The Lord Answers

Journal Entry // January 8, 2023

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: (ESV)

Job 38:1

As I sat down to read this next section of Job this morning, I was contemplating my internal comparison to Job over the past month. Job is a difficult book in that it often portrays the true thoughts and misunderstandings of both Job and his friends as they work through this process of grief. As I have read through these different questions, answers, and rebukes it has called to mind all the many times that I have questioned the goodness and justice of God in my own life as well. These past few weeks have been a strenuous exercise to evaluate and understand the conclusions that Job and his friends have come to and then examine my heart for these same false narratives. Now I come to the reading this morning and I am drawn to this first verse and its simple statement that the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. Where Job challenged God to answer the questions he had, God honored his request and visited Job with the answers he was seeking.

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Concealed in the Heart

Journal Entry // January 2, 2022

if I have concealed my transgressions as others do by hiding my iniquity in my heart, (ESV)

Job 31:33

What do we do with our sins and transgressions against God’s holiness when we try to conceal them? Are we ever really truly able to conceal them? Job states that people try to conceal their sins by hiding them in their hearts. I don’t think I have ever truly thought about what happens when I am hiding, concealing, and covering up my sins. I haven’t put a lot of thought into the possibility that in an effort to hide my sins (both from God and from others), I am storing them in my heart. Where else would I be hiding them though? By storing all my “hidden” sins in my heart I have created a breeding ground for future sin and transgression. The Bible’s solution to this propensity is confession. Confession of my sin to both God and others. Confession of the hold that sin has on my heart and mind is the pathway back to freedom in Christ. The promise of Christ is to cleanse my heart of this “hidden” filthiness and restore the fellowship of the Spirit within me.

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Majesty Revealed

Journal Entry // December 30, 2022

By his power he stilled the sea; by his understanding he shattered Rahab. (ESV)

Job 26:12

In this passage of Job, he is responding to his friends by reminding them of the mystery and majesty of God’s ways. He takes several verses to go through multiple different examples of God’s power and majesty that everyone typically takes for granted or easily ignores as we walk through this world. The one part that stood out to me was where Job mentions that “by his power, he stilled the seas.” As I read this, I was immediately drawn to the life of Jesus and the recounting of him and his disciples being on the sea during a great and terrifying storm. This storm was so intense and concerning that these seasoned experienced fishermen feared for their lives and woke Jesus up from his sleep. Jesus calmly addressed the storm to bring calm and stillness to the seas. As Job correctly identifies, this stilling of the seas is an expression of his power. Christ demonstrates his divinity and power by calming the stormy sea and bringing peace and stillness.

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Altered Perception

Journal Entry // December 25, 2022

Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! (ESV)

Job 19:21

In this early part of Job 19, we can see the inner turmoil that adversity and suffering have caused in the mind of Job. He speaks first of a wall that has been built up around him. Not the wall of protection that he had prior to his suffering, but a wall that keeps him hedged into his troubles. On top of this, Job exposes his inner thinking as he recounts how all of his relationships have been affected by his suffering. He shares the depth of his perceived isolation and the skewed understanding of how he is viewed by everyone around him. It may be true that what he is relaying about these broken relationships has a ring of truth in the social circles of the culture at the time, but it is also reasonable that Job is merely unable to rightly view and understand this new dynamic in his depressed state of mind. As I read through this section of Job and I see his anguish over lost relationships and the perceived hurt and disdain that he is receiving from those closest to him, I see my own thoughts of hurt and pain. I remember my own isolation and how it affected my view and outlook on all of my relationships.

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Grief and Worship

Journal Entry // December 7, 2022

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. (ESV)

Job 1:20

In this chapter of Job, we see the response of Job to the trials and sufferings brought upon him. The enemy was given permission to assault all that Job possessed and cared about in this world. So the enemy was ruthless and relentless in fulfilling this desire to strike down everything that was near and dear to Job. The enemy had Job’s livestock slaughtered along with the servants assigned to care for them. Then not being satisfied with this, the enemy set upon Job’s children and took their lives as well.  Job receives all of this news within a short span of time and we are told of his response in verse 20. His response to all of this grief, violence, and loss of life that was reported to him was to express his grief through worship. Job chose to grieve the loss that was reported to him but he did so through a humble and reserved trust in the goodness of God. He acknowledged that it is the Lord’s right to give and take away as he determines and he deserves only blessing and honor. The Lord tells us that in this response Job held fast to his integrity.

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Delivered by Affliction

He opens their ears to instruction and commands that they return from iniquity.

He delivers the afflicted by their affliction and opens their ear by adversity.

Job 36:10&15

I have been enjoying my reading through Job the last few weeks. It is a difficult book in a lot of ways, but there is some really challenging wisdom in these passages and I want to be careful to think through them all. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have caught all of it due to our covid-19 challenges, but I will try to at least capture the verses I missed earlier this week.

What have I learned this week?

  • Christ is not only with me, but is in me. He dwells within me in my heart. The temple of his presence is my heart.
  • That I “conceal transgressions by hiding iniquity in my heart”. This creates the tension I feel of having Christ in me alongside my secret sin. This does not and can not work. Light and dark cannot both reside together.
  • Job’s failure was that he justified himself rather than God.
  • Christ has redeemed my soul.
  • Adversity and Affliction are the avenues of deliverance for this soul trapped by sin and iniquity. He opens my ears and delivers me.
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So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. [2] Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God.

Job 32:1-2 ESV

He was “righteous in his own eyes” and “justified himself”. During my reading time yesterday it was obvious that Job was doing both of these things in his speech. Yet, I am sure he had no idea that he was in the wrong with either of these points. As I think about this passage, I am struck by two facts so far and a third that comes later in the book.

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