TRUSTING THROUGH PAIN
Lord Jesus, I am grateful for your life, example, instruction, and guidance. I wait now for the Spirit’s direction.
Read JOB 13
“My eyes have seen all this,
my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
3 But I desire to speak to the Almighty
and to argue my case with God.
4 You, however, smear me with lies;
you are worthless physicians, all of you!
5 If only you would be altogether silent!
For you, that would be wisdom.
6 Hear now my argument;
listen to the pleas of my lips.
7 Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf?
Will you speak deceitfully for him?
8 Will you show him partiality?
Will you argue the case for God?
9 Would it turn out well if he examined you?
Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal?
10 He would surely call you to account
if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would not his splendor terrify you?
Would not the dread of him fall on you?
12 Your maxims are proverbs of ashes;
your defenses are defenses of clay.
13 “Keep silent and let me speak;
then let come to me what may.
14 Why do I put myself in jeopardy
and take my life in my hands?
15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him;
I will surely[a] defend my ways to his face.
16 Indeed, this will turn out for my deliverance,
for no godless person would dare come before him!
17 Listen carefully to what I say;
let my words ring in your ears.
18 Now that I have prepared my case,
I know I will be vindicated.
19 Can anyone bring charges against me?
If so, I will be silent and die.
20 “Only grant me these two things, God,
and then I will not hide from you:
21 Withdraw your hand far from me,
and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22 Then summon me and I will answer,
or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many wrongs and sins have I committed?
Show me my offense and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face
and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you torment a windblown leaf?
Will you chase after dry chaff?
26 For you write down bitter things against me
and make me reap the sins of my youth.
27 You fasten my feet in shackles;
you keep close watch on all my paths
by putting marks on the soles of my feet.
28 “So man wastes away like something rotten,
like a garment eaten by moths.
- Job 13:15 Or He will surely slay me; I have no hope — / yet I will
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘… neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’1
Job speaks first to his critics and then to God. His anger and frustration with his friends are clear. He calls them liars and ‘worthless physicians’ (v 4). At the start of his rebuke, he expresses his desire to speak to the Almighty and to argue his case with God. It might have been wiser to speak to God first – but Job is not in a place to consider theological niceties. He is in pain, desperately grieving his loss. He needs space to express his feelings yet still be loved and respected. He asks whether it would turn out well if God were to examine his friends and check out their own lives (v 9), exposing their hypocrisy. Always remember that when we point a finger at others, we have three pointing back at ourselves.
There is a gem hidden in his rant. ‘Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him’ (v 15). Job chooses to trust God in the face of adversity. You may be grieving loss or feeling the searing blasts of acute or chronic pain, but there is still a challenge here today. Can you put your trembling hand in the palm of the Almighty and trust him? Job did, and it saw him through, one day at a time.
When Job turns to God, his tone is different. He owns God’s sovereignty, even over his wind-blasted, arid circumstances (v 25). He also invites the Lord to show him his sin. This is like the end of Psalm 139, ‘Search me, God, and know my heart.’ For Job, the final judgment is God’s, not that of his friends. Marking the soles of the feet of slaves was how their ancient owners kept track of their movements (v 27). Job is rightly aware that God is keeping a close watch on him.
Pray the words of Psalm 139:23,24 quietly and thank God for his watchful care over your life in all circumstances.
Heavenly Father, there are times when I feel you are far away. Keep me praying and trusting, assured that you will never leave me or forsake me.
1 Rom 8:38,39
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