Today’s chapter continues Job’s railing as he recounts his suffering in response to his friend Eliphaz’ chiding that he must have sinned so he should own up, confess and move on with God’s forgiveness. (V 1-6).
However from v7 Job turns directly to God, ignoring his friends, and rails against the injustice of his suffering. Therefore I will not keep silent,
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit
I will complain in bitterness of my soul. V 11
He blames God for his undeserved situation and is unafraid to show (at this stage) that he sees it as God’s fault that he is in such a hopeless position.
Many folk going through trials of illness and/or loss will talk about God : why has He caused this suffering? However Job speaks directly to God laying out his situation and complaint without fear. Job knows that even when God’s ways cannot be understood He can still be trusted.
This chapter reminds us of one particular couple who have served God and His people faithfully and joyfully throughout their 80+ years, since he was a schoolboy. In the last 30 years they have experienced one devastating adversity after another, affecting their physical, emotional and spiritual lives and those of their children and grandchildren. I am sure at times, like Job, they beat on God’s door for mercy. Their pain is so pervasive and yet they continue to trust the loving God. Recently on the phone he said, ‘ without God’s presence we could not have borne these burdens.’
We trust we all will have such faith in times of adversity, that the
‘perfect love that drives out fear’ 1 John 4:18 will be so real for us that, like Job, we can trust ourselves – feelings, fears and frustrations to God even while expressing hopelessness, despair, anger or disappointment. Let us talk TO Him, rather than complaining ABOUT Him in our trials.
1CORINTHIANS 15: 20-34.
Now in Corinthians we turn to a new HOPE.
St Paul is writing here to correct a group of Corinthians who were claiming that there is no resurrection. This is not an uncommon idea in our own society. Paul strongly states that there is NO CHRISTIANITY WITHOUT CHRIST’S RESURRECTION.
This is the core truth of this chapter and it anchors our own hope of eternity. No matter what trials we face we know – ‘Christ has indeed been raised from the dead , the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (died). v20 and we belong to that harvest, as we trust in Him.
So while we hold firmly to the truth of the resurrection Paul encourages us to watch our own company and earthly behaviour (v34) till Christ returns.
Because of Christ our lives are built on A SURE FOUNDATION. Praise our God.
Peter and Elizabeth Smart.