Wednesday, July 6, 2011

They have all the answers.

Smart people. 

There are lots of them out there.  They are the ones who can look at another and just know what they ought to do.

Job ran into some of them.  Zophar was one.  I've paraphrased his words:

"You're suffering, Job?  Oh, that's because you've sinned.  Consider the fate of the wicked.  They have a short life fraught with inevitable pain and poverty.  You must be wicked, too... look at the pain you're in!"

Job is weighed down by their words.  He seems to be at the end of his rope in Chapter 21, but he cannot let Zophar's simplistic view stand without refutation.

"Keep listening to my words. . . Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on."

Even though he fully expects his friends to keep mocking, Job cannot remain silent.  He gives many examples of the prosperity of wicked people, who have no fear of God.  He concludes that one man dies in full vigour, after a life of fun, food and song, while another dies in bitterness of soul.  Don't tell me the wicked don't prosper.

How then will you comfort me with empty nothings?  There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood.

What I know is this:  I serve an AWESOME GOD.  He really does know.

When I am confused, He knows the answer.  When I am lost, He knows the path.  When I am weak, He fights the battle.  When I am discouraged, He gives me strength.  When I am overwhelmed, He bows the heavens and comes down!

Psalm 144:1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,

who trains my hands for war,
and my fingers for battle;
2 he is my steadfast love and my fortress,
my stronghold and my deliverer,
my shield and he in whom I take refuge,
You are my Rock, O Lord, and I know You design my trials to shape me so that I am a better soldier of Christ.  I know you love me steadfastly, never wavering, never taking Your eye off of me.  You are the One I turn to in all of my distress.   You are the One on Whom I depend.

You know the way that I take.  You plan out my days and order my steps.  I take refuge in You.  I trust You with all my heart, and I follow You fervently.

Everyone but me seems to know all of the answers.

I don't know.

I only know this.  I must love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength.  I must love my husband, my children, my neighbour... preferring them above myself.
There are people in my life with all of the answers, too.  They know exactly why we are suffering, and they know what to do about it.  At least, they think they know.


Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.