Friday, September 19, 2008

Wisdom from Job

I've been reading the book of Job lately. It never ceases to amaze me how many times you can read a book of the Bible and find new things in it. I remember my dad saying that when I was a kid, and the older I get, the more I know it's true. I'm particularly seeing parallels between Job and Psalms and Ecclesiastes.

In 7:17-18, we read, What is man that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment? In previous readings, I hadn't made the connection with Psalm 8:4 before: ...what is man that you are mindful of him...(?). There is a very different application, of course, but it bears reflection. Sometimes, God's presence and care is a blessing. Other times, it seems oppressive (compare Psalm 139 - I have been known to use selected verses from that Psalm as a Scripture reading of confession in church). This should also make us think carefully about Matthew 28:20.

Regarding human pride - particularly in the "good advice" category - I love 12:2: No doubt you are the people, and wisdom will die with you. I do need to apply the point to my own heart and not think of other people (though the temptation is strong).

I have met people who think that since chapter 1 says that Job was a righteous man, that he didn't have any sin in his past. Of course, Job was quite conscious of his sins: 13:23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgressions and my sin (note the plural "sins" and the singular "sin" in that verse. That's a study all on its own). 13:26: For you write bitter things against me and make me inherit the iniquities of my youth. That is an interesting one, for although Job is made to feel the sins of his youth because of the irritation of his miserable comforters, he knows that he does not carry their guilt because he is forgiven. Can you identify with that tension?

There is so much more that can be said about Job - the Mediator of 16:19 and the resurrection passage of 19:25-27 and of course the conclusion of chapters 38-40 - but the verses above were some of the truths that I had not really considered in previous readings.

It is really delightful to know that the next time I read through Job, I can count on new insights and applications. Of course, this is true of all of the Bible. This is not because I am a good reader, but that God's Word is living and active. That's the exciting part!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Terry and Juanita this is Sara Milne, you know me as Sara Webber from Barriere. I was very sadened to hear about your loss, I hope and pray the Lord keeps you strong in this horrible situation. I have been reading your blog and I'm very glad to see how God is getting you through this, its amazing how powerful our Lord can be. Anyway I really wanted to drop a line and say hi, your family is in my prayers. Please tell Juanita I said hi. I'm a mother of three children now and I couldn't imagine what she's going through. My Kirsten is almost 12, and my son Zachary is almost 10 and my baby Jordan will be 3 on Tuesday, they mean the world to me.

Take Care and God Bless

in Christ Sara Webber-Milne