Laying a Defense Before God
Job 31:35-40 (NIV)
(“Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense– let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. Surely I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on like a crown. I would give him an account of my every step; like a prince I would approach him.)– “if my land cries out against me and all its furrows are wet with tears, if I have devoured its yield without payment or broken the spirit of its tenants, then let briers come up instead of wheat and weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended.
The Book of Job is one on my favorite books of the Old Testament. It is filled with life lessons. It is also filled with the messiness of life; friends turning against friends, life tragedies, suicidal thoughts. It is a book that presents God in his grace and mercy. As Job’s “friends” challenge his integrity and his very way of life, God is there to defend. Everytime I read Job, I find myself humbled and in awe of God.
In the verses listed above, there is a sense that Job is at his wit’s end. If only he could make his case before God. If only God would hear his case. Surely his innocence would be clear and his pain removed. What I really like about Job’s approach is that it tells me that I can question God about my situation. I can “challenge” God. God knows my frustration. He understands that pain causes us to cry out. Tragedy causes us to examine our lives. When we are questioning God, we are more likely to listen to his response.
It is important to note that Job does not shake his fist at God with a holier than thou (a dangerous assumption when you are talking to God) attitude. He notes that if his understanding of his life and integrity is misguided he accepts rebuke. However, he has examined his life, he has considered his dealings and he does not get it. His friends tell him he is being judged, Job asks, “for what?”
There is a lot more to the Book of Job than these verses reveal. In all his struggles Job asks “Why.” It is a question that God does not answer directly. Instead, God reveals who he is. He reminds Job of what he has done. When Job hears from God the why turns to worship. Are you struggling today? Are you hungry for a touch of God’s grace. Get real with God. Tell him your frustration. Ask him to shine a light on your life, but more importantly listen to God as he reveals himself.
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