Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, January 22nd: Job 15-17 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Job 15-17

Our reading begins with the second speech Eliphaz says to Job.  He has some pretty strong opinions regarding what Job said earlier.  In the early verses he regards Job's words as being full of hot air, deceitful, and crafty.  In the verses to follow, Eliphaz continues with some rhetorical questions to Job, indicating that Job is arrogant.

Eliphaz is convinced that righteous people prosper and wicked people do not.  He believes that Job must be a very bad man secretly, in order for these problems of this magnitude to occur.  He is just totally unaware of any other possible scenario that Job could find himself experiencing this kind of difficulty.

How am I at assisting others in time of their need?  Am I quick to judge, do I have an open ear and mind?  Do I come along side them trying to build them up, or try to find their fault in order to provide reason for their circumstance?

In chapter 16, Job responds once again and in verse 2 he calls them "miserable comforters".  I am not sure if Eliphaz thought he was actually helping, or that he was motivated to sincerely comfort Job, but obviously he was not being very effective.

It's one thing to go through the motions and "check" it's done.  It's another thing to be effective.

"But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief."  Job 16:5

This is what Job needs at this time, and he tells Eliphaz that if the situation was reversed that this is what he would be offering him.

Job then continues to list off many of his feelings and outcomes from his misfortunes:

-worn out and devastated entire household (vs 7),
-gauntness (vs 8),
-men mock him, strike him (vs 10),
-left in the hands of the wicked (vs 11),
-feels shattered, crushed, and made a target (vs 12),
-merciless (vs 13),
-face is red from weeping, shadowed eyes (vs 16)

What is impressive, is his reaction to all this in verse 17 - "yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure."

Despite all that has gone wrong, and all the misery that he has had to endure, Job remains blameless and upright!  What an example he is for me.  It is much easier to do the opposite, but Job does not.  

We will all endure pain of some kind at some point in our lives.  How we respond to it, shows our true character.  God told Satan that Job was a blameless and upright man, and he emulated that in our reading today with his attitude.

Dear Lord, as difficult situations come my way, I pray that I will remember the story of Job and the example that he is.  I also pray that I would understand that I cannot do anything on my own, but that I would call on You to provide me with the strength and adversity to overcome.  I pray that I will place my faith in You, knowing that You are in control.  Amen.  

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 18-20


Nathan Reimer said...

Job is a great example for us to follow in many ways. The strength and character he shows during this long time of hardship is a good reminder for any of us who are going through a long period of hardship in our lives, not all are troubles come and go over night, some can last for years. Yet Job stays positive, and even resigns himself to the fact that this may continue for awhile but that he would stay on track for God

17:11&12 My days have passed, my plans are shattered.Yet the desires of my heartturn night into day, in the face of the darkness light is near.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I too noticed the verse that talked about Job being an encourager in the midst of grief if their situations were reversed. Truly that's what people that are grieving need. They don't need empty platitudes or veiled insinuations or accusations of faithlessness. They need love. They need encouragement. They need the presence of a friend.

Pamela said...

This stood out for me:

“Listen to me and I will explain to you;
let me tell you what I have seen,

"I will explain" "what I have seen" How can we ever know exactly what someone else should do or what someone else is feeling?? We can't explain it and what we have seen might not be applicable. It's true that sometimes what we have seen may be helpful or that outside advice might be valid when we can remove ourselves from the situation...however often it's not.

Recently at school, I made a decision regarding the academic progress of a student. It was bold. I was "explained" and "told" by an "expert" who had a greater understanding than I did...or so they thought. Sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe to be right even when it is against the advice of well meaning people based on their past experience. So far, my boldness has shown to be progress for this student. It may not have worked out this way but I am glad that I stood up for myself and what I believed to be the right action for my student. I think Job's friends thought they knew more and told him about it. Job chose not to take their "expert" advice.