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May 2, 2024 - Job 3-4

“After this Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth” (3:1).  And so begins the amazing story of Job’s Q&A with his friends, his own self introspection, God’s questioning of Job, and his reaffirmed faith in God.  Job begins his lament, “Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’  Let that day be darkness!  May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it” (3:3-4).  This is a pretty bad (a bit of an understatement, huh?) take on his life.  After all his great losses, Job finds himself in one of those situations in which a person just wishes to escape the pain by any means possible.  In fact, Job’s cry goes even further; he wishes he had never been born.  So great is his suffering that non-existence beats what he now has.

 

Job’s friend, Eliphaz, believed he had the answer:  “Job, it’s all your own fault!  You are suffering thusly because of your wrongdoing.”  To quote Eliphaz, “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (4:8).  In other words, “Job, you’re just getting what you deserve.”  Of course, this counsel clearly contradicts God’s own evaluation.  To Satan, God posed the question, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (1:8)  So, on good authority – the Lord’s! – we know that Job is not suffering as a result of some great wrongdoing.  We’re in for a long and difficult story, and we will cry out with Job along the way, but at the end, with the psalmist, we will affirm, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1).  Oh, to sing with Fanny Crosby:

 

Perfect submission, all is at rest.

I in my Savior am happy and bless’d,

watching and waiting, looking above,

filled with his goodness, lost in his love.

This is my story, this is my song,

praising my Savior all the day long.

This is my story, this is my song,

praising my Savior all the day long.   –Fanny Crosby (1874)

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