Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Daily Devotion for Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today's Scripture Reading: Job 5:8-27

Today's Key Verse, Job 5:15 "Yet God rescues the orphan from the sword of their mouth, the needy from the grip of the strong; "

But what about when this isn't true?

As a post-enlightenment thinker (as we all are in the West), we tend to think in absolutes.  We often see the world in binary terms - black or white, on or off.  

When I see a verse like this in Job, making claims about God, my mind wanders to those who have faced tragedy where their loved ones weren't saved.

An Ohio Highway Patrol helicopter takes off from
the rear of Chardon High School in Chardon on Monday.
Associated Press photo
I think about sixteen year old Daniel Parmertor who was shot to death yesterday in Chardon, Ohio by a neighboring student.  How would his parents view this verse?

And so we may need to re-examine these verses in Job.  The danger is to take this passage out of context.  And the context is that Job knows exactly how Mr. & Mrs. Parmertor are feeling - he has lost everything including his own children.

Furthermore, Job is not the one speaking in today's text - it is his friend Eliphaz.  These words are lifted up to show that sometimes justice doesn't occur in all situations.  The reader knows that Job is innocent from the beginning of the book.  And we hear these words that are common theology for much of the world: you get what you deserve.  We observe that they aren't true in all situations from the very nature of Job's story.

And yet, Eliphaz is affirming his faith in who he believes God to be.  Fundamentally, God is the one that rescues the orphan and the needy.  In my finest moments, I too embrace these characteristics of God because the world has been touched by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  

Our faith acknowledges that there are times in life when we face the cross.  Such as right now for the Parmetors.  Yet, our faith also nudges us past the cross - in time we see that resurrection will touch us too.  This moves me past the absolutes and into the realm of faith.  

I don't think Job appreciated the timing of Eliphaz's words but maybe the words needed to be said.  Because what everyone needs when they are facing the cross is hope.  

How will your words or actions share this hope today?

Breath prayer for today: Holy Spirit, comfort my neighbors.


  1. "Hope perishes for the godless, whose confidence is a fragile thing, their trust, a spider’s web."

    I am reading the book of Job during this Lenten Season. This is the first time I have ever read it in it's entirety, but I know that it will not be the last.

    What I find the most comforting about his book is how easily I can sympathize with Job. It's true that I have not lost all that I hold dear to me, but with what tragedies I have endured I am able to place myself with Job.

    In this book I find that "hope" is an underlying theme, and although Job claims that he is "hopeless" I have a hard time thinking that he believes that all "hope" is lost.

    This is where I find the most comfort in this book. I am an eternal optimist at heart and although sometimes I feel that hopelessness I know in my heart all hope is not lost.

    So as I continue to struggle in my life, I will remember Job and turn to this story; if for nothing else but just to remind me that in the darkest of times somebody knows what I'm going through and that to be without hope is to be without God!

  2. Thanks Drew - Job has such rich themes. It really questions the theology that if you are suffering, you must have done something to deserve it. It makes us more complex in how we understand God to be at work in our lives.