January 6, 2017. Job 10-13.
Growing up I was never allowed to say these words; “Shut up”, but there were times when I would get so frustrated or angry at my friends or siblings that those words would just fly out of my mouth. As you read through today’s chronological reading, the emotion, and continued suffering seem to be coming to a boiling point.
Job’s friends have no words of comfort or compassion, but rather continue their position that Job needs to confess his sin and quit hiding it. There is no way that he is suffering like this as an innocent man. He must have some dirty secret sin – he needs to just admit it. And Job has had it with their counsel, he tells them in chapter 13, verse 5, “Oh, please be quiet! That would be your highest wisdom.” (TLB)
But remember, this ordeal began when God gave Satan Job’s name. Satan did not come looking for Job, God said in chapter 1 to Satan, “have you considered my servant Job?” And God presented Job to Satan as an upright, righteous man. There is no hidden sin here. Job admits that he is a sinner, but he is not hiding anything. It crescendos in chapter 13 and Job says the following;
18 “This is my case: I know that I am righteous. 19 Who can argue with me over this? If you could prove me wrong, I would stop defending myself and die.
20 “O God, there are two things I beg you not to do to me; only then will I be able to face you. 21 Don’t abandon me. And don’t terrify me with your awesome presence. 22 Call to me to come—how quickly I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply. 23 Tell me, what have I done wrong? Help me! Point out my sin to me. (TLB)
“Tell me, what have I done wrong? Help me!” And there it is – God never does tell him what he did wrong, or why he is suffering. Job never gets those answers. So what is the point?
At childbirth, there is great pain. As a child, there is pain and heartache. As an adolescent, there is great pain and heartache and perhaps the first broken heart caused by love. Adulthood, parenting, marriage - each has heartache and suffering included, and many times it seems to come without reason. Life includes suffering.
In Job 13:3, Job says that he just wants to have a dialog with God about his situation, and talk this over with God Himself. And there it is – a great takeaway from today’s reading. You can talk to God right now, right where you are. Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection have given you direct access to God. Talk to Him, even in all of your raw emotion - talk to Him. Your life circumstances may not be what you perceive them to be. God is working a much grander masterpiece for you, even more so than those around you can imagine. Trust HIM!