In January, for the past several years, I have spent time reading the book of Job. It is a most ancient writing nestled within the larger volume called The Holy Bible. The Bible and the book of Job do not change from year to year. So why, then, do I read it regularly?
Wisdom comes through the testing of time.
I, as all other mortals, am only allowed a little bit of precious time in which to grow, learn and gain wisdom for this life. By consulting with that which is wiser than I am, I hope to pick up the added insight and the understanding which has endured through the ages. My hope is to let this book have its affect on my life, hence, to wisely use the short while I am given on this earth.
By the Bible’s own testimony, “The Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)
If this book has the ability to divide the soul from spirit, to affect the body and to understand what is going on in the heart of a man or woman, then it is worth exposing myself to its teaching influence. It is “quick” or alive and “powerful” or active. The Holy Bible has the ability to change hearts and lives. And since it is the revealer of the mind and heart of God to man, I come obediently to sit under its instruction.
Another reason for regular use of the Bible is because it is like a deep well. It is filled with the cool, refreshing water…living water. One sip gives a taste, but if only sipped slightly and infrequently, it cannot totally refresh and invigorate the soul who fails to drink deeply from it.
This Word of God has so much in it, one nibble is good, but there is much more to be gained and to learn. Reading, reviewing, studying and pondering what is written in the Bible reveals new inspiration that one may have missed the first time through. Larger regular doses will satisfy whereas a nibble or sip may not.
Let us get back to my experience with Job.
You may recall that Job is well-known for the trying experiences he endured. He lost most of his family, his fortune and even his health in a very short time. Yet he took it patiently. He did not curse God for all that had happened to him. Rather, he blessed God. “And he said: ‘The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.’” (Job 1:21) Job suffered much.
With the suffering, Job understood despair. He spoke of weariness of life.
Does that ring a bell?
We all have those times when life is hard. We, too, have trials. They may or may not be regarding family, fortune or health as Job’s were. But as our lives unfold before us, we experience its twists and turns, its ups and downs as surely as the sun rises and sets. We really can identify with Job.
So let us consider another thing he said in Job 6:14. “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend so that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”
Job is not so unlike us. He knew what would help in despair…Kindness from a friend.
Can you think of someone who is in need of your kindness? You might take to him or her a meal, send a handwritten card, make a phone call to say that you care, or make a date to get together to just talk. You may just offer that one an hand on the shoulder or a hug to let your friend know you care. You might even get creative and fill up his/her wood pile. You can have a big ministry in kind deeds.
It may seem unimportant to you today, but Job does not see it that way. Remember, yours could be an act that helps your friend to “not forsake the fear of the Almighty.”