Job, Part 2

Continued from Job, Part 1 naturally.

 

When we left off last time, I’d made it to Chapter 20 where Job was going back and forth with his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar who had come by to comfort him.  Weeellll, let’s just say Job wasn’t up for much comfort as he countered each of their arguments with some version of ‘I was righteous yet He is punishing me while all the evil people are living the good life’.  And Job’s BFFs didn’t really have a comeback to that.

In my mind I picture these three men huddled around Job in his bed or maybe sitting in a recliner (Yes, I do realize La-Z-Boy had a year or two thousand yet to be discovered.  Leave my imaginary Bible world alone.  ha!) trying their best to comfort him with thoughts of a loving God.  And then there’s Job…this once proud, prosperous, hard-working man with land, animals, and family surrounding him now reduced to a bed-ridden, pained, lonely pack of skin and bones.  It’s been a long, hard fall for ol’ Job and ‘a loving God’ just ain’t within his grasp right now.

Continuing on past Chapter 20 when I hit Chapter 22 I think, ‘Uh oh.  They’re gonna get him now!  Here it comes!’ as Eliphaz (in my mind) gets frustrated and throws down with this whole ‘Who do you think you are?’ speech.  He’s all like, ‘What, you think you’re so righteous, huh?  I’ve seen myself when you turning away the weary without giving them water, or not giving bread to the hungry.  I’ve seen you!  Now stop being all holier-than-thou, spend time getting to know God who will give you peace, and stop whining.’  (all paraphrased, of course)

Job does back off a little bit and next takes a route of ‘Where is God?  I can’t find Him.  I’d love to ask Him what’s going on.’  He goes on to say, ‘I do fear Him.  He can do whatever it is He wants to do.  Of course I fear Him.  Look at me, He didn’t protect me from evil.’

So it’s more back and forth but I just finished Chapter 32.  At this point the three men give up because they can see how righteous Job thinks he is and they’re not going to get past that.  But hold up a minute!  Suddenly there’s another guy there.  A younger one!  I’m picturing someone in their late teens or early 20’s.  It’s Elihu and he’s been quiet this whole time because he’s trying to respect his elders like a good kid does.  When they give up though, Elihu jumps on up and says, ‘Oh wait just a second here.  I’ve got a thing or two to say now!  You old guys got your say and let’s be honest….you didn’t say much.  It’s my turn.’

It’s about to get real, folks.  I have a feeling this kid’s about to bring a little church up in here!  Stay tuned!

My Favorite Bible Verse

I’m on this kick today that apparently makes me want to read things that are difficult for me to understand.  I’ve been online all morning reading Shakespeare sonnets, which despite my lack of comprehension have given a certain level of serenity to my day.  His words are amazing.

So I’m reading Big Will’s sonnets and the ADD kicks in and I space out thinking about weekly bible studies suggested by a friend recently, then I think about old bible studies I used to have with another group of friends, which then led to this one verse.

I’m not big on reading the bible.  I don’t have a great relationship with God…in fact, I often struggle with that relationship.  I have never been touched by all the more famous bible verses they teach you in Sunday School like John 3:16 where he sent his only begotten son, or Romans 3:23 where all have fallen short of the glory of God but he still loves us.  However, I found one a while back that unexpectedly brought me to tears.  Big, silent, crocodile tears just falling down my cheeks.

Hidden way back in one of the lesser taught books – Revelation – after all the plagues and battles and whatever other damnation there is in there it begins to talk about what is supposed to happen next when all things are made new.  Clean slate..new Heaven, new earth.

Anyway, Revelation 21:4.  I’ll include verse 3 here as well because it may make more sense that way.  All I have with me at the moment is a New King James version, so that’s where this is from.  (This is John talking, by the way.)

3  And I heard a loud voice from Heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

It may not touch you like it did me, but I’ve shed a lot of tears in my 32 years…and I’ve worked really hard to erase the sorrow and the crying, the pain, the fear.  It’s been a long, lonely road.  So I guess the idea of having someone to finally wipe those away for me.  The idea that I won’t have to do it anymore…no more fighting alone, no more battles to win/lose by myself….there will be a lot of relief when that happens.

This morning I was pretty close to calling Playboy.  I really was.  It was eating away at me.  Finally I asked God to please release me from this love for him (Playboy) if I couldn’t have him.  I immediately felt a sense of relief.  The sadness and the desire abated.  I won’t say it’s completely gone because it’s not, but it’s not consuming me anymore right now.  So maybe God wiped one of those tears away for me a little early.