Keep Listening

Then Job answered and said: “Keep listening to my words, and let this be your comfort. Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on. As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. When I remember, I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh.
Job 21:1-6
Keep Listening
Once again Job answers the accusations levelled against him.  He urges his friends to keep listening to what he has to say and reframe from mocking him until he is done.  Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar have all consistently argued that the wicked suffer and the righteous prosper in this life. Job is tired of hearing this.  He knows this not to be the case. Not that he believes himself sinless, but that he knows that the wicked to prosper and the righteous do suffer in this life.  Job is fighting against the false theology of some of the first purveyors of the prosperity gospel, so common in our time.  We are not promised sunshine and rainbows because we are followers of Christ.  This world is cruel and unfair and ruled by many ungodly people who take advantage of others.  Pain and suffering abound in this world.  And to believe the prosperity gospel which says financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for the righteous, and that faith and good works will increase one's material wealth, is to turn a blind eye to the truth of this fallen world.  Therefore, we must listen and keep listening to the truth, to God’s Word. We listen to these words, “Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered,” and know that the righteous suffer.  Yet keep listening. This Psalm is also quoted by St. Paul in Romans 8, and immediately after these words we hear these, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39). So, we listen to our Father and know that the victory is ours; whether or not we prosper in this life, our victory is won. Christ crucified has given us this victory.  Keep listening to God’s voice and know, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).
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