Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hold ON!

“Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face”.  Job 13:15

This verse has long been a hallmark of rich biblical faith.  It is, but it may not necessarily be in the way that you think.  Often Job’s faith, here, is compared to that of Habakkuk. 

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  God, the Lord, is my strength…”

Habakkuk is trusting that God knows best even if it hurts.  Habakkuk has come to learn that even though there is great suffering and loss he can trust a good God.  Habakkuk finds His joy in God and no longer in circumstances. 

Is Job’s faith in 13:15 like Habakkuk’s? 

I submit to you that it is actually more like Peter’s in John 6. 

Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.

Peter’s confession comes on the heels of Jesus’ famous “eat my flesh and drink my blood” sermon.  That one did not go so well (at least on Jesus’ ACP report).  The beginning of John 6 is a rousing“we love Jesus” rally, with the hopes of crowning Him as the their King.  John 6 ends with these same people leaving…probably thanking YHWH that the cannibal Jesus didn’t accept the crown. 

As everyone is leaving Jesus turns to the disciples and asks, “are you going to join them?”  To this we have Peter’s response…there is nowhere else to go. 

Peter’s faith is more like Job’s in 13:15.  Job is not chipper or speaking of joy as Habakkuk does.  Job, just as I am assuming Peter and the disciples were, is still scratching his head.  He is still longing for answers. 

Job wants and audience with God even if it kills him.  Why?  Because he knows that God is the only one that “has the words of eternal life”.  He knows that God is the only one that can redeem him, and so even though it may kill him he ventures to have an audience with God. 

I have no idea what many of you are going through.  Some of you are perhaps at a spot of Habakkuk faith—where you are finding joy in drinking from the fountain of God’s riches, despite outward circumstances that still cause pain. 

Some of you may be closer to Job.  He’s just sitting in the fountain wishing he could enjoy a drink.  He knows that there is no other fountain to find life in, that is why he is sitting in this one.  But Job isn’t at a spot yet where he can taste and see that the Lord is good. 

Hold On!

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