know this, but it bears repeating over and over.  In fact, it'd do me good to repeat it every morning before my feet hit the ground (they do so timidly - I hate mornings).

Why?  Because God is immensely mysterious.  His ways are not comprehensible.  His ways are beyond.  And his ways are good.

God doesn't need me to defend him.  God doesn't need me to justify even my own suffering.  God doesn't need me, period.  Yet he wants me.

One thing (and I picked this up in my ESV study notes) Job does really well is argue God's character back to God:  God's ways are good;  He is just;  I am suffering;  I have done nothing to deserve this.  These are a few of Jobs tacks.

And I find that they are arguments that enable me in my smaller suffering to breathe.  Like Job, I can deal with God.  The simplistic answers and arguments for God that I hear in Christian culture often don't hold weight.  I can cling to God, precisely because his character is good enough and strong enough to be argued back at him with.

Suffering doesn't need a defense of God.  What suffering needs is deeper knowledge of God and his goodness.  It's what Job is after, and it's what he gets in the end.  This should be a comfort to sufferers everywhere.

Note on the quote above: take a little time and mull it over.  Or if you're like me, look at you ESV study bible and get the quick answer.  It's intriguing...


Philparser said...

"Suffering doesn't need a defense of God. What suffering needs is deeper knowledge of God and his goodness." Great thought, well said! Thanks, Philip.

Philip said...

Thanks Phil, I appreciate it!