The Book of Job is the oldest book of the Bible, a tragically captivating illustration of what one man encounters while trying to live a decent life before God and man. I’m not going to delve into the text apart from what is needed here. I also don’t want to give spoilers, so if you plan to read it, do so before reading further because spoilers exist here. It’s only 42 chapters….this can wait .
And it goes like this:
1. Job is a super decent guy. God appreciates that and affectionately refers to Job as his “servant.” A specific force of evil contends before God that Job will break away from being so decent if the evil one is given a chance to attack Job. God says go ahead, just don’t kill him.
2. Job loses everything, big time: huge family, wealthy possessions, prestige, health, you name it. He’s wiped out, decimated, left with a bitter wife (she lost everything too, keep in mind) who tells him to “curse God and die.” He has three friends who stop by to help him in his distress. Needless to say, the friends go on and on and on and on about what Job has done to deserve his suffering, offering endless advice, never in on the big picture.
3. Before all is said and done, Job realizes his smallness before God, repents, and is doubly restored. Yay. Happy ending.
Thing is, somewhere in there Job had to plead for the lives of his friends to keep God from destroying them in their prideful ignorance and failure at compassion. What exactly was the problem?
We see it today. Supposedly well-meaning people of power and prestige looking down on those who suffer in this world and accusing them of bringing it all on themselves. Those persons who are unemployed, well, we are supposed to believe they enjoy being leeches on the system. It’s their lot in life, sadly, what can anyone do but offer a kind gift of good, professional advice to them? After all, it’s not possible to meet them otherwise at their extreme levels of poverty and loss, is it? Isn’t that what churches are for? Maybe they should get right with God, how about it? Of course, it’s all Obama’s fault, he failed at the economy.
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:1-3
Does it not matter that these so called-Christian corpiticians and pundits have fought President Obama on every angle when it comes to creating jobs for the economy? Just today, the Republican Congress killed the Veteran’s Job Bill. Before an election! How is that not political suicide?
One can only think they have given up at this point, especially after Mitt Romney last week called half of the nation of Americans he wants to govern deadbeats, in so many words. They did this because they are avowed to ensure nothing decent passes to the American people through the Obama administration (they let the draconian NDAA go through as it was their own creation, right, Senator McCain?). And McCain was one of the nay voters on the veteran’s job legislation.
So for two years the Republican Congress has fought the Democrats’ initiatives for job legislation while providing not a single alternative. They have become clouds without water. Plenty of advice, not a drop of assistance.
Look, I’m not political. I’m human. Reality is, in some circles the two don’t mix. The lives of Job’s ‘friends’ were spared despite their calloused attitudes and apparent lack of compassion. They were unified in their derision, at the defense of one another, as politicians are today. It doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right. It only matters that those who are rich stay rich, and those who are not take the blame. It doesn’t matter that the poor are often exploited to ensure the rich their wealth. Hey, that’s what they’re here for.
For people who have everything, the personal affairs of other people don’t really matter: their lives are disposable. But assets, true corporate assets, now they can be passed down through the generations. And conscience? Well, conscience be damned. And fear? Fear is the celebrity of the hour… of the day…. of the new millenium.
“One should be kind to a fainting friend,
But you accuse me without any fear of the Almighty.
My brothers, you have proved as reliable as a seasonal brook
that overflows its banks in the spring
when it is swollen with ice and melting snow.
But when the hot weather arrives, the water disappears.
The brook vanishes in the heat.
The caravans turn aside to be refreshed,
but there is nothing to drink, so they die.
The caravans from Tema search for this water,
the travelers from Sheba hope to find it.
They count on it but are disappointed.
When they arrive, their hopes are dashed.
You, too, have given no help.
You have seen my calamity, and you are afraid.
But why? Have I ever asked you for a gift?
Have I begged for anything of yours for myself?
Have I asked you to rescue me from my enemies,
or to save me from ruthless people?
Teach me, and I will keep quiet.
Show me what I have done wrong.
Honest words can be painful,
but what do your criticisms amount to?
Do you think your words are convincing
when you disregard my cry of desperation?
You should even send an orphan into slavery or sell a friend.
Look at me! Would I lie to your face?”