每日诗歌: 我的神我敬拜你 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrFS3wFM7Ck)
Job 4 [Read]
Job 5 [Read]
Job 6 [Read]
Acts 7:20-43 [Read]
What do you say to someone in deep agony? I find that to be 10 times more difficult than preparing a sermon, especially when you don’t have the whole picture of why this is happening to that individual. But the fact is that we never have the whole picture. Only God has.
Upon hearing his friend cursing his own birth, Eliphaz couldn’t stand it anymore (Job 4:2). “Who, being innocent, has ever perished?” (4:7). “Can a mortal be more righteous than God?” (4:17). Eliphas brought out the big hat: the justice of God. Job must have done something to greatly offend God, and that’s why he was suffering the consequences now (4:8). I don’t think anyone can question God’s justice, but can we question human’s view on God’s justice? Could our logic be biased due to our limitations in time and understanding?
But he did try to soften the blow on his dear friend. “Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward” (5:7). Human beings are expected to get into trouble, maybe due to our own sin or other people’s sin. Either way, we can only appeal to God and lay our cause before him (5:8). He is just, and he shall make things right. Even if we are corrected painfully by God, we are still blessed (5:17). Do not despise the discipline of the almighty (5:17). All these are right, but is it the right time to say them? I start to see myself, a clumsy comforter, in Eliphaz. How about you?
The book of Job has many questions yet few answers. Instead of trying to extract answers from the book, maybe it’s better for us to just restate some for clarification. God is merciful, maybe he would choose to answer some of those for you and for me.
So, what do we say to someone in deep agony? When I was in the seminary, I once served as a chaplain in a hospital. One morning, I was called to ICU to comfort a wife whose husband just passed away. I didn’t know her at all, and she was already weeping loudly when I got there. I didn’t know what to do besides holding her hands tightly. After 5 minutes or so, her weeping subsided. To my surprise, she said to me: “you don’t know how much you have helped me by holding my hands. Thank you!” Sometimes, two hands are worth a thousand words.
Keep on reading,