Welcome to Week 2 of our journey into Job! Before we get into this weeks "meat", I owe you the results of my research into Satan being in heaven (Job 1 and 2). I consulted several commentaries. Many indicated that in the original Hebrew the word "Satan" is preceded by an article that makes it more of a common noun, like "the accuser". So it would not have been the Satan but an accusing spirit. Other commentaries indicate that it was Satan himself who still had access to heaven and God. Myself, I would tend to agree with the original language, but I'll probably do a bit more research before making a final decision. So now, on to this week's verses.
When we left Job last week, we were in Chapter 6. Job was responding to his friend's Eliphaz's contention that Job must have some hidden sin else all those horrible things would not have happened to Job.
The first part of Job's response was from Job 6:11 -- “What strength do I have, that I should continue to hope.” We determined that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). I pray you hold onto that forever. This week we're going to look at the second part of verse 11.
But before we do that, I'm going to ask you to do a little exercise. Picture your family surrounded by every material thing you own. Close your eyes and savor that good feeling. Now envision it's suddenly snatched away from you, never to return. How does that feel? Hold onto that feeling.
"What is my future, that I should be patient?" Job 6:11 (CSB)
Remember that feeling of loss I had you hold onto? That probably was a fraction of what Job was feeling. So I can imagine him lamenting his future and thinking, "I have nothing left so why should I patiently wait until my life ends? What do I gain from that?" Though he never directly addressed Eliphaz, in Job 5:18-26 Eliphaz speaks of God's restoration. One example is verse 18 "For he wounds but he also bandages; he strikes, but his hands also heal" . But the magnitude of Job's loss was obviously beyond being comforted or encouraged by the idea of waiting for restoration.
There are several scriptures that could speak to Job's lament. But a familiar one seems to fit best.
"But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength."Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
What makes this verse such a great response is its context. In the first 39 chapters of Isaiah, he prophesied about the upcoming exile of the Israelites to Babylon. Then in chapter 40 he tells them that after some time God would restore them. All they had to do was wait. If they waited, God would restore them to their homeland and He would restore their strength. For Job, it says, it you just trust and wait, God will restore you. And the strength you lamented about? You'll get that back too. The LORD is able, not just for the Israelites, not just for Job, but for us as well.
Whether our suffering or loss comes as punishment or just life circumstances, know that we just need to trust in our God who is Omniscient and Omnipotent and loving. As it says in Isaiah 40:28 (CSB), " Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding." When you want to quit, when it seems to be too overwhelming, wait on the LORD. Trust Him. He will come through!