If this makes it onto the blog it is via a very slow internet connection on the ferry. But here's hoping and here's some of what jumped out at me whilst reading Job last week:
- 2:13 - It is interesting reading all that Job's friends have to say to him throughout the book, especially as much of it, said in another context, would probably be considered as wise advice. Yet, knowing from the start that Job was "blameless and upright", we realise that whilst this is 'general truth' it has been wrongly applied in the case of Job. But in 2:13 we have an example, for me at least, of the friends getting it right: Job is struck by severe misfortune, he's going through a difficult patch; and they sit with him in it - saying nothing, just sitting. Last summer I was at something where it was said that men like to fix things, and since then I've tried to take on a different approach - not all of the time, but some of it. And that approach is simply sitting: being with someone; listening; praying - in other words, not always trying to fix it at first sight.
- 28:20 & 23 - In v.20 Job asks the question; "Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?" and in v.23 he answers; "God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells..." How true! For all we may pursue wisdom, knowledge and understanding there will always be something we don't understand, forcing us back to that great word (for which my doctrine lecturer once mocked me) 'mystery'.
- 42:5 - Job speaking to God says; "My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." For all we know about God we also need to experience God - for all we hear about Him we also need to see Him. I remember the principal of ICC once saying something along the lines of how we need to 'get from the word of God to the God of the word'. I think that this is something like what happened for Job. It reminds me of a conversation I had when we were out cleaning shoes on Maundy Thursday and an old man stopped to talk to me and emotionally shared how he had been in the church all his life holding senior positions within the congregation. And then, in his 60's, he came to faith! He had an encounter with Jesus and realised that for all those years he had been hearing without seeing - he had knowledge but not relationship. I find it a sobering thought that this is possible. But am encouraged that God is The One who promises that when we seek Him He will be found and that by the power of the Holy Spirit eyes can, are and will be opened to His greatness and majesty.
I can't quite believe that we're into the last couple of months of this read through. This week and next we're reading through the Psalms and I'll try and share some stand outs from the first half once I get back from Belfast.