October 24, 2012 by captivetotruth
“Take care; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction”—the words of Elihu (Job 36:21).
Righteous Job, afflicted Job—faithful, perplexed, trusting, panicking. Pain squeezes resolve, rapid crumbles the husk; stone faith spasms into quivering, gelatinous rage. Shards scrape, scrape. And still no end to puss and putrescence.
Initial bearing up drains thin. Oh, that damnable fine print!—the palimpsest overwriting resolve in blacker ink.
As if boils were not enough, three stooges sit scolding, rebuking. The ministry of condemnation. Vassals of Accuser. Idiots all. Their “wisdom” will need atoning.
But Elihu can be silent no longer. Elihu, mentioned late. Silent behind the curtain, he has been there all along. Waiting.
All true prophets begin by destroying false ones. Mocking that murder of crows, Eliphaz, Bildad, & Zophar. Elihu is the prophet, riding the frontier of God’s appearing, making straight the way of the Lord. His words are camel’s hair, locusts, and honey. Elihu is gravity:
“Take care, righteous Job; do not turn to iniquity, for this you have chosen rather than affliction.”
The Prophet sees beyond the Stooges. They have manufactured a “History of Job” from the whole cloth of his pain, and so conclude that this disaster is all self-inflicted. Narrow, stupid hypocrites!!
But Elihu doesn’t scold; he warns. “Do not go down the bitter path of resentment, anger, distrust, lamentation, disbelief—do not turn to iniquity.”
“Choose affliction. Face it. It is the will of God. Embrace it. Let patience have her perfect work.”
But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And ‘If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’ Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. (1 Peter 4:12-19).
Ignore the caws of the stooges. Embrace the gravity of the prophet.
“Are you afflicted today? Choose It.”
[More on this topic in a couple of days.]