Job 14 – Man Flees Like a Shadow

Job concludes his fourth speech with a soliloquy on the brevity of life.  Although, as we have said before, it is often dark in these early chapters, the poetry in Job is clearer and more beautifully eloquent and evident the further along we go.  Of man being few of days and full of trouble, verse 2 says

He comes out like a flower and withers;
he flees like a shadow and continues not

Job still does not understand; and he continues to wonder why God seems to be angry with him.

Oh …that you would conceal me until your wrath be past,
that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me…
All the days of my service I would wait,
till my renewal should come

rushing waterJob feels totally hopeless and is mistakenly certain that it is God who has brought him to this state.  His pitiful condition elicits a heart-wrenching cry of desperation:

But the mountain falls and crumbles away,
and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones;
the torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
so you destroy the hope of man

Job still has not cursed God, but the words are certainly accusatory.  We have to wonder whether God will tire of this.  To that question at least, we will at last get an answer.  But not just yet.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Psalm 44 – Why are you sleeping, O Lord?

This lament psalm has been the subject of much speculation as to when it was written, and under what circumstances.  Some of the proposed answers for those questions have been the reign of Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24), the time of the Macabees (inter-testamental), the reign of Hezekiah (2 Kings 18), and even the time of Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 25). It is reasonable however to more narrowly define the circumstances in terms of a group or community of people who are simply persecuted unjustly.

The time and circumstances really do not matter though.  It begins in verses 1-8 as a wonderful hymn of praise to God.  From there, it becomes much like several other lament psalms that cry for help from God, while it appears to the psalmist that God not only is ignoring their pain, but may well be responsible for some of it; and the psalmist cannot understand what they could have done to deserve such.   We may even read in shock at the way the psalmist addresses the Lord, as in verses 23-24:  Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord?  Rouse yourself!  …Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?

In that respect, the psalm is of great value to God’s people today in a couple of ways.  First, it demonstrates without a doubt that even in keeping with God’s will, godly and righteous people do often suffer undeservedly.  The apostle Paul pointed this out very well in Romans 8:36, as he linked the sufferings of persecuted 1st century Christians with that of God’s people in this psalm, quoting verse 22:

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

Rembrandt - Apostle Paul - WGA19120

Rembrandt – Apostle Paul – WGA19120 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The second thing that we can take away from this psalm, which is the inspired word of God, is that when we are hurting it is not wrong to cry out to Him – and yes even to express the unfairness of it all and our grieving disappointment that He has not yet taken away our pain.    It may be His will that we have that pain eased soon, or He may have more important plans for us and for those we influence.  But no, it is not sinful to be hurt, nor to plead for His mercy for us.  But keeping our eyes on the promise to which He will surely be faithful, we can know that He loves us even in those times.  And we should keep close Paul’s words that follow in Romans 8:37-39:

“in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.