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Saturday, November 5, 2016

I Have No Rest

It was all too much for Job—the loss of his wealth, the death of his children, his wife's hopeless urging to curse God and die, his horrible disease, and now his friends crying beside him. He finally let it all come cascading, cursing the day of his birth:
"Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, 'A man is conceived.' Let that day be darkness! May God above not seek it, nor light shine upon it. Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. That night--let thick darkness seize it! Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; let it not come into the number of the months. Behold, let that night be barren; let no joyful cry enter it. Let those curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up Leviathan. Let the stars of its dawn be dark; let it hope for light, but have none, nor see the eyelids of the morning, because it did not shut the doors of my mother's womb, nor hide trouble from my eyes. "Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breasts, that I should nurse? For then I would have lain down and been quiet; I would have slept; then I would have been at rest, with kings and counselors of the earth who rebuilt ruins for themselves, or with princes who had gold, who filled their houses with silver. Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master. "Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they find the grave? Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? " - Job 3:1-23 ESV
Why? Why? Why?
Why did I not die at birth?
Why did the knees receive me?
Why the breasts that I should nurse?
Why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light?
Why is light given to him who is in misery?
Why is life given to the bitter in soul who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hidden treasure?
Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?

Job's plaintive cries echo the ever present cries of countless men, women and children who find no answers to the question of a God who permits suffering, sorrow, anguish and death? Does He get some sort of perverse pleasure from it all? Who can believe in such a God? Who can delight in His presence, promises and purposes?

These are the questions that haunt us like jackals in the wilderness, laughing and salivating in the hideous hope of devouring our souls, sending them carelessly into the fathomless darkness of hades. Do we dare to crawl along this painful journey with this pitiful man? Are there answers, any answers to our dreadful doubts? Do we dare to turn the page?

Listen to Job's wretched cries, for they are our own. . .

For my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water. For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes. - Job 3:24-26 ESV