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Elihu has been waxing eloquent to Job and his friends for a while now, and he is not altogether incorrect in his own estimation of the appropriate response that Job ought to have toward God. It is not Job’s place to question the Almighty, Elihu reminds, and in this he is correct.
Today, for the first time, however, we see God himself address Job. This is the first time that God has entered this conversation, and what a great monologue it is, indeed! You wish to question me, God seems to ask Job, but by what authority do you do this?
What follows next is the most graphic imagery conjured up for the many ways in which God is the only one who is truly in control of the forces of nature, and implicitly begs the rhetorical question: when God is in control of the entire universe, would God then not also be in control of human beings who are mere mortals? Some of the verses that display the grandiose imagery are as follows, where God is questioning Job:
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep? 17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness? 18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
This is only a small sampling of the monologue that God launches with Job. We’ll have to wait and see what comes next.
Turning now to our reading in the second book of Corinthians, we find Paul turning the attention of his readers to the after-life and the other-world. For we live by faith, not by sight,he says, and expands even more on this in this way:
6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Next, we turn to our reading from the psalms, and find David to be just like Job: in great anguish over his misfortunes. He lists out the many ways in which God seems to have forsaken him, and yet, he is not altogether without hope. May it be that we might also always find ourselves trusting in God’s “unfailing love.” David says:
23 Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?
Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. 24 Why do you hide your face
and forget our misery and oppression?
25 We are brought down to the dust;
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs which serves as food for thought:
13 The sluggard says, “There’s a lion outside!
I’ll be killed in the public square!”
As one commentator has said, “The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him.”
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.