Eh…here’s more Job

The last several days have been sheer HELL in abundance…and in talking to a good friend of mine, it wasn’t just that way for me alone. Sometimes you just need that voice that confirms what you know and puts everything back into perspective…and he happen to call right when I needed that kick in the pants (I think if he had come off like one of Job’s wretched friends though, I woulda had to punch him in the arm!!)

So even though over the last few days I really couldn’t have cared less about what debate Job and Bildad or Eliphaz got into next, it makes perfect sense that I’d be in the late chapters of the book of Job right now. They’re all speaking what I need to hear.

Job came out the gate speaking for me in chapter 29. I’m broken and I’m not strong. I’m anxious all day and hardly sleep at night. I feel gut-checked and punched in the jaw and I don’t know what to do. I wish I could go backward to when I was stable – (29:1-5)when I could hear Him and I thought he heard me. I cried out – He said keep movin.  I moved – He’s either saying stay still (Exodus 14: 13-14) or nothing at all (Job 30:16-22). I wasn’t expecting THIS by any stretch of the imagination (30:18, 26)…but then I had to stop and remember that I ain’t the Professor so I can’t design the test. Funny though, like Job, I knew what questions would be on it and I even know for sure what some of the answers are…but it still ain’t really helping me see clearly right now.

In chapter 31…Job’s taking inventory – checking his friends while he’s checking himself! He ran through every possible sin he could have committed and declared that if he’d done any of them then he deserved to be taken down. He even takes it to the Word!! Verse 33 he contrasts his forthrightness with Adam and how he tried to hide from God. Job said “I ain’t doin it!!! I’m not ducking from God NOR man!!” I guess if we wanna hear it that way it could sound arrogant…but all I keep hearing from this man is “I know I ain’t perfect but I don’t get THIS!!”

The start of chapter 32 is interestingly weird. Elihu tight with everybody and pretty much for the same reason – he thinks they’re all a little too full of themselves: Job thinks he’s right against God and his friends think they’re right against Job.  My question is just where did this guy come from?? If he heard all four of them – how long had he been there with no introduction?!?! This is going a little left and I haven’t looked deeply into it (yeah…I’ve got like three commentaries in front of me but that would mean verb parcing and such – I don’t wanna right now.) but there might just be some interesting wordplay here – and if so, it’s pretty funny! Elihu (or God is he) is a Buzite…Job has used the word ‘buz’ (contempt, put to shame, despise) a few times to describe how he’s been treated. So not even looking forward to the end of the story, but isn’t it ironic right now that Elihu is about to step in with what we can only assume is a word against the whole set of them to “put them to shame”.

Regardless…those are all just passing ideas – more wondering in the midst of everything. Because all I do know is that the new dude, Elihu, is introducing a shift – there’s something different about the turn everything is taking now, and we’ll just have to see where he’s gonna go with it.

 


Just Quote

The question, then, “Doth Job fear God for nought?”…compelling all to look to the foundation and motives of their faith…[i]t is, we may say, the first note of a piercing strain which thrills on to the present time.

…To grant that happiness is in any sense the distinctive issue of faith and faithfulness, to keep happiness in view in submitting to the restraints and bearing the burdens of religion, is to build the highest and best on the shifting sand of personal taste and craving. Make happiness that for which the believer is to endure and strive, allow the sense of personal comfort and immunity from change to enter into his picture of the reward he may expect, and the question returns, Doth this man serve God for nought? Life is not happiness, and the gift of God is everlasting life.  Only when we keep to this supreme word in the teaching of Christ, and seek the fullness and liberty and purity of life, apart from that happiness which is at bottom the satisfaction of predominant desires, shall we escape from the constantly recurring doubt that threatens to undermine and destroy our faith…

The favourite aim of social meliorists is to secure happiness for all…their dream is to make the warfare and service of man upon the earth so easy that he shall have no need for earnest personal endeavour. He is to serve for happiness…The pity bestowed on those who toil and endure…is that they fail of happiness. Persons who have no conception that vigour and endurance are spiritually profitable, and others who once knew but have forgotten the benefits of vigour and the gains of endurance, would undo the very order and discipline of God.

