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ENDURANCE

Job complains about the insults coming from a generation that should have been taught more courtesy and respect for their elders.

But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.  Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?  For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.  Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.  They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.  Job 30: 1-6

Job is come down to derision from a younger generation of lower station in life.  They are vegetarians due to poverty rather than not preferring meat.  So those who are outcast are now emboldened to oppose Job in his hour of weakness.

Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.  They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.  And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.  They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.  Job 30: 7-10

These who brayed like donkeys were foolish, and now are even more so to spit on the man of God in his hour of weakness.  These were dumber than dirt!

Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.  Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.  They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.  They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.  Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.  Job 30: 11-15

As we keep a dog on a leash for safety, Job is loosened to wander into harm’s way.  The irreverent young men set on him like tormentors on a dog.  They hound him with insults, torment, and false accusations.

And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.  My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.  By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.  He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.  I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.  Job 30: 16-20

For Job everything hurts.    Bones, tendons, joints, and his dignity.  Clothing irritates his boils and clings to the soil and infection.  Job feels abandoned by his God, ignored and forgotten.

Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.  Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.  For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.  Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.  Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?  Job 30: 21-25

To God Job directs a complaint against his cruelty.  God would esteem him as dust and ashes to be tossed in the wind.  God makes the appointment of death but Job does not yet totally expect his time has come.  He honestly has tried to be a friend to the poor and oppressed.

When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.  My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.  I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.  I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.  My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.  My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep. Job 30: 26-31

If it weren’t for bad news Job would have no news at all…it sounds like a country music lament doesn’t it?  His internal organs are in agony and he has no strength to rise.  He is feeling like an alien to the human race, burning up in a spiritual drought.

I have lived long enough to know that growing old isn’t for cowards.  I remember having no grey hair and lots of energy for life.  I remember a young bride and small children.  I had a good job and we could stay ahead of the creditors.  Those days are gone.  I have lost my wife, my health, my career, and the kids are not fully tuned in to God’s view of life yet.  I have more scars than Frankenstein.  I cure my limping by going to the gym…to create pain evenly distributed over all of my body so I favor no one particular pain.

One might wonder how Moses lost his royal home and survived in the wilderness without God.  Then he met a burning bush and a transformation to faith.  But how often did he see a burning bush?  He had that close encounter only one time in this life,, and that was enough.  How many years did he endure the fickle friendship of the children of Abraham?  He had only one big dramatic encounter with God to fuel the flames of his faith through many years of trials.

These patriarchs lived inspired lives without having the epistles and instructions of the New Testament of Yeshua.  Yet they lived as Yeshua with his help even then.  They demonstrated faith during trials when a voice from God was not always available to them.

We may endure a dry place in our walk, and even suffer pain and loss.  Christians don’t have immunity from life.  Indeed we should be able to draw from our faith to go through trials with confidence in our deliverer.  We should be the examples of how God gives us enough to endure until he returns an answer for your need.

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