Monday, February 10, 2014

Calamities and spiritual warfare

Job and his three friends
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Job 6:1-13

TO CHEW ON: "'Oh that I might have my request,
That God would grant me the thing that I long for!
That it would please God to crush me,
that He would loose His hand and cut me off!'" Job 6:8,9


Does Job sound depressed or what?

You will recall the beginning of the story, how in one day Job's life falls apart when calamity strikes from all directions. And then he gets sick (Job 1-2:10). His friends come to comfort him. Here he responds to the speech of his friend Eliphaz.

Job sounds like he feels betrayed, double-crossed, and attacked by the God he has been trying to please: "'For the arrows of the Almighty are within me; My spirit drinks their poison; The terrors of God are arrayed against me'" - Job 6:4.

He feels physically unable to bear the agony: "'Is my strength the strength of stones? Or is my flesh bronze?'" - Job 6:12.

He begs to die: "'Oh that I would have my request … That it would please God to crush me, That He would loose HIs hand and cut me off.'" - Job 6:8,9.

Is there a reply to what Job has said that isn't shallow and trite? Job's friends certainly don't have it for they keep insisting Job is responsible for the horrible scenario. We, however, have information that Job and his friends didn't have about what was happening behind the scenes. Charles E. Blair, my Bible's commenter on Job says:

"Job's criticisms of God that appear in chapters 6 and 7 as well as in his other responses to his friends can best be understood as a man's feeble attempts to make sense of a scenario for which he is missing an essential piece of information, namely that there is something happening between God and Satan—that there are spiritual purposes overriding earthly circumstances. Because he is unaware of this dimension of the spiritual realm, his understanding is severely impaired" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 652.

Could unseen spiritual battles also be a part of the troubles, illnesses, calamities, and disasters that come to us? I believe they could. When we feel puzzled, let down, even betrayed by God, let's remember this aspect of Job's story. Let's pray over and into the activities in the spiritual realm, of which we're unaware, and let's keep despair and bitterness toward God from creeping into our hearts.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to see troubles that come to me and those around me with insight into spiritual warfare. Amen.

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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