Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Job 23 & 24 - The Puzzle of Life

LINK: Job 23 & 24

BACKGROUND

As I mentioned yesterday, Job does not respond to the accusations of Eliphaz. His complaint is with God, and he voiced it. He speaks of his bitterness for the fourth time (3:20; 7:11; 10:1). He wants to know why God was hiding from him (23:1-12). He wants to present his case to the Judge and be acquitted! Again, Job declares that when God has tried him, he would come forth like gold. I wonder if that "gold" is in relation to Eliphaz's exhortation for Job to place his gold in the dust so that the Almighty would be his gold (22:24-25)? He concludes Job 23 with a declaration of God's sovereignty.

In Job 24, he focuses on the injustices that God allows in the country (24:1-11) and city (24:12-17). He closes his complaints with a denunciation of the wicked (24:18-25). Judge Job has come on the scene!

REFLECTION/APPLICATION  
Hide-and-seek is an entertaining children's game, where the object is to find someone who is trying to evade you. 
Hide-and-seek in the spiritual realm is neither entertaining nor enjoyable. In fact, it can be downright frustrating. The question, "Where are you, God?" is as old as the days of Job. 
Job 23:8-12 contains a striking mixture of doubt and trust. Job had kept God's ways, obeyed God's commands, and even "treasured the words of [God's] mouth more than [his] daily bread" (23:12). And yet, wherever Job turned in the midst of his crisis -- "east . . . west . . . north . .  . south" (23:8-9) -- God seemingly could not be found. 
Although Job could not put the pieces of the puzzle together, he realized that God could. And that was the key, for God wanted his unquestioning confidence. Trust, not knowledge, was the issue. 
A jigsaw puzzle makes a great family-fun project after dinner. If you don't have one around the house already, buy one on the way home from work. And as you work together to make the pieces fit, share with your family a lesson from Job's life about what to do when the pieces of life don't seem to fit.
(The Daily Walk, May 24/25 2008)
This is a great application, but I really dislike puzzles! Wonder what that says about my ability to figure out the puzzles of life! But I do like Spider Solitaire which involves figuring out mysteries! Since I lived in Malaysia in 1998, I will often put on praise music and play Spider Solitaire as I work through the perplexing mysteries of life. God always meets me in those times. 

PRAYER

Lord, You hold all the cards and the pieces of the puzzle. You know our beginning and our end and know how to fit everything together in Your time and in Your way. Help us to trust in Your sovereign purposes. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen. 
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