…If God is good for this reason, what follows when He appoints pain, especially pain that brings no enjoyment [happiness] in the long run?

Watson, Robert A.”The Opening Scene in Heaven.” and “The Shadow of God’s Hand.” The Book of Job – The Expositor’s Bible. pp 44-46, 53

 

 


Not forgotten…more with Job

There are just certain points when you’re reading anything that you can just kinda be “over it”…well that’s how I feel about Job and his “friends” right now. Like, seriously, ya’ll STILL going at it?!? *It’s almost like getting through the lists of genealogies!*

Anyhoo, I’m gonna combine a couple days worth of chapters and add a little remix from my pastor, affectionately known as “Revvie”!

 Job 17-20


17&18
I’d always heard people say “oh he/she has the patience of Job.” Now I understand what that means. It took 12 long-winded chapters before Job even made a direct reply to his “friends”.  At chapter 17, he’s straight forward and to the point with them but even in his reply, he’s still going back to God. So while he asserts that his friends are complete doofuses, he even attributes that to God – that He has “closed their minds to understanding.” It almost goes back to the “full armor” discussion. Job seems to know that he’s not arguing against his friends per se (Eph 6:12) because for all the truth they’ve told, they’re still missing the biggest picture. It’s very apparent that they wanna be right (as they know right to be) so badly that they aren’t listening to anything.  So I truly I wanted to ask Bildad in 18:2 when he was gonna shut HIS trap!!!

19&20
Now in chapter 20, I just wanna know what da heck Zophar is talking about…..! Job 19:29 woulda been a really good place for everybody to just hush and think for a second – just let that idea marinate. But Zophar is so far off on a tangent that nothing he’s saying makes ANY sense at all! Zophar makes a very peculiar statement at 20:3. If he’s being sarcastic, kinda in response to Job from 19:3, then he’s clearly doesn’t realize he’s only making a bigger case for why JOB continues to speak and uphold his case. If he’s really just talking about himself, then he just showed all his cards. Because if his “spirit of understanding causes [him] to respond” then all his following words show that he doesn’t understand much.

More from Revvie:
Title: Bring It!! Say What Ever U Have To Say…!!

JOB lost everything and his body was being afflicted!! Job was GOING THROUGH IT!! Yet, his boys still had much to say! They visited Job’s home and went in hard – Job could not hide even if he wanted to!! Imagine, THE LORD allowing your friends to visit your house, job, school, the park where you walk in the morning, or be at the train station waiting for U to arrive JUST TO GO IN VICIOUSLY ABOUT WHY YOU ARE SUFFERING!

Really God?!?!?  Really?!?!!!!!

But remember–THIS WAS ONLY A TEST….
Job let them talk regardless to the fact they were heartless & clueless to his situation! Notice none of Job’s friends said anything about going to the All-Knowing God in prayer about Job’s situation nor did they pray with him b4 leaving his home!!  They were just free-styling what they believed were the reasons why Job was suffering. “Let me say what I have to say but don’t you dare respond!!!” How sick is that!!

Let’s stop here! Please Allow people to say what they desire…everyone has a right & choice to say and believe what they so desire! But as for YOU….Let THE LORD check their chin…U just CONTINUE TO ROCK WITH JESUS!!
God Bless!!
Rev.


