I remember once walking down Hollywood Boulevard and seeing a street preacher standing on a box shouting at the top of his lungs, “You must be born again!” He had a thundering voice like a built in loudspeaker, but the noise of the traffic and the bustle of the people drowned him out. The louder he shouted, the less people paid attention. He was just another source of noise.Read More
Hope in the Midst of Hopelessness
Job’s life is hopeless. He has lost all his possessions. His open sores are both physically painful and socially isolating. His friends are not helpful. All he has to hold on to is his belief in God and in himself and even that is being undermined.
So it’s not surprising that he longs for the release of death. And yet we begin to see a glimmer of hope that God does care for him—hope that is not yet a certainty.Read More despair, death
Challenger or Conformer
Bildad can hardly wait to get into the conversation with his own wisdom! Know anyone like that? Of course we all do. Sometimes it’s us.
His argument isn’t really any different from that of Eliphaz but he is more brutal in his attack. “You’re full of hot air, Job. Stop complaining. Listen to what we have all been taught. God doesn’t pervert justice. Your children died because of their sin—so smarten up and start living right.Read More hopelessness, challenge, conform
The Power of Questions
As readers of this drama we know that instead of accusing Job, God affirmed his faith and his integrity. But Job doesn’t know this and so he struggles in darkness, suffering the logical consequences of the belief that suffering is always the result of sin.
Because Job can’t make sense of this, he concludes that God is arbitrarily picking on him and lashes out in angerRead More anger, confusion
Great Shot, Wrong Goal
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Zophar’s complaint. From one point of view, it’s an effective and accurate speech. It’s pretty fierce, though, a slap shot fired from the point with an unstoppable force. And it’s very, very personal.
Zophar’s right. We can’t get at the deep things of God (v 7).Read More accusation
God our Place of Protection
Psalm 59 is one of more than 70 psalms attributed to David, but one of only about a dozen that refer to specific occasions or circumstances in David’s story. The Bible tells us this is “a special psalm of David when Saul had David’s house watched so that he could kill him.” It was a desperate situation; David’s life was at stake, and we hear the distraught words ascribed to the one-day king of Israel.Read More enemy, stress, strength