Monday, November 15, 2004

Better Off Dead: Job 3

Several years ago, there was a comedy titled, "Better Off Dead." It was a story about a teen age boy who was obsessed with his girl friend. When she dumped him for someone who would better improve her social standing, his life was over. The rest of the movie depicted his attempts, and failures, at ending it all. Yes I know it sounds morbid, but it really was a comedy. While I'm not trying to recommend the movie, Job often felt like this young man, that he would be better off dead. Unfortunately, what was happening to Job was no comedy.

The suffering of the past weeks, if not months, had crushed Job. Job, speaking of his own life, asks, "why is light given to him who suffers, and life to the bitter of soul... I am not at ease, nor am I quiet, and I am not at rest, but turmoil comes." (Job 3:20,26) No matter how hard Job tried, there was no escaping his bitter affliction. There was no peace or rest for his soul. So Job begins to look beyond his suffering to the life that lies beyond the grave. Speaking of this life, he notes that, "there the wicked cease from raging, and there the weary are at rest. The prisoners are at ease together, they do not hear the voice of the taskmaster." (Job 3:17-18)

Was Job suicidal? No, I don't think so. It wasn't that Job wanted to end his life, but he did long for the rest that would be his on the other side of the grave. For people who have suffered greatly, it is not uncommon for them to look forward to the release of their suffering when they finally stand whole and complete before the presence of Jesus. This is not a death wish, but an acknowledgment of what lies in store for them.

King David said, "I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him." (Psalms 142:2) It does us no good to store up inside our pain and discomfort. We need to release it, but to whom? Job, and David, poured out their complaint to the Lord. They were in pain, they were suffering, and they told the Lord about it. Jesus said that those who worship God must, "worship is spirit and truth." (John 4:24) If, when we are suffering, we come before God and pretend that all is well, then we are not worshiping Him in truth. We are pretending before God and not being honest with Him. We need to learn to pour out our soul before God; the good, the bad, and the ugly. To tell him of our trouble. In exchange, God will give us his grace, love, and comfort to help see us through. Let us be honest with God, after all, He already knows what we are going though.

David Robison

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