Saturday, February 07, 2015

Missing information

night birds

TO CHEW ON: "When I lie down, I say, 'When shall I arise,
And the night be ended?'
For I have had my fill of tossing till dawn." Job 7:4

Why is night always the worst time when we're sick? Maybe it's because we expect to sleep and are disappointed. Maybe because in the still and dark there is nothing to distract from the pain, discomfort, and worry? May it's merely that the prone position causes gravity to augment the pull on our sore cells. Whatever it is, it's interesting to note that it was the same for the ancients.

There's not much encouraging or uplifting here. In this section of his first speech to his friends, Job is entirely negative, speaking of the futility of his life and work, complaining that he can't sleep, describing his loathsome disease, and referring to the fact that his life will soon be over.

My Bible's commenter makes this observation:

"Job's criticisms of God that appear in Job 6 and 7 as well as his other responses to his friends, can best be understood as 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" - Charles E. Blair, commentary on Job, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 652 (emphasis added).

Could that be the case in our lives as well—that our trials, whatever they are, are connected to spiritual skirmishes unseen and unknown to us? Imaginative writers have riffed on that thought in books like The Screwtape Letters (C. S. Lewis), This Present Darkness (Frank Peretti), and The Ishbane Conspiracy (Angela, Karina and Randy Alcorn).

The Bible certainly supports such a thing:

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" - Ephesians 6:12

"Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" - 1 Timothy 6:12.

Dear God, when troubles, sickness, and death impact me, help me remember that I am in a battle You have won. Please give me courage and hope through bad days and nights. Amen.

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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