Job 17: Healing a Broken Spirit
November 19, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Ezekiel 48, Job 17, John 12:12-19, 1 John 5:6-12
Oh the sadness! Job continues with his lament. What can we say about these words that wrench the soul and speak of the ruin of the hope of man? Here is Job: he was doing so well, and then he was cut down. His beloved are dead. His finances are ruined. His body is in pain. And—to add insult to extreme injury—his friends have let him down. Can such a man survive? Can he retain his faith in God?
With these words you wonder whether he will:
“My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me” (17:1).
With similarly pitiless words he berates himself until at the end of this chapter he concludes:
“Where then is my hope—who can see any hope for me? Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?” (17:15-16).
Where then is his hope? The answer, O Christian, is in the eternal hope revealed in the person and work of Christ risen from the dead!
But, oh what a lesson for us is this Job scrambling through darkness, asking painful personal questions, and with the little light that he has (pre-Christ), still believing! If Job, with all that has happened to him, with the little that he knows (and how much more we know this side of Christ and his resurrection), if Job can still believe, then surely we, O Christian, should be able to face these calamities!
This is what the apostle Paul speaks about in Philippians chapter 4 verses 12 and 13:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
This “secret of contentment” is based in the secret that has now been revealed—the eternal reward that is an anchor to the soul in the severest of storms: the resurrection of Christ from the dead! And that in Him we also will be raised. And therefore, all our sufferings, even those which are most confusing and still make us feel at times as Job here plainly feels, all those sufferings we can now know are not purposeless but purposeful (Romans 8:28).
Perhaps you today feel like your “spirit is broken.” Take comfort, my friend. Take comfort that a godly saint like Job felt like that. And he survived. And lived to tell the tale. And is not to be rebuked for the pain that he felt or his expressions of that pain. And also, be comforted that you have more to go on than he did. You have the revelation of Christ; the secret has been revealed. That means that you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain, but all the sufferings of your soul and body are woven together with Christ into the eternal purpose of God and have meaning and significance forever.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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