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Staff Meeting Devotion Oct. 23, 2012

Categories: Devotional Thoughts

“Job”

Job is a curious book of the Bible.  The author is unknown, and the time and place of writing are unknown.  The narrative itself leaves us with lots of unanswered questions.  Some suggest that Job never lived, but was rather a description of a reality, like an illustration of Israel or a character in a fable.  So, what answers are there to be found in a book with no answers?

Let us consider the text from an existential (personal) point of view and insert ourselves in the story in Job’s place.  We find that we agree, yet disagree, with those who would offer Job comfort.  They are both correct and foolish; they didn’t have all the answers, but some answers seemed correct.  There is a sense that they are talking out loud to themselves.  Sometimes, Job seems justified in his complaints to God and his friends; other times, not so much.  No man in the story has all the answers, but all have something to say that looks like an answer.

Then, finally, God speaks.  He gave Job space to complain, but lets him know that he must be silent in order to learn.  Having Job’s attention, God then proceds to give no answer other than to tell about Himself.  In the end, the full answer is given not to Job, but to us, the reader, for we were privy to the story’s prelude:  God’s conversation with Satan.  Job may not have known of this conversation.  God decreed that Job would be brought to the brink of death.

God is sovereign; He uses suffering to test and shape us; He allows dialogue.  He has the final word.  In this story of Job, the final word is unwritten.  God just says, “It’s me.  I started it and will bring everything back to how it ought to be.”