Today's Devotions

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Showcase: Freedom

  • Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster +

    In Freedom of Simplicity Foster gently encourages us to see that our identity, our sense of comfort and security must Read More
  • Freedom and Authority-by JI Packer +

    "Authority" is a word that makes most people think of law and order, direction and restraint, command and control, dominance Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Don  CarsonExodus 9;

Luke 12; Job 27; 1 Corinthians 13

THE LAST SPEECH FROM JOB'S "miserable comforters" is that of Bildad (Job 25), and it is pathetically short because even he now recognizes that he has nothing new to say, and neither do his friends. Job's answer is long and complex (chaps. 26-31), as if he is determined to drive his friends into silence. Some of it is mere review.

The opening chapter (yesterday's reading, Job 26) finds Job mocking these "comforters" for their callousness, the sterility of their counsel in the face of suffering like Job's. It also finds him agreeing with them regarding God's unfathomable power. After a breathtaking review of God's powerful deeds, Job concludes, "And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" (Job 26:14). While the "comforters" charge Job with reducing God to impotence, Job so insists on God's transcendent power that he entertains the view that God is distant.

That brings us to Job 27. Here are all the tensions in Job's position. Job puts himself under an oath ("As surely as God lives") to make his point. He will never admit his opponents are right, for this would mean denying that he has lived his life with integrity: "Till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live" (Job 27:5-6). But ironically, the God by whom Job swears, whose greatness Job has praised in chapter 26, the God who provides the very breath in Job's nostrils (Job 27:3), is also, Job insists, the God "who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul" (Job 27:2-3).

More irony: this does not mean that God is corrupt or unjust. Job recognizes that God calls unjust and wicked people to account (Job 27:7-10)—often in this life (Job 27:11-23), but finally in death.

This is not Job's final position, of course; the drama is not yet over. But we may reflect on the place we have reached so far.

First, it is always best to be honest in our reflections on God, to avoid positions that distort facts (the folly of the three "comforters"), to remain transparent before God. He knows what we think anyway. Hope of advance is possible where there is honesty, but almost impossible where deceit reigns.

Second, this means that at various stages of a believer's pilgrimage there may be times when opponents will see in him or her conspicuous ironies or profound mysteries. One should not glory in contradictions, of course, but in matters relating to God, mysteries are inevitable. In time, some of these edge toward resolution, but almost always accompanied by the unfolding glory of new depths.

Reflections to Consider

  • 1

Publications

  • 1

Music

  • 1

Audio & Video

  • 1

Favorites

  • Walking towards Easter: Jesus's Tears +

    These scriptures reflect the pain and suffering, the tears Jesus felt leading up to his crucifixion. Read More
  • Culitvating Good Fruit +

    Proverbs 15:23: To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good Read More
  • Living after Easter +

    Acts 1:8.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my Read More
  • Loving like Jesus and the good, good Father +

    Jesus calls his disciples--and us--to love. Read More
  • 1

Hidden Blessings

  • Easter: transforming how we relate to others +

    As we prepare for Easter, let’s prayerfully consider some questions regarding John 17. Read More
  • Jesus as the cultivator of our heart +

    Day after day our heart experiences dozens and hundreds of interactions: with others, with news stories,  with our thoughts, or Read More
  • Sing to the Lord: Thinking about to praise God each day with songs from our hearts +

    One of the overriding themes throughout scripture is praising God regardless of our circumstances. Read More
  • A focus on blessing others +

    We are called to be a blessing to the world first to those around us. Read More
  • 1