Name: Jennie Povenmire
Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
If I were to sum up my reading in one sentence, I would say “wrestling is hard but God is faithful.” Job’s friend Eliphaz, who at this point has spoken to Job three times and still isn’t coming off as encouraging AT ALL, is laying out why he thinks Job is receiving this consequence from God and how Job can straighten up. (In Toledo, we would call that “putting someone on blast,” when you lay someone out like that.) Job verbally wrestles with these thoughts…he wants answers but God will do what God will do. God doesn’t have to answer to Job or anybody. Even as he tries to rationalize what’s going on with what he knows about God, he still doesn’t get angry. He knows God is in, through, and of the situation.
Job 23:10 “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
How does what you read change your vision of God? God wants us to have an active faith! Wrestling with Him can be a good thing because it helps us fight for our salvation.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others? Eliphaz is missing a whole lot of context and presumes to know exactly what is going on. I tend to do that too. People’s actions are rooted in context I can’t even begin to know. I need to seek more to understand what is going on before giving my thoughts. I learned in school that all behavior is a form of communication about what’s going on behind the scenes. Context is important because it helps us understand why a person engages in that behavior. If Eliphaz knew how God was using Job for his glory, I think he would have revised what he had to say.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?) I will work to listen more than I speak so I can understand what’s really going on before I make a value judgment. When I seek to understand before being understood, situations become a lot less hostile and a lot more gracious.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?) Job rolled with the punches even though he was thoroughly displeased about what was happening. He didn’t know the context or what was going on, but he trusted and loved God even through his wrestling with the situation. Job was faithful and his faith was strengthened because of that active engagement. Jesus knew the full context of the plan God had in mind, but he still wrestled with its application. Ultimately, he too was faithful to the plan and to all of us. Jesus’ wrestling and active engagement with his Father as he prays in the Garden is an encouragement because it shows me that even though I don’t understand what’s going on, my faith in God is stronger than the circumstances.