“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him…”
Job 13:5 (KJV)
“Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him;
if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him
and fill my mouth with arguments.”
Job 23:2-4 (NIV)
Job was the richest, most blessed man of his generation. His riches included a wonderful loving family, monetary wealth and spiritual blessings beyond measure. Then disaster strikes him in every possible way.
Beginning in Job chapter 4 the “friends” begin to verbally assault Job without cause. They share their defective theology to support their arguments that Job must be evil to have God punish him so terribly. Unknown by Job’s accusers God praised His servant above all people. As one person said, “Some people have minds like concrete, thoroughly mixed and permanently set.”
By the time we get to Job 13, Job had been beaten up rather badly. Already Job had lost his family tragically and his wife told him to give up on God and die. Then his “comforters”, who kept their mouths shut for a week because they saw how great Job’s suffering was, viciously attacked him. No one in history was as alone as Job with the possible exception of Jonah when he was in the great fish.
Even at this darkest of moments Jonah was still insisting that even if God took his life, he would trust Him. What a profoundly moving thing for the desperate man to assert. All Job had left was his miserable life. We know he will lose his sense of God’s presence (Job 23) but at this moment Job stands firm in his faith.
If you have passed from the Job of chapter 13 to the Job of chapter 23 you are in good company! Job is credited as being one of the greatest men in history. God praised him and said he was the most godly man in the world.
Do not let your grief over your suffering cloud your faith in the presence of the Good Shepherd being with you. We shall have suffering as long as we are in this shattered world. But if you are in Job 23 rather than in Job 13 remember Job’s latter end when he ended life in a much better position than before his great trial of faith.
Also consider the precious promise in Psalm 30:5 (NKJV)
“For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.”