Monday, July 2, 2018

Looking Forward to July 8, 2018 -- Finale of Job

This week we read the last bit of Job's story Job 42:7-17

The Sermon title is Right Restored?

Early Thoughts: In the beginning Job was wealthy, incredibly so.  Then disaster struck. Now at the end Job's life and wealth are restored. So all is right with world?

Or maybe not? Does returning all that Job ever had and then some make up for all he has lost? Can what he has lost simply be replaced? I doubt that.

But is that what is happening? How does right get restored after great damage is done? And what gives Job the gumption to go ahead with a new life after all that has happened to him?

Maybe trust. Trust in the God who has been proven to be present in all that has happened. Trust in the God whom he has met face to face. Trust in the God who allows Job to lament and rant full honest expression if his feelings. Trust that God will continue to be present.

The book of Job never answers the "Why do bad things happen to good people?" [or the corollary "why do good things happen to bad people?"]. But it does teach us something about how we could possibly respond to tragedy in our own lives. And it suggests that sometimes we might come out of the trauma with a new life. Sort of a resurrection story?

And yet it is a bit about restoration. I don't mean the restoration of wealth (though that happens) or the restoration of family (though that also happens). I think that the relationship between God and Job as been restored and repaired as well. Partly because I think that restored and repaired relationships are a major part of how we live through trauma into new life.

So maybe right has been restored after all?

PS: Of note about the end of this story is the fact that Job's daughter's in this new life are named in the text (a relatively rare event in Scripture) but also that they are given a share of the inheritance after Job is gone (thought to be VERY rare in the ancient world).  Also the Masonic-linked organization Job's Daughter's takes its name from this story.