Yet another paper Bible study tool that The Mom enjoys is the introductions… check your own Bible–they all seem to have them: introductions to each of the books. Eugene Peterson’s (The Message) are always quite good; today we’ve started reading Job. He points out how Job did not sit “piously” by when all those terrible trials hit him–he asked questions, “persistently, passionately, and eloquently”. And he asked them of God Himself.
It’s interesting that The Mom has just been thinking of what she could say to someone in our church who has been suffering terribly (sick) for many months. In Job we find that, while there may be lots of “answers” that are “technically correct”–they can add up to just so much religiosity (Job’s three friends giving him all kinds of advice). We like to concentrate on solving/stopping the suffering, when what is sometimes needed is simply for us to “enter into” it with them, insofar as we are able. “..no matter how insightful we may be, we don’t really understand the full nature of our friend’s problems.” Peterson says we should try “entering the mystery and looking around for God”, and instead of feeling sorry for them–look up to them.
Does the book of Job answer the question of suffering, in the end? As another introduction says (Chicken Soup for the Soul Bible, NLT): “Sometimes we cannot discern what is what, only who is Who.”
“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!” (Job 19:25-27, NLT)–Job said this AFTER he’d lost everything he owned including his family, he was covered with a miserable disease, and his friends were telling him how sinful he was…
Lord, we surrender our future to You–we surrender any inclination we would have to “curse God and die”!
Walk to Rivendell: BLACK RIDER! Hide behind a tree!!