Day 162: Confessions of an honest heart (Job 26-31)

Posted: September 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

What more can be said about Job’s situation that hasn’t already been said? Today’s reading, which was pretty much one long, continuous speech by Job maintaining his righteousness before God, was walking a fine line between bragging about his lack of sin and truthful confessions of innocence. One can see the struggle present in Job’s heart as he grappled with his suffering despite his righteousness. He knew that contrary to his friend’s assertions, the trouble that was befalling him was not because of some great unforgiven sin that was lingering in his life. Little by little, he was coming to the understanding – while still longing for an explanation – that he may never get one.

Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud. “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me. Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest. In his great power God becomes like clothing to me; he binds me like the neck of my garment. He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes. “I cry out to you, O God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm. I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living. – Job 30:15-23

Is that not one of the most depressing pieces of Scripture you have ever read? So many things wrong with this picture, but I find myself understanding this brutally honest assertion more and more once I put myself into his shoes. To a man who has lost everything despite being a righteous man, one can only then assume that God has made him His enemy. It isn’t true, obviously, but Job was desperate, and although he believed in the LORD, his faith in his saving grace was beginning to falter, it seems.

I have to give credit to Job here. These feelings may have been irrational, but they were honest! Confessing these things before God is what He wants. He wants us to bring our problems to Him, the raw, brutal feelings we feel in our darkest moments, God can help us heal when we bring these things to Him! Even if they are irrational God will eventually set us right if we focus on Him alone.

On a more encouraging note, I found a great few verses earlier on in the passage that almost have a motivational quality to them. Obviously, we live with sin in our lives, but this is a great proclamation of a man who lived according to God and proclaimed His name. Speaking in response to his three friends (“I will never admit you are in the right”) he refutes their claims of hidden sin, speaks honestly about his innocence before God, and holds true to his faith. Although I can’t claim to be “righteous” by any means, I hope I too can someday say honestly that I will “not speak wickedness” and “utter no deceit.”

As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. -Job 27:2-6

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