Job 13: Job starts this chapter with a declaration that he knows everything his friends know and instead wants “to speak to the Almighty; I would gladly present my case to God” (13:3). And ouch…Job flat out tells his friends that they are “plasterers of lies; ineffective healers” (13:4). He urges them to stop talking and actually listen to his arguments. He tells them that they clearly are biased against him. He then presents a compelling argument about his desire to directly speak to God:
Job 10: More direct challenging and questions toward God. He specifically questions God, asking why he is being punished. He asks God why sinners are ok, but he isn’t. Job seems to remind God that he is fully aware of his current predicament and that God knows Job isn’t guilty. He continues to want to know why God won’t put an end to his suffering. More challenging by Job using different metaphors. No matter what, Job directly questions God and why this is happening. Job actually asks God why he ever let him live in the first place considering what he is currently experiencing.
During the BINY class today (1/28), I remembered a conversation I had with one of my F3 brothers when my stepmother passed away. My stepmother made the tragic decision to take her own life in April 2015. It was and still is a challenging situation for my family, especially my father and me. One F3 brother, probably trying to console me, said that her death was part of “God’s plan” and that we just need to understand his plan. I remember how much that bothered me. The notion that God wanted my stepmother to take her life did not sit well with me. Thankfully I don’t agree with this person that this is how God works in our lives, but I’m amazed that people think this. I hear the phrase “it’s all part of God’s plan” all the time, but I can’t recall someone taking it to this extreme.
On to my thoughts about the readings.
Job 4: Just a little note to start off this reading: I learned after my last post that I was actually wrong to write “Satan” down as the person who challenged God. I should’ve written “the satan” or even “the adversary.” Here’s a nice little tidbit from James L. Kugel’s book, How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now: “This is not yet the devil, the Satan of later Judaism and Christianity who is God’s opponent and the embodiment of evil, but merely one of the heavenly attendants, the ‘sons of God.’ The Hebrew satan means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’” (p. 638). Nice little tidbit for me to know.
Job 1: I’ve never read Job. In fact, whenever I hear anyone say Job I think of the movie Mission: Impossible with Tom Cruise. Job 3:14 played a big role in that film. I know, a silly story, but that’s what happens.
Introduction to the Poetical and Wisdom Books: The NRSV has a full introduction to the 5 books classified in the Poetical and Wisdom Books. There’s a lot in there, especially about Biblical poetry. I just want to put this quote here and move on to Job:
Esther 9: The first half of this chapter tells of the Jews retaliating against those who tried to kill them. They killed tens of thousands of people. We also see that Esther still has a considerable amount of power over the King. He offers to do whatever she wants. She tells him what she wants and he makes it happen. This all happens on the 14th and 15th days of Adar (the 12th month of the year).