Saturday, December 17, 2011

What Job teaches us about wrestling with God

Once again, I want to turn to Ellen Davis as she provides some great wisdom from her book Getting Involved With God. This time she is looking at the book of Job and what it teaches us about suffering and wrestling with God through it.

She explains how it is helpful for Christians to confront God with the pain we are in, even though it might initially feel wrong:
“We are not accustomed to blaming God, and so when we find ourselves doing so, we feel guilty and religiously confused. The ‘solution,’ for some, is to cover our confusion about God with a false piety. Others, bolder perhaps, will give up on God altogether. But the witness of the book of Job is that rage and even blame directed at God are valid moments in the life of faith…[and] we may stay in that ‘moment’ for a long time.”
Looking at the closing chapters, where God speaks to Job, Davis goes on to point out:
“Job is convinced that his moral innocence should have warded off disaster, because he believes that the world is a manageable place run by a demanding but nonetheless predictable God who owes the righteous a good time. But when God finally speaks and shows Job what, from a divine perspective, is so fascinating about the created order, it turns out to have nothing at all to do with human moral standards.


“What God says, in effect, is this: ‘Look away from yourself, job; look around you. For a moment see the world with my eyes, in all its intricacy and wild beauty’…God calls this man of integrity to take his place in a ravishing but dangerous world where only those who relinquish their personal expectations can live in peace. The price of peace is the surrender of our personal expectations.”

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