March 26, 2007

Job chapter 10 - Can He Say That?

“Shake your fist at Him, spit in His face, scourge Him, and finally crucify Him: what does it matter? My daughter, it’s already been done to Him.”

George Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest

For many these words of Job may elicit a shocked gasp. I imagine Job’s three “friends” had eyes as large as dinner plates as they heard Job address God so directly. Job’s audacity is shocking! “Does it please you to oppress me?” (v. 3), or “You must search out my faults and probe after my sin—though you know that I am not guilty and no one can rescue me from your hand” (v. 6-7).

Somewhere, sometime, it has crept into our popular theology that it is inappropriate for us to “question” God. Rather than take you on the journey through the saints of scripture who gave free rein to their complaint and spoke out of the bitterness of their souls (and it is a long list including Abraham, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Paul), simply allow me to remind you that Job is consistently considered among the truly righteous ones of scripture. In Ezekiel 14: 14 & 20 God speaks to Ezekiel and says, “Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it (God’s judgment), they could save only themselves by their righteousness.” God considers Job among the truly righteous. Job’s shocking words in no way change his standing before a holy and righteous God.

Child of God, it is alright for you to honestly ventilate your soul before the Almighty. Remember that nothing you say will surprise Him because He knows what is on your tongue before you speak it. Even as Job’s shocking words did not alter his standing before a holy and righteous God, you can be sure that your equally difficult and bitter words will not change your standing before God if you are standing before Him in Christ.

Get into the habit of speaking openly and honestly with God. See Psalm 51:6 for additional input on this.

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