Was Jōb One of My Grandfathers?
Since developing this disease, I have turned to the book of Jōb in the Bible. One might ask why? Well, each of us, whom has had our body seemingly turn against us, will understand some of the suffering he went through. Bear with me, please.
First, we can talk about the losses that Jōb went through. His body was attacked, but also, he lost his standing in the community and with his family. Then even before that, he lost his children and his flocks. If we look at what happened and compare it to our lives, we can see similarities. But not to the extent that Jōb went through. Sometimes our families cannot understand that this has befallen us; not that we asked for it or we caused it.
Now to the best part of this. Our friends! What is a friend for anyway, but to comfort us? Did Jōb’s? Heck no, they accused him of being a liar, a hypocrite, and having hidden sins. I mean the man’s skin is covered in bleeding, he is physically in distress which makes the mind distressed, and what do they do? He was being attacked from all fronts.
It was custom for anyone who was visiting you, in a time such as Jōb was going through, to sit with you and just be quiet. They would wait until the one in distress was ready to open-up before they would speak. Boy how we could use that common courtesy today. Right? After Jōb finally (days later) started bemoaning his trials, they let him speak but then they started on the poor man. They blamed all that had befallen Jōb on Jōb! Yep, this had to be his fault and he needs to get on his knees and repent. They thought they knew all about God and how God works. Don’t fool yourself, none of us knows His thoughts and should never profess we do.
So let me share some personal thoughts as I was reading the book of Jōb again. I started laughing at myself when I was reading his discourses. I thought to myself that he must be a great grandfather of mine. Surely that is possible since I am very sarcastic when need arises; and heck, lets add that I have several skin diseases on top of the spinal cysts. I’m not bragging or anything like that, but that was what popped in my head.
In the first response to Eliphaz, Jōb says, “ To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; … ” [6:14] That was a gentle rebuff to the friend for attacking his character. I know that there are times that each of us could say the words of Jōb when we are exhausted with our discomforts and pain. Add, though not sarcasm, these words do sound like something I would say or think: “ Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, ” [10:20] Then when we hear all sorts of “have you tried this” questions, I want to maybe add this to my repertoire of answers: “No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: … ” [12:2,3] Yep, a tidbit of sarcasm there. Then sometimes we might want to scream at people, “ …ye are all physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. ” [13:4,5] He also said, “ I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. ” [16:2-5] (emphases placed by me)
I do not do any of that genealogy mess out there. No one needs to know what evil person has been in my family history. With the way our government is going they may very well snoop into what illness they can label us with. Then when the full socialist medicine gets here, they might just decide I am not worthy of the air I am breathing. So back to Jōb. What types of comfort do I get from reading that Book? Besides the spiritual, I get affirmation.
Affirmations? Yes, I can affirm that this is not my fault. Most people that suffer from pain will face self-post-mortems. They will wonder if they ate something; even if some medicine they took trusting the pharmaceutical world; or, even now, we question the immunizations that are thrown at us at every turn. With my illness there is the concern that a spinal epidural, during labor/delivery, could cause them. Therefore, I have had to stop looking at my life with a magnifying glass, trying to find out what caused my disease. I turn to Jōb and have re-read it several times. What better reference to us than this Book?
Another thing this Book in the Bible affirms is that it is ok to pity and rant to ourselves, sometimes. Jōb questions why he was allowed to even be born if this was the outcome. He even comes close to getting mad at God, but he does not cross the line into cursing the Lord. We must remember that the Bible, from front to back, supplies examples of good and examples of bad. Examples of what is sin and what is just trials and our reactions to them. It is our textbook on living. Remember when we question or pity life, then we are giving satan fodder for gloating.
Another affirmation is what we will be dealing with when we have a painful trial. Be it accusations or questions. Some of us have long term trials, some just a few months, but…… We will all be questioned by our family and friends. We will all be accused of something about the illness. Just like Jōb’s friends, our family may turn on us. Some of our friends disappear, the others might start a tirade of what we are doing wrong. Think about that Book of 42 Chapters. Most of 35 chapters are filled with nothing but the discourse of Jōb and his friends. The other 7 are the discourse of God with satan, or God and Jōb. If Jōb’s friends and family can turn on him what makes us think we are more special? It gives us guidance on how to respond to those negative comments and negative feelings they encourage. A little sarcasm is ok, a little truth to the family and friends is ok. What is not ok is getting mad at our Maker.
So when you read my sarcasm, just think of it as some great-grand-parents’ fault. Cheer me on as I have grown and accepted this illness. I am no longer questioning the “whys”; nor the future. I suggest everyone read or re-read that Book. Some of what they say is ‘true’, some is just personal thoughts that they think is the only ‘right’. Be prepared to empathize with Jōb. I have been known to cry right along with him, I have even given him a fist pump on some of the things he says to his friends. Then I feel a peace for the understanding that Jehovah imparts to all.
Yep, I resonate with Jōb. I just wanted to share what made me laugh tonight and I hope it has given you a chuckle. Another thing that I learned tonight is that the readers in my Word program will not say “Jōb”, but “job”. [ Iyov or Jōbe]
Fun thing about this Book – – it talks about unicorns [Chapter 39], leviathans (sea dragons) and behemoths.