“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.” NIV
The book of Job has always been a hard study for me. All of the things that happen to this poor man make me sad, and, it scares me a bit that so much of the Bible is devoted to his story. In the Bible that I’m using for this project, the book of Job runs for 56 pages — 2.7% of the entire Bible. In my chronological Bible, which takes all of the stories and puts them in order on a timeline and then splits them up into 365 daily readings, the story of Job takes almost all of February.
Granted, February is a short month, but, when it is miserably cold outside, and inside, the story of Job is greeting you each morning for days on end, it is not a happy circumstance. And, things were even less pleasant for our poor friend Job, who had to live it.
Each time I finish the book, I wonder exactly what it is that I am supposed to learn from it. I fully recognize that Job’s ultimate reward was in heaven and that God loved him and richly blessed him, but, it still disturbs me that he and his wife had to suffer so much.
But, as I look at the story of Job through the lens of this project, I can see that he perhaps had a lot to worry about, and that there is something to be gained from looking at the book, yet again.
These words from his friend Zophar were not particularly helpful to Job, but, they certainly ring true for me. Perhaps that is part of the reason for the book. Job was blameless before God … he hadn’t done anything to deserve the punishment that he received. But, for the rest of us, Zophar’s words are actually quite comforting.
I looked at these verses in the message, “Still if you set your heart on God and reach out to him, If you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, You’ll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless.” MSG
Today, I will set my heart on God and reach out to Him!