The Tabernacle Scroll
“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job and restored his fortunes, when he prayed for his friends; also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. So Job died, an old man and full of days”. (Job 42: 10, 17, AMP, my emphasis).
Whenever we think of the suffering we bear unjustly, it would pay to read the story of Job, one only of many men in the Old Testament who suffered greatly (and not because of sin!). Reading his story will put our suffering in perspective. It will also give us encouragement and, more importantly, hope for deliverance from it!
Job is tested long and severely. Through it all he tries to understand the purpose of his suffering, to try to make sense of it. But reason as he might, in his human strength and wisdom he cannot, and he falls into despair. Three well-meaning friends come to counsel him but their words only add to Job’s confusion (like many of the numerous ‘courses’ that are available, full of human wisdom! Sound familiar?). Job himself searches for wisdom in his situation (we hear him reasoning), but it eludes him. All the while that Job and his three friends are trying to figure out God’s ways, God remains a silent spectator. When they have run out of arguments and opinions, a preacher named Elihu steps in. He feels that he, by the Spirit of God, would be able to supply the right answers. But he too falls short!
Now God steps in Himself and begins to talk to Job. “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man: I will question you and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding’ ” (chap 38: 1-4). God keeps questioning him in a manner that overwhelms Job with God’s awesome wisdom and understanding and power. Job sees that his complaining proceeds from a limited understanding of God.
Job is overcome with a holy fear and cries out in repentance to God for having shallow opinions about Him. (Ch.42: 2 ff.). Job goes on: “I have heard you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you. Therefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes” (emphasis mine). The “eyes” he refers to are the understanding of both his heart and mind.
When our eyes are opened, dear friends we will see God as He really is. Then we will have a holy fear of Him. This fear of God contains the wisdom we need to minister to others. Like Job (and Joseph and others) we too will be able, out of our pain and hurt, to minister to others and to ‘pray for those who persecute you’. Then, rest assured, God will restore ‘the years that the locusts have destroyed’.
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues