Sunday, September 9, 2012

Job 23

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 23. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In this chapter, Job speaks again but not really addressing Eliphaz. Instead, Job almost seems to be thinking out loud.
  • The words of Job recorded in chapters 23 and 24 (especially 24) have presented problems to modern scholars because they seem so separate from how the rest of the book is read. There are a few different ways theologians look at the text but it really doesn’t matter to us. This constant “debate” amongst scholars is healthy because questions lead to truth. But sometimes people can get too involved with being right and start to lose sight of just knowing God. However scholars look at these chapters and try to put them in some sort of category for them to fit within how they expect to read, we should simply read them and see how they can apply to our lives today.
  • In this chapter, Job says he wished he knew where God lived so he could go personally and present his case before God. This is not something we should just pass over. This statement shows that Job really believed he was innocent. Job wasn’t simply being arrogant or blasphemous.
  • Job also admits God can do whatever he pleases. Job also is surrendering to the fact that for reasons he doesn’t understand his sufferings are somehow within God’s plans for him. Job even admits his fear of coming to this understanding.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Job’s words reveal his beliefs about God. He knew God loved him or he would never be so bold as to say he would stand before him. Job also clearly believed God cared enough about him personally that he would respond to Job. These are not small beliefs and show how different Job’s understanding of God is from his companions.
  • I don’t know what you’ve gone through in life but going through tough times in life can be used to help you grow closer to God or farther away. I’ve personally gone through some really tough times and I’ve chosen to use them as chances to know God better, and I can absolutely say it has made all the difference in it. Times of suffering stinks and we all wish we could avoid them. But it’s during these times that we often are willing to hear more from God and that part of suffering is the jewel. This willingness to suffer and learn more of God through it is a prize that most of us just aren’t willing to claim but please remember that it’s one worth it. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • The truth is we will have tough times no matter what but we can choose to do them with God instead of blaming him for it and that’s where it looks like Job has gotten in this chapter. Take some time today and see what God has taught you through your sadness or maybe is teaching you now.