The Voice of Job

O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave, that thou wouldst keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldst appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.


— Job 14: 13-15

Let us look closer at Job’s way of thinking and speaking about God, and his manner of addressing him, so different from the pharisaic in all ages. Waxing indignant at the idea that his nature required such treatment, he cries out “Am I a sea or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?” Thou knowest that I am not wicked. To his friends he cries: “Will ye speak wickedly for God? And talk deceitfully for him?”Do you not know that I am the man I say? Such words are pleasing in the ear of the father of spirits. He is not a God to accept the flattery which declares him above obligation to his creatures; a God to demand of them a righteousness different from his own. Job is confident of receiving justice. There is a strange but most natural conflict of feeling in him. His faith is in truth profound, yet is he always complaining. It is but the form his faith takes in his trouble. He is sure that, to get things set right, all he needs is admission to the presence of God. He uses language which, used by any living man, would horrify the “religious”, in proportion to the lack of truth in them, just as it horrified his three friends, whose religion was “doctrine” and rebuke.  God speaks not a word of rebuke to Job for the freedom of his speech. It is those who know and respect only the outsides of religion, such as never speak or think of God but as the Almighty or Providence, who will say of the man who would go close up to God, and speak to him out of the deepest in the nature he has made, “he is irreverent.” They pay court to God, not love him; they treat him as one far away, not as the one whose bosom is the only home. 

Commentary

by Leah Bond

I am connecting to this powerful sermon with this personal experience I can speak of honestly, and I can say
"The world has broken my heart."

For Job there are no special outward rules of appearance for admittance into the throne room of his Father. Illusion and impression, are of no use to The broken-hearted child at the father's bosom.

 One of Job's gifts to the generations walking in the Spirit is one of utter transparency in suffering before our father. 

The child with a heart broken by the world must be a child who sincerely and truly loves the world. To truly love in this world is to have your heart broken. To truly love is to be as Christ to the fallen universe. He loves us truly, giving us the power to break his heart. At once he was broken for this world on the cross, and healing it at the same time. Bring your bare honest and unfiltered heart, broken in pieces by the path allowed for you by God himself, bring it to the healer. Never mind the Pharisees with their masks and robes of religion and doctrinal purity burying themselves in deeper layers of illusion and reputation, we the broken-hearted, bring our real flesh and blood heart of a living child, a true man, in our hands held up for the fathers mending.  Maybe it is still beating hard in our open chest. Either way we walk, run to the father, and allow the intense exposure of our deepest self. We need God's assistance in opening our heart to Him. We might never know we can and will survive the valley of the shadow of death if our Father didn't lead us through. 

MacDonald brings forward the deep and and terrifying reality that we do not control God. Our doctrinal purity does not dictate to God; we may robe ourselves in theology, crown ourselves with neatly parsed  definitions for the living spirit on fire in our chests, but we push away the power we cannot understand or control with all these efforts to manage.

The desire to manage God has given way to plea for rebirth, for a womb to hide away in till He transforms my self, that is a time we can begin to understand and even hope to embrace Job's way of thinking. 

It's different for every person. But I know when I could say, the world has broken my heart, that in that place I met Christ. Job's poetry leads us to this place.