tie-a-knotThursday, March 2, 2017

Daily reading assignment: Job 17-18

We pick up our study of the Book of Job with Job continuing to respond to his friends’ accusations that all he had suffered was because of God’s judgment upon some sin he was yet to face and confess.  In chapter 16, Job began to reprove his accusers and cry for compassion.  In chapter 17 his focus turns from man to God.

depressedBelieving he could not continue to bear the sorrows and losses of this world, Job felt the end of his life was near (Job 17:1).  The betrayal of friends (17:5) and the stress of loss and disappointments had all but consumed him (17:7).

I have observed that the young, strong, and untried are often deceived by a certain danger of invincibility.  In contrast, the old, weak, and tried wrestle with the danger of giving in to anxiety and despondency.  Job, wrestling with the latter, cried to the LORD, “Mine eye also is dim [dark; weak; faint] by reason of sorrow [grief; anger], and all my members [strength] are as a shadow [deep darkness; i.e. shadow of death]” (Job 17:7).

Nowhere is there a hint that Job was considering suicide; however, he was so overwhelmed with sorrows it seemed death might bring a welcome relief (Job 17:11).  After hearing Job’s pitiful plea for mercy, one would think a friend would have compassion and encourage him; however, that was not the case.  Chapter 18 opens with Bildad reproving, rather comforting Job (Job 18).panic

Some reading this devotional commentary might themselves be struggling with anxiety, fear and loss.  Perhaps your trials pale in comparison to all Job had suffered; nevertheless, for you the pain, sorrows, and disappointments are real.  Maybe you fear one more disappointment…one more crisis…one more trial…one more attack on your character…will break you.  Consider that broken…broken in will and broken in spirit may well be where God wants you!  Broken, at the “end of the rope” and wholly dependent on Him.

isaiah-26-4The prophet Isaiah exhorted God’s people: “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4).  Writing to the scattered and persecuted church, the Apostle Peter encouraged Christians, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Struggling with fear and anxiety?  Will you not confess them to the Lord and trust Him?

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith