Job’s Darkest Hour
Lord, today I want to speak the thanks I feel, and I ask You to forgive all my complaining.
Read Job 14:1-22
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
If Job knew what you know now, how do you think he would have approached God? Suffering colors every part of our life.
Suffering can bring a person to the point of utter reality. Platitudes are offensive. Any attempt on the part of friends to make the person feel better is decisively rejected. The only honest thing is to stare down the reality which confronts us. It is at this point that a profound encounter with God can occur. The sham with which we are accustomed to protect ourselves is stripped away and we are face to face with the blazing light of God. Here Job, living without any knowledge of the peace and restoration that Jesus Christ would bring, glimpses only life’s darkest possibility. He is sensitive to God’s invisible qualities, which Paul wrote of in Romans 1:20, seeing in the natural world God’s eternal power and divine nature.
In all of his suffering he still cries out to God. This chapter moves from hopelessness (1-12), through a cry of faith (13-17) back to hopelessness again. Sheol is normally described as the place where the dead go, only to eat dust and drink dirty water. Job knows, hopes against hope, that he will be vindicated (Job 13:18). “If someone dies, will they live again?” (14). Job can raise this only as a rhetorical question, but in the middle section he dares to hope that maybe God will remember him. He still knew himself to be the work of God’s hands (15). Perhaps at some future time God would long for his own creation. Perhaps God would even cover his sin. Perhaps.
In his darkest hour Job had foreseen a glimpse of the Gospel. Jesus’ resurrection points the way. We can look forward to the new heaven and new earth, and the time when God will wipe every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:1,4).
Cry out in faith for all those you know who suffer, knowing that in all things God is at work for our good (Rom. 8:28).
Eternal Father, because Jesus defeated death when he was raised from the dead, I will live in Your care forever. I thank You for that certain hope.
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