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

It is not at first easy to see wherein God gives Job any answer; I cannot find that he offers him the least explanation of why he has so afflicted him. He says Job has spoken what is right concerning him, and his friends have not; and he calls up before him, one after another, the works of his hands. The answer, like some of our Lord’s answers if not all of them, seems addressed to Job himself, not to his intellect; to the revealing, God-like imagination in the man, and to no logical faculty whatever. It consists in a setting forth of the power of God, as seen in his handiwork; and all that is said concerning them has to do with their show of themselves to the eyes of men. In what belongs to the deeper meanings of nature and her mediation between us and God, the appearances of nature are the truths of nature, far deeper than any scientific discoveries concerning them. The show of things is that for which God cares most, for their show is the face of far deeper things; we see in them, as in a glass darkly, the face of the unseen. What they say to the childlike soul is the truest thing to be gathered of them. To know a primrose is a higher thing than to know all the botany of it—just as to know Christ is an infinitely higher thing than to know all theology. So Nature exists primarily for her look, her appeals to the heart and the imagination, her simple service to human need, and not for the secrets to be discovered in her and turned to man’s further use. What is our knowledge of the elements of the atmosphere, its oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and all the rest, to the blowing of the wind in our faces?

Commentary

by Leah Bond

 The song lyrics below, by Bono, was written in response to the human struggle, suffering, and pain caused when powers that be shut down unprofitable mines in Britain in the early 1980s and a coal mining strike followed. Loss, powerlessness, and grief wrecked havoc on fathers and sons and flowed to families and communities. The sense that we are struggling, that our struggle will not always bring desired change or the success we desperately need for survival, the anger at the helplessness of our circumstances, are all reflected in Bono's lyrics.  This song encapsulates the emotion that breaks out of us when everything we depend on is stripped away and our Spirit is touched and broken.

MacDonald's pointing to nature and bypassing our intellect is perfect. There is no intellectual answer that can move the spirit or open the eyes of the heart. The human creative power directly reflective of the creator God in us is often the only fair response. This song is a perfect example. The Father Creator point us to his expression through the creation of the details of the universe. Our struggle in it is one way we know our needs can be met, and we know to go to God to have our needs for spiritual survival met.

 The infant in the womb is fully alive by her  connection and dependence on her mother.

There is an experience of this world of both suffering and joy.  What concerns God is that our Spirit is touched and we turn to him, because He alone knows the life we have in him. In all of his despair Job said of God:

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.  (Job 23:6)

"He would pay attention to me."

For me this truth is what has kept my own heart beating in the middle of its brokenness.  

Red Hill Mining Town
Song by U2
Lyrics by Bono 

From father to son
The blood runs thin
Ooh, see the faces frozen (still)
Against the wind.

The seam is split
The coal-face cracked
The lines are long
There's no going back.

Through hands of steel
And heart of stone
Our labour day
Has come and gone.

They leave me holdin' on
In Red Hill Town.
See the lights go down on ...

Hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to.
I'm still waiting
I'm hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to.

The glass is cut
The bottle run dry.
Our love runs cold
In the caverns of the night.

We're wounded by fear
Injured in doubt.
I can lose myself
You I can't live without.

Yeah, you keep me holdin' on
In Red Hill Town.
See the lights go down on

Hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to.
I'm still waiting
I'm hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to
On to.

We scorch the earth
Set fire to the sky
And we stooped so low
To reach so high.

A link is lost
The chain undone.
We wait all day
For night to come
And it comes like a hunter (child).

I'm hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to.
I'm still waiting
I'm hangin' on
You're all that's left to hold on to.

We see love, slowly stripped away
Our love has seen its better day.
Hangin' on
Lights go down on Red Hill
The lights go down on Red Hill.
The lights go down on Red Hill.
The lights go down on Red Hill Town..

 

by Leah Bond

by Leah Bond

by Leah Bond