Job 36:1-23 (NRSV)
God's goodness is exalted
In today’s scripture Job was falsely accused of bringing great misfortune upon himself through some heinous crime against God. Job’s “so called friend,” Elihu, gives him a long lecture about not resisting the punishment of the Lord and not pretending to be righteous when he is not. He says that Job ought not to be angry; that God is just doing God’s job and that essentially Job should be grateful, having lost his family and his livelihood, that God has spared his life.
I’ve always said that Job’s three friends did not mess up until they spoke to him. Scripture teaches that they sat with him in silence for seven days. They were compassionate, which means that they were present with him in his suffering. They didn’t offer wise words, recriminations, lectures, or advice. They just sat with their friend and accompanied him quietly and gently through the valley of the shadow of death.
It is so sad that they could not remain silent. But, it is true that few of us do. When we see someone who is hurting or suffering under a load that does not make sense to us, we often feel a need to blame them. We seek a scapegoat. We don’t want to believe that God allows bad things to happen to good people for reasons that we are not wise enough to understand. It blows our minds when someone faithful loses her job, a nice person gets cancer, or a “good girl” gets raped. We say harmful, hurtful, and/or ignorant things like, “well maybe she should have worked harder, he should have eaten better, she shouldn’t have dressed in a way that invited violation.
I don’t know about you, but I have been the victim of people’s recriminations; I am sad to confess that I have also likely failed in my duty to be compassionate to others. But here is the GOOD NEWS! God knows all things and God knows the true state of your heart. Whilst others blame you for your misfortune, God stays with you, supporting and encouraging you during seasons of distress.
This is GOOD NEWS my friends! It means that although we sometimes do not understand our circumstances, our all wise, all knowing, ever loving, totally compassionate God is fully in control. God sees you and knows you and wishes the best for you. God has a good plan for your life, not to harm you, but to give you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
Now, ain’ta that good news?!
What difficult circumstance in your life do you need to surrender to God today? Or who can you sit in silent compassion with today?
Loving God, we exalt you for your goodness and thank you for all the ways that you care for us. It gives us comfort to know that nothing is a surprise to you. No matter how difficult the circumstances of our lives you are able to help us be victorious in Christ Jesus! Help us to exercise our faith in you today by prayerfully turning over our concerns for self and others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
*from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/
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