Job 16-17: Is there hope in the pit?
JOB ARTWORK USED BY PERMISSION COURTESY OF KINGSTONE COMICS (https://kingstone.co/)
“He set me up at His target;” (Job 16:12 JPS)
Job calls his friends windbags, wondering aloud, “Have windy words no limit?”
But Job 16:17 seems to transition to Job speaking to and about God. “Now He has truly worn me out; You have destroyed my whole community.”
Job seems to know about the wager (16:11,12): “God hands me over to an evil man, thrusts me into the clutches of the wicked . . . He set me up as His target.”
Job discusses Sheol, a place of darkness, and he calls the pit “my father,” and to the maggots in the pit, Job refers to them as “mother and sister.”
Job ends this reply wondering aloud, "Is there any hope in the pit?"
Have you ever felt this hopeless? What did you say if anything? How did you handle it? What did you do? How did it impact your view of God. Finally, and more importantly, how did this feeling of hopelessness impact your relationship with God?
LORD, You know there are times when I get these feelings of despair about the world, a deep grief. I felt that way today as I wrote this and heard the news about another shooting of a unarmed black man by an off-duty police officer. I can't even begin to imagine what that must have felt like for a family to get a call that their son has been shot in this way. I feel that hopelessness when I feel that society's problems are too big for me to do anything about. But like Job, help me to speak out honest grief, anger, rather than flatter people or pretend to flatter You or cover up what seems to be wrong in the world that You are calling us to help make right.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey: A New Generation Church of Christ. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.