Back on Track with Job

Job 11 & 12


Before I started Job this morning, I was looking at how Judas really gets a bum rap in the grand scheme of things. He had a purpose and he served it well…made a despicably bad decision that he regretted so much that his only recourse was to hang himself. But Psalm 145:14 says that ‘God supports all who “fall” (intentionally and unintentionally; and those who have just collapsed whether in discouragement or despair) and “raises up” all who are “bowed down”‘, and in this verse’s context I would say that means “bowed down” in shame or some such. So I figured if that’s good enough for Jesus then it’s good enough for me and I was gonna start cutting Judas, and today, even though I knew it wasn’t gonna be good, Job’s friends some slack. They all had a part in this drama…and Zophar did not disappoint in playing his role.
To me, he is a classic example of a person who is so anxious to TALK and prove their point that it’s pretty clear they weren’t LISTENING to anything. Zophar name calls(11:1-3), misquotes (4) and even repeats Job, but in this, only to suit his own agenda (10). In the midst of all this he completely misses Job’s cry in order to prove how right he is. It’s interesting how Zophar is so quick to admonish Job about wisdom when it seems he himself has none. He’s moved from self-righteousness into plain ego-trippin’. All three friends have spoken as if they’re on payroll in Jesus’ PR department…but Zophar sounds like he knows a pink-slip is coming any day and he’s trying to save his job by doing way too much!
I think chapter 12 is the first time Job actually comes at the three directly. But how Job so impresses is that while he’s giving his friends the business, he is still telling the truth about God. And it probably all went over non-listening Zophar’s head. Which makes me wonder why Job chose now to go at them? Eliphaz and Bildad went hard at him too, but I wonder if he grasped just how ridiculous Zophar’s retort was and decided it was time to “answer a fool according to his foolishness” (Proverbs 26:5)…


Last one on the catch up with Job

OK…I’m done for the day after this one…Job 9 & 10


I don’t really have much on Job today. Precious child of God is agreeing with his wretched friends on the truths they spoke. What I notice, though, is that he never REACTED to the things they said. He could have gone on a tangent and ripped Bildad a new one for talking about his babies, but he didn’t. He kept it on God EVEN THOUGH he is confused and doesn’t get what’s going on. What he does seem to understand (9:22) is Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, and James 2:1-4….EVERYBODY is the same under God.  He ain’t special. He wasn’t in wealth and he isn’t in suffering. That’s a tough dichotomy for a lot of us – how to know you’re chosen, sanctified, and justified WITHOUT thinking you’re the only one Jesus died for! I think that’s another place arrogance tends to sneak in. “Christians and saints” believe they’re SPECIAL. Some Christians believe that as a Christian, you should receive everything you ask for or else you aren’t a true Christian – and it’s also what the whole “prosperity gospel” nonsense and the “touch not Israel” ideas are about. People start believing their own hype instead of Jesus.

9:27-28: the “church” has taught some people that if they’re going through any type of hardship, struggle, pain, anything, that they should just “put on a happy face”.  Job said “‘damn that’ cause even if I DO, my pain is still here! ‘Skinnin’ and grinnin’ is NOT gonna change the fact that I’m facing this situation.” Nobody teaches THIS! Maybe I’m crazy but I see the “joy of The Lord” coming from Job that I think many try to get to, but because we’re all so afraid of HONESTY that we’d rather limit how people relate to God (and how He relates to US).

That’s pretty much all I got for today because it wanna see how Zophar responds! Knowing that he’s gonna be just as wrong as the other two, I’m anxious to see how he can possibly screw this up!! LOLOL After everything that Job has just poured from his heart, what can he really say????


Almost there…more Job

Ok…this is the next to the last one… Job 7 & 8


Job 7 has me on a ride because it’s so beautifully bipolar! Poor Job is all over the place, but he’s all over the place with God. In church Sunday, we were talking about the breakdown of the books under the classification of poetry/wisdom and now I’m seeing SO MANY of the similarities that it’s crazy. Seminary taught me the “theory” but to now see certain things come to life is pretty awesome. 98.37% of chapter 7 reads like Ecclesiasties. Verses 1-2…so much dutiful service with no rest turns out to be utter nothingness for Job. He’s not even talking about just himself yet, he sees the issue for all of mankind – not even just that we “work”, but that we are like duty bound military soldiers under Yahweh Sabaoth, or the Lord of Armies; that even soldiers expect a time of rest and reward for their service. But verses 3-4 point to his personal realization that he may have been wrong because even sleep is useless. I remember times like that. Holding on to the “H” in “hope”, thinking that I could just try to sleep my endless and twisted anxiety away, but it never working.

