There’s no minimizing what Job’s gone through. A man of great material wealth, he was all but wiped out financially in just a matter of moments. A man, you assume of good physical health, is, out of nowhere, inflicted with “loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” so that those who see him can’t even speak. But beyond the loss of his stuff, and the loss of his health, there’s the never ending inner torment of having buried all ten of his children–wiped out in the blink of an eye. Can it get any worse? I’m thinking not. So who’s going to blame Job for his lament in chapter three of the book named after him?
“Let the day perish on which I was born,” he cries out. “Why did I not die at birth,” he questions into the silence, “There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest.”
And his conclusion? Somewhat of an understatement I think . . .
“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.” (Job 3:26 ESV)
Heavy sigh. Though I can’t imagine it, to some degree I get it.
And yet, I’m not left to read the God-breathed words of Job 3 without the context of the rest of the His holy word. You get what Job’s feeling and what he’s saying, but you also know there’s a bigger picture. That even amidst such calamity, personal tragedy, and justifiable despair, there is a source of ease, a way to quietness of heart, a place of rest when trouble comes.
Something I read in 2Peter this morning, though I know I’m applying it out of context, connected to Job’s story for me. With Job’s sad state still running through my mind, as I read of God’s wrath against the wicked but his preservation of the righteous — Noah’s protection from the flood and Lot’s rescue from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (2:4-8) — I was reminded that God is greater than the greatest trial and that He is able to rescue.
. . . the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials . . . (2Peter 2:9a ESV)
My God knows how to rescue. From the most dire and despairing of all human circumstance, that of being slaves to our sin and in bondage to death, He provided a way of escape. Sending His Son to be the once for all sacrifice for my sin . . . to take upon Himself the wrath of a just God for my transgression . . . my Lord knows how to be the Just and the Justifier and rescue from the penalty and power of sin. If He is able to do that, the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials.
The God of all comfort is able to bring comfort to the discomforted soul through His Spirit. He is able to sustain the grief crushed soul with all sufficient grace. He is able to bring peace in the midst of unimaginable upset conditions with a peace that passes understanding. He is able to renew the inner man though the outward man is wasting away. He is able to lift up the cast down eyes with thoughts of a time and place when tears are wiped away and there’s no more “mourning nor crying nor pain anymore” (Rev. 21:4). The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials.
Able to rescue. That’s my God. Doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but it does make it doable.
Able to rescue by His grace . . . Able to rescue for His glory.