Tag Archives: The Book of Job

Cheeky Whippersnapper

Social discourse can be a tricky thing, especially when a young person challenges the veracity of an elder. As a youngster, I was taught to “respect” my elders which meant even if they asserted something I knew to be untrue, the proper (respectful) behavior was to keep my lips sealed and my tongue in check.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Today’s more free-wheeling social interactions allow for a lot more give and take. Young adults can be cheeky and bold, sometimes intimating they know more than they really do. If you’ve ever witnessed a young person challenge a college professor (as I have) only to be verbally sliced and diced by said professor, the experience can be understandably awkward. Continue Reading →

Let Job Be Tried

Gutsy Elihu, a younger man who has listened to Job and the three comforters who sit nearby, in Chapter 34 of The Book of Job continues his outspoken rebuttal of Job’s complaints against the Almighty. At the conclusion of Chapter 33, Elihu challenged Job to respond if he had anything reasonable to say, but Job remained silent so Elihu presses on. He’s not shy.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Elihu demands they – all four of the older men – listen to him. He then begins his rational argument with the example of testing food by touching it to your lips or listening to what someone says before deciding its veracity. He briefly repeats the complaints Job has made and suggests it’s time to test Job’s arguments to see if they hold weight. Continue Reading →

Youth Speaks

Arriving today at Chapter 32 in The Book of Job, the chapter brings an unexpected surprise … we’re introduced to a completely new character named Elihu. As he speaks, we learn he’s a younger man who has been listening to the extended conversations between Job and his comforters.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Although he hasn’t said a peep to this point, it’s fair to say Elihu has been chomping at the bit to enter into the conversation. As long as his elders were inclined to speak, he had deferred to them. The moment they fell silent, clearly ineffectual, Elihu takes the plunge. Continue Reading →

Job Rests His Case

Whether defense or prosecution, when a trial attorney comes to the conclusion of a trial, it’s time for summation. At this point, the jury will hear a summary of all pertinent facts and evidence before they reach their decision. The attorney wants to deliver a strong summation in order to sway the jury toward a particular outcome. The same can be said of Job as we arrive at chapter 31. Job and his comforters have jousted back and forth for thirty chapters. Now it’s time for Job’s summation.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

This chapter is a long passage – forty verses – and the flow revolves around a repetitious theme … IF. Job makes his case with a series of hypothetical statements. If I have done thisIf I have done that. He addresses the accusations of his friends in summary fashion and answers each accusation by declaring what punishment he would deserve if he was guilty. Continue Reading →

Mourning Song

A wise man might say Laughter is the best medicine, but long ago, I learned there is an appropriate time for laughter. Likewise, I learned there were certain occasions that called for me to keep my big mouth shut. (Thankfully, this crucial lesson came early in my marriage.) Discretion … exercising good judgment in delicate situations. In Job Chapter 30, we find Job still stuck in the doldrums and his first sentence is a complaint:  But now they laugh at me.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

At the end of chapter 29 (see last Sunday’s post), Job was recalling his former status and how he’d helped people, ministering to their needs. By the conclusion of the chapter, he’s hasn’t stopped the suffering and he hasn’t regained equilibrium, but recalling the good he’d done seems to have lifted his spirits … if only a bit. Continue Reading →

In Days Gone By

Most people, at some time or another in their lives, have known the crushing weight of aloneness … not only because their current circumstances appear bleak but also because it seems God isn’t there, His silence baffles and depresses! In Job chapter 29, the long-suffering Job laments his loneliness and yearns for previous days (verse 2) “when God watched over me.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Having progressed more than halfway through Job’s saga, we can begin to intuit from his remarks that he’s adjusting to his diminished state. He notes in the early verses of the chapter how God had richly blessed him … he and God had experienced a precious friendship (verse 4). Continue Reading →

Where Is Wisdom?

When it comes to Wisdom, The Book of Job comprises one of five books of the Old Testament loosely referred to with the subheading wisdom literature. While Job has its historical context, the foundational questions about God and man, about Creation and the nature of evil and suffering, form the book’s decidedly philosophical tilt. This book is a serious conversation between the Creator and His created ones.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Following up on yesterday’s post about The Principal Thing, this post continues my Sunday discussions about Job with chapter 28 as today’s focus. Given the chapter’s overall flow, it complements yesterday’s post nicely.
Continue Reading →

A Legacy of Integrity

What do you do when a man maintains his innocence in the face of persistent accusations? In wartime, combatants are conditioned to undergo extensive interrogation without blurting out any secrets. Name, rank and serial number but nothing more. For the title character in The Book of Job, he continues in chapter 27 to argue he’s a man of integrity. Come on, my friends, my comforters! You may waterboard me but I’ll give you the same exact answers! My torment isn’t because of wrongdoing!

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

An interesting change has taken place though. Bildad, the last comforter who accused Job, spoke in chapter 25 and his speech was brief. The other comforters seem to have lost their vigor or have become weary of Job’s unwillingness to admit wrongdoing. Has Job convinced them he’s a righteous man? Or have they simply done with the discourse and backing away from their friend in anticipation of a lightning strike targeted at Job? Continue Reading →

How Big Is God?

When considering Christian praise and worships songs, a cursory examination confirms many of the songs associated with faith refer to God’s greatness. Consider one song as an example: How Great Thou Art, a worship hymn based on a poem written in 1885 but commonly associated with the baritone voice of Billy Graham’s long-time associate George Beverly Shea. He first performed the song at a Billy Graham crusade in 1957.

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www.alittleperspective.com

Though How Great Thou Art may be one of the best-known songs that speaks to God’s greatness, there are so many more! Chris Tomlin‘s How Great Is Our God has been a popular standard over the last decade. From the late 1980s, Rich Mullins enjoyed great success with his composition, Awesome God. It would be difficult to count how many such songs there are, but I imagine you have several that come to mind.

Resuming my study of The Book of Job, this week’s post brings us to Chapter 26 where Job responds to Bildad’s brief statement in Chapter 25. It’s an interesting chapter because Job isn’t going to argue with the truth of Bildad’s assertions in the previous chapter – what Bildad said was true! But there’s no getting around the sarcasm in Job’s reply. (If Job were living in the 21st Century, he’d possibly heave a sigh and say, “No duh!“)

Continue Reading →

Reflected Glory

Back in the 1990s, a number of books landed on the bestsellers lists relating various aspects (and viewpoints) on the male-female communication divide. Deborah Tannen’s You Just Don’t Understand explained boys and girls approach language and communication differently. John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus offered a similar take … men and women perceive the world differently and naming those differences helps promote successful communication.

FROM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

FROM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

As we continue through The Book of Job, it’s becoming clearer that Job and his comforters (though not from either Mars or Venus) have been mis-communicating. In part, they may have been saying the same thing, but not successfully enough to reach a level of true understanding. Perhaps you’ve experienced the same thing? I know I have. Admittedly, it’s often because I’m more concerned about making a certain critical point. Perhaps Job’s friends were doing the same … and that’s why the first half of the books seems so repetitive. Continue Reading →

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