Job 19:13-27 (NRSV)
13 "He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. 14 My relatives and my close friends have failed me; 15 the guests in my house have forgotten me; my serving girls count me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. 16 I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must myself plead with him. 17 My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 18 Even young children despise me; when I rise, they talk against me. 19 All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. 20 My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! 22 Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh? 23 "O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! 24 O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! 25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; 26 and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
Many years ago a District Superintendent of the Methodist Church in Haiti tried to help me understand what it's like in one of the poorest countries in the world. He told me the following story that was representative of many.
A man or woman may choose at some point in their life to set themselves afloat in the ocean on a board or other items strapped together to form a simple raft. They may be picked up and taken to a better place, perish from exposure, or be eaten by a shark. Either way, they consider themselves better off.
I've also worshiped in some of the world's poorest situations in Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Panama, and Cuba. I've seen people praise the Lord through word and song. I've observed people who are suffering give thanks for their many blessings and had them offer me their last cup of coffee as a sign of hospitality and grace.
Job lost everything. He lost his family, his lifestyle, his wealth, and his health. In the midst of his suffering he argues with his friends and he wrestles with God. In his despair, though, Job proclaims, ". . . I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth." As difficult as it is to read about Job's troubles and then to see him endure the insensitivity of his and wife and friends, I see a ray of light in this statement.
Job reminds us that no matter how difficult life may become, no matter how harsh our personal experiences might be, our relationship with God is never in question. Job wrestles with God and even curses God but God never abandons him. God doesn't let go. God will never let go of any of his children no matter how difficult the situation or how angry we may become. Think about it.
Please join us for our new Preaching and Teaching series based on J. Ellsworth Kalas's book, Easter from the Backside.
2/11/2018 - Why we Need Easter
2/18/2018 - Easter From an Ash Heap
2/25/2018 - Easter for the Disillusioned
3/4/2018 - Ezekiel Celebrates Easter
3/11/2018 - Easter is a Love Story
3/18/2018 - Late for Easter
3/25/2018 - Chancel Choir Easter Music at the 8:30 and 11 Traditional services. Rev. Clark Chilton preaching at the 9:45 Praise Service.
4/1/2018 - Forever Easter