Submitted by Jan on Tue, 06/10/2015 – 11:58
Year B (2014-2015)
Bible Book: Job
Chapter: 23
Verse: 1 – 19

The focus scripture tells of a very difficult time in Job’s life. Without recounting all details, it falls in as part of a long journey of discourse with his friends about his plight and highlights the assumptions and accusations they throw at Job: –

He has probably been sinning and not been walking in obedience to God so this is his punishment; he has turned a blind eye to the needy; he loves money and values his possessions more than God and therefore his prayers are not being heard anymore….it goes on. This is in the chapter preceding the focus scripture.

He now responds and reveals that all that they are suggesting and saying to him is not the reason. There is something deeper contained in his heart, which he cannot put a finger to. A deep cry, and deep pain, being misunderstood and that so by those who knew him much more closely than anyone else.

Job tries to communicate how deeply he feels in his heart about his plight but his friends are clearly not at that level of understanding him. This is a place where he feels as if he is all alone, where the trouble or pain is so deep and intense no one else can really know or understand it, and it’s even hard to feel God’s presence. But Job still knows and acknowledges that God is his Judge and will acquit him.

In the faith community, deep in the heart and lives of people, there are deep seated issues which bring pain, fear, the feeling of aloneness and it is worse where one feels misunderstood. At the beginning of the AIDS pandemic, it was largely seen as the punishment for sin and therefore those infected were ‘deserving’ of it. Well, think again. The why’s and how’s of infection are arguments that get us nowhere.

But I’d like to draw your attention to what goes on in the inside of a person and this is true of countless brothers and sisters enduring harsh circumstances of neglect, abuse, violation, hunger etc. deep within are questions like; what have I done wrong, why has this happened to me….. friends or relatives may be harping on the side possible reasons for this, but deep down, it all does not make sense. One issue highlighted later in the story of Job is that you can never understand why situations like these happen and yet God’s sees, knows and understands the whole truth. And it can never quite fully be explained by the person enduring such it, and yet they know deep within that they have not done anything wrong to deserve it. Even if they tried to explain, how many would actually believe? Job’s friends say the secret sins he has been hiding are finally catching up with him.

While Job’s story has a happy ending, this scripture highlights for us the deep wars that take place within the heart of a person going through a difficult time. It shows the endless questions which have no answers that keep turning in the mind. It reveals strained relationships and having to approach them with a forgiving heart. It is such a tall order for the individual. Yet God does come through as he showed in Job. And his end was better than his beginning. So I can only imagine where he was spiritually at the end.

To think about:Challenging situations happen to us all. With each unique situation very deep reflections take place in our minds and hearts, many without answers. Think of how you approach a person going through such a phase in life.

And when we think we are deserving of the suffering or hardship… I do not have the words for this but just how much of his love God actually lavishes on each one of us, each person, how he longs to take that burden from us…. How he stands, ready to receive it. There is no category for suffering or hardship that he cannot deal with. All those deep things that no one else understands, he actually does…

Author: Moyo M (Ms)
Language: English