Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Job Part II and One Thousand Gifts...Days 187 ~ 197

I've now read up to Chapter 18 in Job.  After Job lost his entire lively hood and all his children.  Satan comes before the LORD again in Chapter 2, the LORD still speaks of Job being a man who fears God, shuns evil and is upright and has maintained his integrity despite his terrible loss.  But Satan says strike his flesh and surely he will curse you to your face.  The LORD allows Satan to have his way and and Job is afflicted with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.

His wife comes to him and says, "Are you still holding on to your integrity?  Curse God and die!"  Job replies, "You are talking like a foolish woman.  Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"  The verse goes on to say, "In all this Job did not sin in what he said."

I can not imagine what Job's life must have been like.  Now his very body was covered in painful sores. Not only was he experiencing deep emotional pain but now horrible physical pain as well.  When I first read his wife's response to him I thought wow she is so harsh, so angry towards him.  Other times when reading Job I have thought the same thing...that she seemed to be some harsh heartless woman.  But then I realized that she too had just lost all of her children, what deep pain she must have felt, in the blink of an eye her life too was forever changed.  I think at times when we read the words on paper, that is what they are words and we don't think beyond the limited words that are written.  We neglect to see the fullness of the story and imagine ourselves in that very story.

Twelve words are all we hear from his wife...twelve words filled with great pain and anger.  It's as though she is taking it out on Job...blaming him for all that has happened.  He is her husband, her provider, the father of her children and her whole world had been destroyed in a day and now her husband is physically incapable of anything, his whole body is afflicted with terrible sores...she is all alone.  Is it any wonder she reacts the way she does.

Three of Job's friends come to see him and they barely recognize him, they come to sympathize and comfort him.  They sit on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights saying nothing because they saw how great his suffering was.  Can you imagine...seven whole days of saying nothing...seven whole days of sitting along side a man in such excruciating pain.

Finally Job speaks and he curses the day of his birth and all through Chapter 3 he expresses this while his friends sit and listen.  He is a man in great pain...wishing for death...seeing no reason to live. Peace for him is the grave.

His friends then start to speak and not with words of comfort but words of discipline, judgement, a reprimanding towards Job, this goes on for 19 chapters.  One of his friends speaks and then Job replies to what they have said and on and on it goes.  It's their belief that Job must have committed some grave sin to have caused the LORD to do this to him.  Yet Job remains committed to the LORD and maintains his innocence in light of all that his friends say to him.  He knows the sovereignty of God and his place in that sovereignty.

And so I'm still the midst of the speaking back and forth between Job and his three friends.  But here is what I've learned...

It's easy for me to judge people when I don't know the full story, just as I judged Job's wife for her reaction to her husband.  She was a woman in deep agonizing pain and yet I cast her off as some harsh, heartless woman.  If I were in her shoes my heart would surely have been wrenched beyond what I thought I could bear.

We cross paths with someone in town, an unruly customer interacting rudely with a cashier, or a rude and aggressive driver.  We see a mother treating her kids harshly and we can be so quick to write them off as some good for nothing person.

But who are they?

What is their story?

What pain do they possibly carry?

What has their life been like?

What has their day been like, this past month, this past year...?

What loss have they possibly experienced?

They too are in need of a Saviour and they too have been created in the image of God.  "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them," Genesis 1: 27.

Their actions may not portray the bearing of His image but it is the reality of every human being, we are His image bearers and yet how often do my actions speak contrary to the following of my Saviour. Now some of us deny our Creator, reject Him and choose to do life on our own but that doesn't change the fact that we are all created in His image. And if we are created in His image then that says something about how we are to treat one another regardless of how someone behaves.

We like to think that we're good people that we would never do the things so and so does.  Or you hear a news broadcast and right away the judgements come down.

How could they have done that?

How could the grandma leave her two year old in a car on a hot day causing his death?

How could the young 18 year old drive impaired causing the death of his cousin?

How could they have been texting and driving causing the death of another?

How can someone kill another?

How can a mother abandon her child?

We are all human, we may sin differently, we may make different mistakes that cause less painful consequences but the fact is we are all in need of GRACE.  This GRACE, it is a gift, it's not something owed to us it comes from a Holy God, a God separated from His image bearers by sin.  A God who loved His image bearers so much that He made a way where there was no way.  Our sins may all look different but they have the same consequence when it comes to our relationship with God...it separates us from Him.  It is only the death of Jesus Christ upon that cross and His resurrection three days later...the acceptance of that and the repentance of our sins that allows us to come into the presence of a Holy God.

I wonder...do we know how Holy our God is and the price that was paid for our salvation and if we do, will it change how we walk in this world as His redeemed image bearers...

One Thousand Gifts journaled for days 187 ~ 197

559. Encouragement given to me
560. Wild raspberries
561. Kids out together with their cousins
562. Being humbled
563. Everything is in God's hands, I need not be anxious about anything
564. Perfect weather for a family photo shoot
565. The abundance of fresh water
566. Jocelyne getting the groceries and putting them away
567. Chocolate bar from Jocelyne
568. The house of a friend has finally sold
569. Charissa out enjoying a ride on Amadeous
570. Refreshing swim in the pool
571. Being able to bless someone
572. Beauty and family captured in an image
573. Cooler night for sleeping
574. Beautiful cool morning
575. Gorgeous clouds in the evening sky
576. Peace
577. A new camera
578. Visit with my sister and her family
579. Safe travels
580. Wedding in the family, our nephew is married
581. My eldest son telling me I look really nice, I said really, you really mean that
582. Cool night air
583. Beautiful breeze off the lake
584. Hanging out with family
585. Home
586. So thankful for a pool on a hot and humid day
587. BBQ's
588. Jocelyne's delicious cupcakes
589. Finally getting some hay in the shed!
590. Strength
591. Seven baby chicks


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