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.