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Pulpit Reflections

What is man, that you make so much of him, and that you set your heart on him, visit him every morning and test him every moment?” (Job 7:17-18) 

These are words from Job who was a man who feared God, turned away from evil, blameless, and a man of many possessions. (Job 1:1-3)

But these words are not in gleeful admiration of God, like those found in Psalm 8, but in despair at the recent tragedy. 

Through eyes of pain and distress, Job exclaims the kind of relationship he considers he has with the Lord. 

Encircled around him are ‘friends’ who were also advising him of his relationship. 

God has a relationship with Job, but clouded by ill-judged and a self-justifying heart, Job sees God as an unjust far-off taskmaster. 

“If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind? Why have you made me your mark? Why have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my transgression and take away my iniquity? For now I shall lie in the earth; you will seek me, but I shall not be.” (Job 7:20-21)

The world is a mass of relationships of various kinds. Some are natural, others are chosen, some are broadly-defined, others are narrowly-focused and each have restrictions and expectations. 

The book of Job shows us the reality of God’s relationship with a world that is broken, being roamed by Satan and a world that has broken, mismatched and undefined relationships. 

 Have you ever witnessed or experienced relationships that are undefined, mismatched or broken? Who or what defines the relationships you have? Have you ever redefined a relationship for the sake of self-gratification, politics, or popularity?

Rebuking Job and his three elder friends, Elihu, the youth of the group, enters the conversation to provide some necessary God-man relationship reality. (Job 32-37)

After witnessing and experiencing the messes that we make of relationships with others and with God, have you ever listened for an Elihu? His words are uncomfortable and undesirable, but necessary. But so is what God does to redeem the mess of the relationship that we have made with our Creator and his creation.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17) 

God did not end his relationship with his fallen creation with a “let’s be friends” speech, but rather gave us a friend that would redeem, reconcile and restore our relationship with Him. 

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15: 13-14) 

Jesus laid down his life for you.

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