Thursday, May 26, 2011

Job 20

I cry almost everyday I read Job's words.  The words of his friends continue to perplex me, though.  Maybe it's a guy thing (and based on the character of the men I do know, I don't really believe this is true); but I am appalled at Job's friends' interactions with him.  

Today is no exception.  Is Zophar really lecturing Job on the lifestyles of the wicked and infamous, the brevity of their nefarious careers?  Really?  I don't understand how this is coming to comfort a friend in the wake of loss and grief. 

Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
  “My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer
   because I am greatly disturbed.
 I hear a rebuke that dishonors me,
   and my understanding inspires me to reply..."

The friend feels a splash of personal dishonor in the sea of Job's calamity and collateral damage.  And the friend must address that issue.   Zophar is rather missing the point of comfort ... that it is not about him. 

Lord God of Wisdom and Comfort, help me to keep on task when You trust me with an opportunity.  May my words honor You and demonstrate Your compassion to others.   May Your Truth be as gracious and loving as You are when I speak.  Let me not depart from Your purpose for me in each circumstance.  I confess, I often want to make it about me, especially when I feel dishonored.  Lord, I trust You with my honor and my reputation.  

... Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue, though he desires it and will not let it go, but holds it in his mouth, ... he returns what he has attained and cannot swallow it; as to the riches of his trading, he cannot even enjoy them....Because he knew no quiet within him, he does not retain anything he desires.... 

Evil is palatable to the perpetrator; but it is not digestible.   (Reminds me of a friend who learned mid-bite that she did not like sushi - at all.)  Evil seems delightful; but you will choke on it.

" to the riches of his trading, he cannot even enjoy them..."  What does one trade away in such a deal?  What is the cost of the trade?  Joy does not accompany the transaction of evil. 

"...he knew no quiet within him..."  No peace, no tranquility.

"...he does not retain anything he desires..."   Insatiable appetite and no satisfaction.

Father, keep my heart, mouth and mind stayed on You and Your purposes that I may never conduct business with evil.  When I am experiencing dissatisfaction, discontentment, despair or displeasure, let me repent of any evil I may be entertaining. 

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