“Teach me, and I will be silent; cause me to understand where I have gone astray. How painful are honest words, but what does your reprove prove?” (Job 6:24-25)
In the name of Jesus. Amen. The Sabeans raided and took all of Job’s oxen and donkeys. The fire of God fell from the sky and consumed his sheep. The Chaldeans raided and took away his camels. A great wind caused the house where his sons and daughters were feasting to collapse on top of his family. He then was afflicted with painful boils from the bottom of his feet to the top of his head. You think that’s bad? That was just the first two chapters!
But worst of all are Job’s friends! They direct him back to himself. Clearly, in their estimation, Job must’ve done something wrong. Maybe Job had angered God. Or he had sinned. It was obvious – look at how much bad stuff had happened to him! Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people, right?
The religion of Job’s friends, the religion of the world, is wrong. Job didn’t suffer because He had done something evil and had it coming. In all of his suffering, “Job did not sin in what he said,” (Job 2:10). Job knew that his suffering wasn’t caused because God was angry with him. He didn’t blame the devil, He didn’t blame evil. He received all – the good and the bad – from the Lord’s hand as gift.
Job wasn’t without any sins. He had all sorts of sins, and he knew it. But Job knew he had a Redeemer. Job said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27 NKJV)
You aren’t sinless either. You have all sorts of sins, and you know it. Bad things happen to you too. Sometimes they happen quickly without warning. The epiphany for today is that Job’s Redeemer is your Redeemer, the One who went to Calvary for Job, for you, and for the sin of the world.
Job teaches us not to wonder why bad things happen. There’s no comfort there! Instead cling to what your Redeemer won for you on the Cross and delivered to you in your baptism.
You, too, with Job will see your Redeemer with your own eyes. So, repent and rejoice as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet shall I hope in Him” (Job 13:15). In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Lectionary: Job 6:14-30; St. John 3:22-4:6
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org.