I’m done ignoring Job…

Job may well be the perfect prophet for our age.

He had everything – land, livestock, children and the respect of his community

Job is (as the story opens) the epitome of ancient middle eastern success.

He honours God in all things – even offers repentace for sins his children might have committed…

this is a man of faith without peer – and God has (in the opening chapters) established this as fact

“look and see if there is another like my servant Job…” – we can tell that there is not.

Even when the chips are down, and we (like Satan) assume that Job will lash out – Job stands firm.

“God gives and God takes, says Job. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job my well be the one we need to hear these days, as the chaos closes in, and our self-assurance fades,

for it is comforting to know that even in a fall from grace as monumental as Job’s, there seems to be a way to keep our integrity, our dignity, and (most importantly) our faith.

An answer is all Job asks, and when God finally offers an answer, it is as though it were meant for us.

 

to a people caught in their own myth of constant improvement and material “salvation” –

from the chaos of our failing economies and faltering democracies –

God’s voice from the whirlwind questions our priorities and presnts the only authority.

The Creative power behind all things asks us: “what makes you think you were ever in control?”

yes, we have our independence, the strength of our imaginations, and the physical ability to seize the opportunities that come our way – but can we really manage the great mechanisims of the universe?

We have discovered answers to some of the smaller questions of existence and meaning, but the larger questions still mock us. What does “success” really look like? Can we make the rules, or do we only follow them? Are we servants of a jealous god, or partners of a servant God?

Job has asked those questions for us, and God finally answers,

but listen to the challenge that is present in that answer:

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell me, if you have understanding.

Who determined its measurements—surely you know!

Or who stretched the line upon it?

On what were its bases sunk,

or who laid its cornerstone

when the morning stars sang together

and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

The book of Job lets us here the thing we need to hear.

When we cannot find the answers to the conflict and confusion in our lives –

when we admit to our frustrations with the way things are,

and are faced with the reality that the power of our positive thinking will ony go so far;

When we finally puff up our courage and demand God treat us as we think we deserve,

God says, in essence, “Who do you think you are?”

 

Job is brought to his knees by the majesty of God,

and reminded that in the cosmic order, we are small potatoes –

We would do well to remember

that there is something in the universe

that is bigger than our ego, or our imagination, or our ambition –

and in the understanding of people of faith, that something is God.

Answers fall short – questions go missing – and we can only acknowledge the mystery that is God.

 

Job will come to that conclusion – in next week’s reading, as a matter of fact.

But how do we reach that place? There is no voice from the whirlwind for us.

The God who is speaks in riddles, and quietly, to the people who raise their questions.

 

 

 

We are left with the example of Jesus; who, as the author of Hebrew’s says,

did not presume to take any honour on himself,

…”but was apointed by the one who said to him ‘You are my Son – today I have begotten you…”

It is in Jesus that we see the example of humility and service to God lived out fully and well.

It is in Jesus that God joins us in the maddenig tumble of this life to show us how the kingdom can be ordered.

It is in Jesus that we are gently reminded that thoughwe are caled children of God,

we should not aspire to the top job. God operates on principles that we cannot grasp –

but in Jesus we are offered the benefit of every bit of God’s mercy, grace and love.

 

If it is Job who is our prophet – falling from a place of security and plenty to a life of humility and awe

then it is Jesus who has taken that prophecy off the page – offered the promise of eternal glory

and brought to our confusion and fear.

The voice from the whirlwind is still the voice of God – the voice that challenged Job –

but the promises have been proved by Jesus Christ – and that gives us reason for joy.

Amen

Advertisements

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: