Monday 27 September 2021

Bible Book:

'But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.' (v. 11)

Job 1:6–2:10 Monday 27 September 2021

Psalm 148


There are bad days and then there are very bad days. This story is about such a day. And it is a story, carefully written and complex in its purpose and the method of its telling. It is a story that deals with some of the big issues in a way that a simple theological essay could never do. A story like this engages us at every level. It touches our hearts and minds, and we are invited not to interpret the text so much as to inhabit it. So, for a while we do that; we get absorbed in the drama of Job, his family and friends and his faith.

Intellectually we are challenged with the notion that God would willingly hand over someone they loved to the enemy. It is difficult to think about. If we say, "that would never happen", how do we account for other bad days, the evil that people do to each other, and the fury of nature? And if we say, "God gives permission for such appalling things to happen", how do we make sense of the idea that God loves us? And if we say, "God would stop Satan in an instant, but he can’t", how can we believe that God made the world?

But this story is not simply an intellectual challenge. If we allow ourselves to be immersed in the story it becomes unbearably challenging. Poor Job! Everything has gone wrong, it is just not fair, and even those who take sides with him miss Job’s deepest fear and loss. His wife says, "Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God and die!’"(Job 2:9) This touches on the biggest issue here, both emotional and intellectual. "But what if God isn’t God?’ ‘What if all I believe is simply a nonsense?"

It is a hard passage to live with. We would like to skip to the end of the book and find a happy ending. However, stories of this importance invite us to be brave and to stay with the discomfort and wonder what we learn of ourselves and God if we do.


To Ponder:

  • When have you been at your ‘wits end’ and what sense do you make of it now?
  • When you have struggled, what helped you get by?


Sometimes I am inconsolable my dear God. When I feel furthest away, come closest to me.

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