Kept from falling

Job Sees The Light - Seventeenth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

The reader of the book of Job may ask the question that Job asks as Chapter 16 opens.

Job 16:1-3 NIV What is the purpose of these lengthy monologues? Job and his friends should stop bickering. They have been sparring for 12 chapters — and they will continue for another 16. Then a younger man will attempt to teach them for six chapters until at last the Lord speaks and has the final word.

A total of 36 chapters of God's Word are a debate or discussion over Job's righteousness and God's mysterious ways, which is why this book is set among the Bible's wisdom books. Chronologically it could be near the beginning, but by its content it belongs with the Books that seek to answer man's deepest perplexities such as why God permits human suffering, and with those writings that praise Him for who He is.

Job 16:4-5 NIV Christ said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4), so we know that each word in each chapter of Job has eternal import. One great result of suffering is that it creates in us a heart of compassion. Job is being converted from a sympathetic friend to one with empathy.

Before his deep trials he could comfort the afflicted with a sincere word and a twinge of understanding, but now he can truly feel the pain of the bereft, the mourner, the depleted, the disenfranchised, the forsaken. He understands how it feels to be the one in need– the one without hope, whose brokenness is beyond repair. Now he would know exactly how to comfort the most miserable sufferer; his compassion is real.

Job 16:6-14 NIV Neither defending himself nor enduring the insults and accusations of his friends brings Job any relief. The pain he feels is not lessened by answering their charges nor by quietly ignoring them. He views their venom as God's further tearing at his heart.

It is understandable how Job has identified the Lord in this aspect of his long trial. He has accepted that his devastation is God's doing. Therefore, the cruelty of his friends is also God's work.

However, while God is permitting all these influences to wear away Job's inner strength so that he might attain a new way of seeing, it is Satan, not God, who is provoking Job's friends to attack and wound him. In similar straits, we must be clear on who the enemy is. Confusion and emotional instability quickly take over when faith in God's goodness is lost.

Job 16:15-18 NIV Job is suffering and grieving profoundly, and he views himself as an innocent sufferer, pure in heart and clean in his prayers. He sees his plight as unjust and challenges the earth — "Do not cover my blood —"! This reminds us of God's words to Cain after Cain had murdered his brother Abel. "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cried out to me from the ground…"(Gen 4:10-12) It is as though the earth refuses to be an accomplice to an unjust death.

Job likewise wants the earth to testify for him, for like Abel, he has been murdered —but wait —is Job saying that God has murdered him?

Job 16:19-22 NIV On the brink of rebellion, a prophetic word is shared. Job is rescued from harsh thoughts about God by the concept of a special friend interceding on his behalf. He then returns to crying out to God, seeking the help he needs to be restored.

We are reminded the Lord is our shepherd; our souls will be restored and we will dwell in his house forever.

Consider the "Our"

Second in The Lord's Prayer Series, "The best prayer for times of stress"

Stopping to think: it was the only begotten son — the only divine child of the Father, who invited the ones he came to save to pray with him, "Our Father."

Only Jesus Christ was with God in the beginning (John 1:1), the one who made all things (John 1:3); who was the true Light of men (John 1:9); who gave men power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name (John 1:12). Those of us who have received him are now born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13). And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. (John 1:16)

Reflecting further about this marvelous grace, John said,Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God(I John 3:1a)

If you are tempted to feel you are alone, stop and consider: Jesus is your older brother. That is enough to calm any anxiety in your heart. A good older brother is a great comfort. Yes, Jesus loves you.

We should never see ourselves as unconnected, without a family, or without a purpose. You have a sister in North Korea who is starving in a prison camp; a brother in Egypt under a threat of death because he will not renounce his faith; a mother in Sweden who wants to take care of her family without government intervention; a brother in Mexico who will die today for his stand against gangs. Let us pray for our family!

The first word of the Lord's prayer reminds us we are not alone, and we can be sure that as we pray, we are heard on behalf of our family members, near and far. They are remembering us, too.

Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Mat 12:48b-50)

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

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Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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