Friday, July 22 (July 19 – July 23 Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer)
Job 19, Job Replies
Once again, we read Job’s catastrophes that have befallen him. The wonderful irony in this passage is the following statement: “O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever!” (vv. 23-24)
Well, Job—you got it! Today, over 2400 years later, people continue to hear Job’s pain. The process of writing must have been cathartic for the writer of Job (scholars don’t think it was Job himself who penned the words, or whether a real Job even existed). Still, this creative expression speaks directly to us, today. Why? Because it’s so real! Job’s pain is not only palpable, we ourselves have experienced it. The writer intended it that way!
The process of creative writing is therapy—each of us can express ourselves in a poem or a journal. The following video is a TEDx speech from Rachel McKibbens and it’s fantastic.
Rachel combines her personal story with her spoken word poetry to explain how the practice of sharing written words aloud in an environment of safety, encouragement and support is an invaluable, cathartic experience of emotional and intellectual re-framing.
Daily Reading for Today: Job 19
Then Job answered: “How long will you torment me, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times you have cast reproach upon me; are you not ashamed to wrong me? And even if it is true that I have erred, my error remains with me. If indeed you magnify yourselves against me, and make my humiliation an argument against me, know then that God has put me in the wrong, and closed his net around me. Even when I cry out, ‘Violence!’ I am not answered; I call aloud, but there is no justice.
He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths. He has stripped my glory from me, and taken the crown from my head. He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone, he has uprooted my hope like a tree. He has kindled his wrath against me, and counts me as his adversary. His troops come on together; they have thrown up siegeworks against me, and encamp around my tent. “He has put my family far from me, and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. My relatives and my close friends have failed me; the guests in my house have forgotten me; my serving girls count me as a stranger; I have become an alien in their eyes. I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer; I must myself plead with him. My breath is repulsive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even young children despise me; when I rise, they talk against me. All my intimate friends abhor me, and those whom I loved have turned against me. My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh, and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, for the hand of God has touched me! Why do you, like God, pursue me, never satisfied with my flesh?
“O that my words were written down! O that they were inscribed in a book! O that with an iron pen and with lead they were engraved on a rock forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’ and, ‘The root of the matter is found in him’; be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishment of the sword, so that you may know there is a judgment.”