Then we had Psalms 26 and 139 in the bulletin and I was reading through them both and it struck me to wonder just how David, if he indeed wrote Psalm 26, knew he was “innocent”? *Psalm 26 reads SO MUCH like “Job”…Psalm 139 sounds more like “David”* Just like Job, WE know David’s story, but honestly we don’t even know that God considered David a man after his own heart til JESUS came!!  And nowhere in David’s shenanigans did God even NEED to point David out! LOL So just how, again like Job, was he so able to be that confident? It tells me two definitive things: that God truly has NO favorites and that he knows just how to deal with every one of his children because he knows the hearts of his children. Some scholars limit Job to a test of JOB, but God is so bad that he was testing all Job’s friends at the same time…just in different ways. Because even if they were part of the “stiff-necked” set, there’s no way they walked away at the end of their time with Job thinking the same way about God.

So 7:1-10 were kinda “nice”…from 11 on it’s like Job snaps! LOL But not even in an arrogant way. He just wants to know what he did wrong…verse 20 made me cry. He’s struggling because he doesn’t understand – to the point that he even asks God if he has become a “burden” to him. That broke my heart because it reminded me of a young man I’m very close to. He’s walked with the idea that if he’d never been born his mother wouldn’t have gone through some of the things she did. It’s a painful thing to see a man wrestle with the idea that he’s become/was a burden to the one that should love and protect him most. But again, what’s funny is that he doesn’t even bother speaking to his friends…this is all straight poetry from Job’s heart to God…cause sometimes you just gotta ignore even your best friends to get in God’s face. We were talking about an artist named August Alsina recently and I watched an interview where he was the most wise and self-aware person IN the interview. For me he made the people interviewing him look foolish and immature and he reminded me of Job…sometimes, even though he was answering a question, it seemed like he was more doing a Job 7 and just pouring his heart out.

In chapter 8, Bildad pissed me off even more than Eliphaz if that’s even POSSIBLE!! I had to walk away and stop reading him for a minute by verse 6.  This guy tells Job in verses 4-6 that his kids brought their own death on themselves and he should learn from that!! WHAAAAAT?!?!? So in one breath he told Job he was a bad parent and his kids were worse!! Far as I’m concerned, he sound like satan in verses 5-6. For a “friend”, Bildad obviously knew nothing about Job…and it’s ironic that he tells Job to BECOME what God had already said Job IS!  We gotta watch “saints” who wanna tell us who we are or aren’t in Christ because of what they THINK THEY SEE.  Because once again chapter 8 is just another friend who is so right yet SO wrong.


Nope…no idea, but still Job

Ok so somewhere I lost Job 3-4 and I have no idea where it went…so instead of holding up the works til I dig it out, this is 5 & 6!!


Eliphaz is a piece of work. And of course he’s the first one to pop off at Job…he was really tryin’ it. And if it wasn’t custom to wait for the “sufferer” to speak first, he probably would have started sooner…matter of fact, he was probably the reason Job had to BEGIN in “response” mode!!! From 5:1-5, he basically told Job he was an idiot, it was his own fault that he lost everything, and the best part was that no one, including GOD, was gonna respond or even listen to anything he had to say. I thought that was pretty gangsta! You got God on lock so tight that you know who he’s gonna listen to?!?!? Funny how I guess you didn’t think He’s been listening to YOU…but we’ll get to that later!! Guess not cause verses 8 & 27 just running over with self-righteousness. We “saints” do it to each other all the time….especially the ones who’ve been in the game for a long time and are used to God being who He’s always been to them. One thing I’ve learned is that God is indeed “the same yesterday, today, and forever” but WE aren’t.  And the God I know today may not be the God that’s showing up in someone else’s life at the same time.  While He’s teaching me trust, he might be teaching one friend grace, and another humility all at the same time! But we tend to try and shove our “right now God” down other peoples’ throats.

Chapter 6, Job doesn’t even address Eliphaz immediately or even directly (he lumps all his good-for-nothing peoples together!) He starts off talking about God…verse 4 is so deep. I feel him on that. He’s basically admitting just how deep he’s in his head trying to figure this thing out. Oooh but in 14 he starts goin in himself!! Nothing hurts more than realizing that your friends don’t know you at all. Nobody will know everything about anybody…but there are certain things that the people closest to you should never try to come for you about. Eliphaz didn’t ASK him a single thing – not a “how do you think you got here?”, not a “what do you think God is saying?” – he just immediately started telling him how he was wrong and he brought it all on himself. That’s the kind of “friend” don’t NOBODY need!!


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