Job 7-8 (NLT)

Discover His heart: Through His attention to our lives, He makes us more like Him

As a child, I don’t think I really appreciated the luxury of lying on the grass for an hour or two, drinking in all the Vitamin D I would need for the day and observing the cloud formations overhead.  I saw ships, alligators, clowns and whatever my imagination could conjure up and then think of all the adventures they held.  Over the minutes, I’d watch each image slowly dissipate into vapor, the story ended and the image forever gone.  I’ve wondered how a video game could possibly compete with that, but I guess that’s just me.  Job had watched a few cloud formations in his day; in fact, he felt that he was one. 

@ Job 7
“O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again feel happiness.  You see me now, but not for long.  You will look for me, but I will be gone.  Just as a cloud dissipates and vanishes, those who die will not come back.  They are gone forever from their home—never to be seen again.” (7-10)  Clearly, Job’s reflection on clouds did not hold for him the same happy thoughts that my memories give to me.  Yes, this life is fleeting, as James concurs with Job in James 4:14, “For what is your life?  It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (NKJV)  Nevertheless, while we are living, we have adventures and stories to live out, but Job didn’t care much for his adventure, and I can’t really blame him.

Early in history, God-fearing individuals had little knowledge or understanding of eternal life.  Job wanted God to know that time was running out for Him to bring justice to his situation in life or at least to bring an explanation.  Job would die, and he would be no more.  Later in the book, Job uttered a brave hope of a life after death, but without the revealed truths from God’s Word that we have, he had no assurance of a better day.  With the Bible as the vanguard directing our lives, we have the understanding that regardless of the trials we face during this brief vapor of life, eternal life is in our future.

Reading Job’s cry for help is difficult to say the least, but the real stab to my heart comes in verse 16, “I hate my life and don’t want to go on living.”  His words make me think of the all too many times I’ve heard individuals, young and old alike, utter these words in despair. Words of comfort often fall useless to the ground, but it’s then that I pray for a revelation of eternity from God to flood their hearts and minds.  Life with its pain and disappointment is short, eternity is a very long time.

“What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often?  For you examine us every morning and test us every moment.  Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow!…Why make me your target?” (17-20)  Or in today’s urban lingo, “Why you all up in my business?”  No matter how it’s said, Job’s response to God in the midst of his trial is opposite to the response of what we read yesterday.

Yesterday we read that David found God’s constant watch over him comforting, but Job found it annoying at best. Job felt God had made him His target, which was true in a sense; and over the course of his affliction, Job would correct the very area where God was aiming.  Imagine that!  When we’re going through a rough patch in our journey, we may be tempted to consider ourselves God’s target for pain and agony, especially when things are not resolved quickly.  Just as God was perfecting Job through his pain, He uses our trials to perfect us and make us more like Him.  In the process, we may mutter, “Why you all up in my business?” but then, isn’t that really where we want Him to be?  Watching over us, protecting, avenging and perfecting.

Moving Forward:  I surrender my business to the Lord today. I’m so thankful that He is mindful of my brief stint on earth, and my cry is “Don’t leave me alone!” Someday, our eternal life with Him will make it worth it all.

Tomorrow @ Isaiah 18-22