Passage of the Day: Reading Plan Reference – Day 5 … Job: Chapters 6 - 9 … Study Scripture Reference: Job 6: 8-13 NIV …
8 "Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,
9 that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
10 Then I would still have this consolation — my joy in unrelenting pain—
that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 "What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
12 Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?
13 Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?
My Journal for Today: Today, in Day 5 of my chronological read through the Bible, I’m reading about Job’s interaction with God and with of his so-called “friends,” … this time, Bildad. And as I completed the reading for today, I had several – I believe salient – observations. And the first of these, and the one upon which I’ll focus my writing today, is that Job was real and completely vulnerable in his cries to God and his interactions with his friends. So often in our suffering or circumstances we have a tendency to “stuff things;” and we don’t come to God with a totally open approach; or we stuff our feelings and we’re unwilling to discuss our feelings with our “friends,” especially those closest to us, like our spouse or immediate family. I’ll bet you’ve been there; haven’t you?
But Job was totally open, honest, and REAL. He laid it out for God to hear his feelings. God, of course, knew his feelings; but our Lord and Savior wants to hear our feelings. And Job certainly expressed them, even to the point of getting criticism (in today’s reading) from his friend, Bildad, who felt that Job had no right to rail at God.
Have you ever been in a place where you were so confused or angered by your circumstances that you just wanted to pack it in; or maybe you were angry at God for what was going on in your life. Well, as you read in the highlighted passage I’ve reprinted above [i.e. Job 6: 8-13], that’s where Job was; and he let God know about it, even to the point of openly expressing that he’d rather just die than to go through what was his lot at that time.
And Job, in the Bible, is not the only one who became so depressed or down-trodden that he wished or prayed for God to take his life. Elijah, Jonah, Moses, and in the New Testament, Paul, all became so depressed about life that they wondered why they were alive or even sought the release of death rather than to go through what God had intended for them. And you, like I, probably have “been there, done that, and have that T-shirt,” … haven’t we?
BUT … aren’t we glad that God doesn’t answer ALL of our prayers with an automatic, “YES!” And God certainly didn’t grant, in this case, exactly what Job wanted. No, even though God wants to hear, in our prayers, our distress, our grief, and yes, even of our desire to give it all up; but for us, He grants the sincere believer ONLY WHAT WE NEED and not what we want. And for that, do I sense a very sincere, “AMEN!” … or “PRAISE THE LORD!”
So, the application I glean today from my reading is to bring it all to God –first; and even be willing to bring our feelings openly to our friends openly and honestly. However, in doing so, we must also hold to God’s truth, which comes to my mind here, in my memory of Romans 8: 28 (and I really hope you have that memorized – if not, go back and meditate upon its truth!) … or 1st Cor. 10: 13 … or 2nd Cor. 12: 9.
Job was totally open and real with God … and even with his well-intentioned, but cynical, “friends.” But this beaten-down soul was also a model of faith, … holding on to his love of God and his trust in God’s will; and, my friends, we should incorporate this trust into our lives (as expressed my wife’s favorite verse) from Proverbs 3: 5-6. That’s what Job modeled for us in today’s reading; and prayerfully it’s how we’re living our lives of worship as well.
My Prayer Today: Lord, I’m so thankful I can come to You anytime with all that I feel and all that I am (or am not!). … Amen