This Weeks Notes ~ 9-26-2021
Job is described as “blameless, God-fearing, upright and turning-away-from-evil” . Satan, on the other hand, functions as the adversary on God’s behalf. After this section Satan never makes another appearance. God is the one who is questioned, who is significant and represented. God is in control.
In Job’s conversation with his friends later on, he rejects the idea that God is not in some way culpable in his suffering, arguing that the animals and even the plants know that God is behind everything, Job believes and argues, that his life and breath, even his suffering and struggle, are in God’s hands too. Satan is not on the hook here, for Job; God is.
Job 2:1-10 (verses 9-10 specifically) sets the stage for the issue that drives the book, an issue that is put into play in the question/question exchange of Job and his wife . Job mourns in ashes covered with “loathsome sores” which he itches at (like a dog licking a wound) with a piece of broken pottery, Job’s wife asks him, “Do you still persist in your integrity?” Job responds–after an admittedly crack about his wife’s gender, “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” In this exchange, their faith is questioned..
“Do you still persist in your integrity?” What Job’s wife means by her question is open to interpretation. Could she mean any God who would do such things, or allow such things, is not worth the integrity of relationship or my faith. It raises this issue, how do we reconcile suffering and faith?
“Shall we receive the good at the hand of the God, and not receive the bad?”
Of course, we should. Perhaps because there is little else that one can do, after all God is God. Keep in mind, Job 1:21b, “the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away.” Job’s question is an indication of his own struggle with suffering and faith. It’s also an attempt to maintain faith in the midst of personal trial. In Job’s question you can hear the Good Friday lament, “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?” This is both an expression of faith, but also infers all is not right.
Job 2:1-10 is the set up for the struggle of the faithful, a struggle that we live with each day. These struggles are not with our own righteousness, nor struggles with Satan, nor are they signs of sinfulness or faithlessness, these are expressions of a genuine, faithful and life-giving relationship with God.
Join in Worship in the Sanctuary or online as we explore this Scripture about God’s servant “Job.”
“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda
Dr. Nelda Barrett Murraine is pastor of First United Methodist Church of Kennedale – 229 W 4th St. Kennedale, TX 76060 Sunday Worship is at 11:00 am