Job’s Christlikeness

Scripture Focus: Job 42.8-12
8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. 
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring. 
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.

Reflection: Job’s Christlikeness
By John Tillman

Job is an early “type” or example of Jesus. He demonstrates or proves God’s righteousness through suffering and death. Like Jesus, God calls Job his servant, saying he is pleased with him and Job’s friends are told to listen to him because Job tells “the truth” about God.

Job is Christlike in righteousness, in suffering, in enduring scorn and insults, and in his eucatastrophic return to wealth and blessing. 

Job is Christlike in righteousness. Job is not completely righteous and sinless in the same way as Jesus. (In all of these categories, Job is only like Christ, not equal to him.) God never called Job an evildoer, as his friends did, but challenged him to work justice and crush evil. When Job describes righteousness, he refers to actions to set free captives and help the poor and downtrodden, as Jesus did.

Job is Christlike in suffering. Job lost the power and comforts his wealth and position gave him. Jesus chose suffering over heavenly power and poverty over riches, making himself nothing, in our likeness, obedient to death. Job did not choose this suffering. Jesus did.

Job is Christlike in enduring of scorn and insults. Reading Job sometimes feels like scrolling through the worst insults and scorn from social media. And these are Job’s friends! Jesus endured scorn on Good Friday from voices that sang “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” just a few days earlier. Jesus is the despised and rejected one.

Job is Christlike in his eucatastrophic return. God’s command prevented Satan from killing Job but everything else in Job’s life died or was lost. Then, unexpectedly, everything was restored. The second half of Job’s life was better than before. God’s command would not allow Jesus to “see corruption in the grave.” The resurrection is the ultimate eucatastrophe.

If we follow Jesus, we cannot be surprised to step into the same situations. We must step forward to enact justice and righteousness. We must step into suffering and endure scorn. We step through the valley of death, knowing that resurrection and miraculous recoveries are often just around the corner.

May pits of suffering not make us ashamed. May piles of blessings not make us complacent. Job used both for God’s glory. May we not waste opportunities to make ourselves like Christ. Like Job, may we be a type or model of Christ for our community.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
The same stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. — Psalm 118.22

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Job 42 (Listen – 2:41)
Psalm 56-57 (Listen – 3:11)

Read more about Deliverance Through Suffering
Through suffering, deliverance comes. Through affliction, God speaks

Read more about Unexpected Victory
There is no one whose sufficient victory is more surprising than the eucatastrophe of the cross.

Prayer of Pleading

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 12.8-9
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.

The following post comes from an excellent series Matt Tullos wrote called 39 Words. Matt is a longtime friend and mentor in ministry and writing who graciously allows us to share his writings for the benefit of our community. — John

Reflection:  Prayer of Pleading
By Matt Tullos

When we run out of pretty prayers and Sunday School answers, pleading is an intimate, ugly cry that dares to cast away its pride.

If it be your will,
If there is a choice,
Let the rivers fill.
Let the hills rejoice.
Let your mercy spill.
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well.
— Leonard Cohen

As He begins this final journey toward the cross, Jesus prays a haunting, surprising prayer: “If it be your will, let this cup pass from me.” This plea reveals both His humanity and divine nature.

He knows that life will close in on Him.
No escape.
No turning back.

The world He came to save is now turning against Him. At this moment, one of His followers combs through the garden with a band of conspirators to capture Him. At the time of His greatest need, His dearest companions are comatose and negligent.

He is utterly alone and the weight of the harrowing pain-every kind of pain including isolation, torture, shame, nakedness, blood and farewells, would soon appear under the rays of the moon and the poor light of a covered sun.

We see Him in the garden, a different garden that served as the arena of the man’s fall, and He pleads, “If it be your will…”

Ultimately this cup is the cup of God’s fury. People often glibly use the phrase, “The wrath of God.” There is only One who experienced the wrath of God in its completeness, in its fearful symmetry, in a place where the constructs of evil converge into one horrible event.

This is the place where Jesus is kneeling—in the crosshairs of deep malevolence and holy, blood-soaked redemption. And Jesus knows this. He knows this well.

When we plead, we come to the end of ourselves and stumble toward the One who loves us. Beggars are never rejected at the footstool of the Almighty.

Pleading is messy prayer. It’s when we can do nothing else but beg. Are you a beggar today, pleading for God’s attention?

Are you so hungry that you’d be satisfied with the crumbs of the Divine?

Divine Hours Prayer: The Request for Presence
Let your loving-kindness be my comfort, as you have promised to your servant.
Let your compassion come to me, that I may live, for your law is my delight. — Psalm 119.76-77

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Job 42 (Listen -2:41)
2 Corinthians 12 (Listen -3:54)

This Weekend’s Readings
Proverbs 1 (Listen -3:12) 2 Corinthians 13 (Listen -2:19)
Proverbs 2 (Listen -1:53) Galatians 1 (Listen -3:05)

Read more about Liquid Wrath and Liquid Forgiveness
The cup of God’s wrath is taken for us by Christ. He begs not to drink it, and yet he does. Leaving us not a drop to taste after him.

Read more about The Efficacy of Prayer
The thing we pray for may happen, but how can you ever know it was not going to happen anyway? — C.S. Lewis