Prayer: O God, let your Word by my guide. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hope in the midst of suffering
35 Can you send forth lightnings…?
Certainly, I have observed a lot of lightning the last few days…and rain, and it is forecast to continue through the week. No this is not just the normal summer pattern of morning sun and afternoon tropical downpours. No this is almost non-stop and when there is no thunder storm, it is drizzle and steady rain. The sun does occasionally pop out as if to say that it is still in the sky.
Our devotion writer tells how lightning knocked him out while in the kitchen. He reminds us that he and us, are not in control of lightning. We often think we are safe from lightning if we stay indoors. But only by God’s grace.
Job had done everything right. Even so, he lost everything. Family, fortune, even his health was threatened. He wants to know why, so, he asks God. Indeed, he even argues with God demanding to know why. Instead of answering Job’s questions, he answers by asking questions. Questions which when considered show that man is not God. God asks Job if he can come anywhere close to God’s greatness. And God still insists that Job trust Him. It is God who creates and provides order to the world. Not Job. Not us. God can control the weather and the climate. He can make if hotter, or even cool it off. Not Job! Not us! Even though Job as lost everything there is hope that he will love and live once more.
The story of Job is a story of us and of the trust we need to make it through the tough times. It is a story of hope, and a story that puts us in our place, and restores God to the creator He is. Like our devotion writer says; “God still rules and still loves us.”
Prayer: “Great and good God, uphold me in suffering and lead me to new life and healing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? 24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25 “Who has cut a channel for the torrents of rain, and a way for the thunderbolt, 26 to bring rain on a land where no one lives, on the desert, which is empty of human life, 27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground put forth grass?
28 “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven? 30 The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? 32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? 35 Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? 36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts, or given understanding to the mind? 37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, 38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?