Monday, January 03, 2005

Though He slay me... Job 13:15

Over the past few days, I have been meditating on this verse, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." (Job 13:15) This scripture is not new to me, but I think, for the first time, I understand it better in its context. I always understood this scripture to mean that Job would hope in God no matter what He brought his way. The context of this verse, however, is that Job is requesting an audience with God that he might argue his case before Him, "But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue with God." (Job 13:3) Job was saying that he was going to take his chances with God, "Why should I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hands?" (Job 13:13) Job was angry with God. Job wanted to argue his case before Him. And Job knew that the outcome could very well be that God would strike him dead. Nonetheless, Job was willing to take his chances with God.

I'm not implying that Job's intentions were pure and that there was no sin in the thoughts of his heart. Job was convinced that he was right and God was wrong. What I do find interesting is that, even in his present state of mind, Job was driven to God. Some people, when they go through hard times, withdraw from God. It would have been very easy for Job to withdraw and sulk and wallow in self pity. But instead, he pursued God. Job's life was bound to God, for better or worse. His fate would be determined by God. And, deep down, in his heart of hearts, he knew that God was good and that God was right. Job knew that if there was anything good and right, it would be found in God. So he took his chances with God.

For sure, Job said some things that God would later hold him accountable for. Job's words were wrong, but the direction of his walk was right. This reminds me of the story of the demoniac that Jesus healed. The story says, "And when Jesus came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house, but in the tombs. Seeing Jesus, he cried out and fell before Him, and said in a loud voice, 'What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.' " (Luke 8:27-28) This man ran to Jesus, but when he got there he could not speak, only the demons spoke. His words may have been from demons, but his choice of destinations (the feet of Jesus) was his.

I think there is something to be said for continuing to engage our Lord even if we are not sure of our words or motives. I think it better to find ourselves wrong while we are in the presence of the Lord rather than when we are far from Him. I think this applies, not only to the Lord, but to all our relationships. Even in a marriage, when disagreements arise, it is far better to engage each other, even if we are eventually found wrong, than to withdraw and never talk about what's bothering us. Let us engage the Lord and trust that he is Good. Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him.

David Robison

4 comments:

  1. I think Job turned to God despite all his suffering, rather than skulking away, because he knew something that we too often forget. God is the source of everything. Maybe God isn't sending plagues against us, personally. Maybe God isn't sending that irritating PTA member against us, or to bother us, but ultimately, God is the source of all that happens to us. Job knew this. Job understood that God is a vital part of our lives, and that communication with God is the only way. For better or worse, we must stand in the presence of God - whether to sing His praises and bask in His glow, or to shake our fists in frustration. We must go to God.

    Too often I meet people who are afraid to engage with God unless it is a simple prayer request or something more elaborate designed to extoll the virtues and greatness of God. I disagree. When I'm upset over something I turn to God as I would a friend or my parents and ask, "What's with this? What's going on? Help me to understand this because right now I'm pretty ticked off."

    And it helps, a lot.

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  2. Though He slay me, I will hope in Him." (Job13:15)

    We have this same thought pattern repeated through out the old testament and at least once in the new testament. (I do not have my bible so I can not give chapter and verse, but...) This is the same thinking that caused three boys to tell a king " Even if we perish.. our God is able to save us" It is what inspired King David to write in the 23rd psalm "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou arte with me." And elsewhere "I will look to the mountains... From wince my help comes" And can even be seen in Pauls statement to the Romans (8:28)" All things work for the good to those who love the Lord, those called according to his purposes." It is to my way of thinking, part and parcel to the way that all Christians live. We gain a confidence in God dispite our circumstances, come what may. Since we are commanded to come boldly before the throne I would assume that that would mean under all circumstances including in the way Job came before God. Yet it would be good to remember that although we can come before Gods throne in boldness that one day we too may be told to "Stad up if we be a man and answer Also as Job was asked to answer"

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  3. Does this mean we can argue are case when we see no hope. When we see wrongs done to family and find no way out see no help from God or words from God. Be upset but still love him

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  4. Seeing no hope and believing there's no hope are two different things. Often we believe one thing yet see something else playing out in our lives. At the root of our belief, we should understand that God is always for us and that he is bigger than our own impatience and unbelief. Even when we are less than faithful towards God, he is still faithful towards us.No matter what we see or feel, our best bet is still to trust in God. David said he poured out his complaint to God. Far better to take our concerns, cares, and quarrels to God than to others who cannot really help. Even if I am mad at God, I would still rather come to God and tell him how I feel than avoid him for he is the only one who can really help and he continues to love me no matter what state I am in. I hope this answers your question.

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