Lent Devotional: Job 16-17

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 16-17 (click here)
My face is red with weeping, and on my eyelids is deep darkness, 17 although there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure. 18 O earth, cover not my blood, and let my cry find no resting place. 19 Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and he who testifies for me is on high. (Job 16:16-19)

Reflection
Job is no stoic! Often, when we read the opening two chapters and see Job’s response to his immense suffering, we ignore how he tears his robe and shaves his head, we only see his worship and conclude that he must not “feel” things like we do in order to be able to respond like that.

False.

Job weeps. He weeps continuously… until his face is swollen and red from all his tears. His eyes have sunk into dark circles from sleeplessness and sickness. This man has experienced the deepest pain and has not bottled it up. He is broken and it is obvious… and that is ok.

All too often we think we need to “have it all together,” but brokenness, tears, grief… all of these things are right and good expressions of pain. Sure, there is a way to express grief that does not honor God (Job will eventually do that too and need to repent), but that does not mean that grief itself is sinful… far from it!

We are a people who weep and hurt and cry with one another. We are a people who mourn! The difference is that we do not mourn as if there is no hope! Even amidst his weeping and deep darkness Job has hope… hope that there is a witness in heaven who can testify on his behalf… hope that God himself will vindicate him before God. Job doesn’t know how that works (we do… through Christ), but he knows God is good and so he hopes in him.

We weep… but we also hope.


*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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