READ: Job 7
BACKGROUND: This chapter is a part of Job’s reply to his friend Eliphaz about his tragic situation of losing everything. While chapter 6 was directed mostly toward Eliphaz, chapter 7 turns a corner a bit and is directed more toward God.
7 – Job realizes that life is fleeting, and in his suffering he’s lost hope and purpose. Death seems like the only escape for him.
9 – This is not a reflection of good theology or a Biblical denial of resurrection. It’s simply Job echoing the words of the prevailing sentiment – that the afterlife is a land of no return – in the ancient near eastern world.
11 – Job is angry with God, and he doesn’t intend to keep quiet about it.
19 – The phrase – in many translations – “for even an instant” literally means “long enough for me to swallow my own saliva. Kinda funny.
20 – Job’s complaint is that God is too critical. He’s been a pretty good guy so he feels like God should be rewarding him instead of allowing him to suffer.
THINK: A friend quit two jobs to become a full-time caregiver when his adult son was seriously hurt in a car accident. That same year his wife of over 30 years contracted a terminal illness and died.
Since then, he says he has no answers when his son asks “why” this happened to them. But he told me of a reassuring dream he had along the way. He dreamed that he was in a place that was awash with sunlight. There were crowds of people around him, and a man was answering all of his “why” questions. Each answer made so much sense that he clearly understood why he was not to know the answers now. Then he was with his son in the dream. But when he tried to help him with his questions, he couldn’t remember the answers. But even that seemed okay. And then he woke up.
My friend’s experience reminds me of another friend of God who suffered with unanswered questions (Job 7:20-21). Only when God finally broke His silence and gave Job a vision of Himself in the wonder of creation did Job find something that was better than answers (42:1-6). Only then did Job find peace in knowing that our God has good and even wonderful reasons to trust Him. What’s better than answers to our why questions? Trusting a good God who has His reasons!
By: Mart De Haan in Our Daily Bread, on March 14, 2011
ASK: Do I sometimes get hung up on not having all the answers? What would it look like for me to trust God completey?