Wednesday after the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Job 25-27 (NKJV)
25:1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:
2 “Dominion and fear belong to Him; He makes peace in His high places. 3 Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not rise? 4 How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman? 5 If even the moon does not shine, and the stars are not pure in His sight, 6 how much less man, who is a maggot, and a son of man, who is a worm?”
26:1 But Job answered and said:
2 “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? 3 How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many? 4 To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you?
5 “The dead tremble, those under the waters and those inhabiting them. 6 Sheol is naked before Him, and Destruction has no covering. 7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. 8 He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it. 9 He covers the face of His throne, and spreads His cloud over it. 10 He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at His rebuke. 12 He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm. 13 By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. 14 Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?”
27:1 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said:
2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, 3 as long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 my lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me that I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked, and he who rises up against me like the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call on God?
11 “I will teach you about the hand of God; What is with the Almighty I will not conceal. 12 Surely all of you have seen it; Why then do you behave with complete nonsense?
13 “This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, received from the Almighty: 14 If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword; And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those who survive him shall be buried in death, and their widows shall not weep, 16 though he heaps up silver like dust, and piles up clothing like clay—17 he may pile it up, but the just will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. 18 He builds his house like a moth, like a booth which a watchman makes. 19 The rich man will lie down, but not be gathered up; He opens his eyes, and he is no more. 20 Terrors overtake him like a flood; A tempest steals him away in the night. 21 The east wind carries him away, and he is gone; It sweeps him out of his place. 22 It hurls against him and does not spare; He flees desperately from its power. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.”
After Bildad’s third and final speech, Job seems to have had enough of his “friends”: “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? And how have you declared sound advice to many? To whom have you uttered words? And whose spirit came from you?” (26:2-4). Job mocks their advice, and the inherent weakness in man’s thinking. By contrast, Job knows that God holds all the cards: “By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?” (26:13-14).
Our God stands alone. He is unlike any man or false god. As Job freely admits, He is without comparison. Are we as convinced as Job—to confess the majesty of our God in the midst of the hardships we face? Satan has many cards to play. Certainly the difficult times challenge us—as we feel God has perhaps abandoned us. But we also face challenges when times go well—when we feel no need for God—when we are tempted to abandon Him.
We pray: Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for calling us to faith through the means of Holy Baptism. As that faith is challenged by the many methods of Satan, keep us firm in our Baptismal faith through Your Word and Supper, that we may be called Your worthy servants; In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.