more than my daily bread."
In reading through the NIV Chronological One-Year Bible, I have spent the last several days in Job. The book of Job is so valuable because it discusses the subject of theodicy -- the justice of God in light of human suffering. No small subject. Christians and non-Christians alike have considered this. Admittedly, Job is not my favorite book in the Bible. I pray and ask the Lord to give me His truth and treasures from this book, and He does.
For several days in my chronological reading of the Bible, I listened to Job's "friends" rattle on and on, often presumptuously, ABOUT God. Literally, they made my brain hurt. Here Job was in the midst of his greatest desert experience having lost everything, in pain physically, emotionally and spiritually, and his friends were pontificating rather than giving him some practical help or even offering him a cup of cold water.
After the first few days of reading Job's friends' words, I was so tempted to skip to several chapters ahead to Chapter 38 titled "The Lord Speaks". I just wanted to get to what God said because I knew His words would be pure truth. Refreshment. But I didn't skip ahead. I persevered and stayed on course wanting to glean whatever treasures God had for me.
Observing the difference between Job's words and his friends' words, it's important to note that Job spoke TO God, determined to speak honesty before Him, even in his suffering. Job's friends spoke only ABOUT God. In Job 42:7, the Lord tells Job's friends "...you have not spoken of Me what is right, as my servant Job has."
Job inquired of the Lord and knew He alone had the answers Job was seeking.
This weekend, I finally reached chapters 38-42 in Job. Aaaahhhh....God's voice speaking....a conversation between God and Job. Refreshment. Restoration.
In the end, after Job has prayed for his friends (42:10), "...the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." His relationships were restored, and the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (42:10) Amazing. Job spoke to God and sought His truth only. And the Lord blessed him greatly.
Note the Lord had Job pray for his friends. Yes, pray for the friends that didn't seem too friendly or supportive, and actually they were downright nasty at times. Hello...life application for sure. Pray for your friends, even when they are behaving like Job's.
More life application: I asked the Lord, "Please, if I ever sound like one of Job's friends, please cover my mouth and change my heart!"
The book of Job does give us precious treasure for our hearts and lives. Persevere reading through the tough spots. He will bless you with His truth.
"The Job replied to the Lord: 'I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You."
Job 42:2,5 (NIV)