TODAY’S READING: Job 13–17
The gospel is hard to contain. The gospel was not designed to be held within one nation, one people, or one person. The gospel has this bursting, spreading, growing attribute intrinsic to its essence. God designed the gospel to be borderless, unrestrained by either the problems or prejudices of man. The book of Job is seemingly about suffering, injustice, confusion, and questioning, yet all through its chapters, the gospel bubbles and bursts out, the gospel universal in scope.
You can easily picture Jesus going over these expressions of Job as He hung on the cross: Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him (13:15); I know that I shall be vindicated (13:18); If a man dies, shall he live again? (14:14); He pierces my heart…He pours out my gall on the ground (16:13); O earth, do not cover my blood (16:18); My friends scorn me, my eyes pour out tears to God (16:20); and He has made me a byword…in whose face men spit (17:6). Prophetically, Job speaks of the cross, the meeting place of all peoples.
What’s really going on in Job is God bursting from the confines of man’s preferred definition. The God of glory refuses to be limited by my prejudiced definition of His character. Job’s friends cannot conceive of a God broader than their narrowness. Job in raw honesty is wrestling with the radical concept that God is above the wisdom and ordered world that was known and conventional. As is the gospel. It is above and beyond our comfort; it cannot be contained in one people; and it must burst away from our “surly bonds” to all.
Job 15 begins to repeat the arguments of earlier chapters, but now the gloves are off and it gets more personal and biting. Because Job pushes back against accepted wisdom, his friends (and tradition, way of life, and comfort itself) are threatened. If there is indeed another way of understanding God, humanity, and the world, then our little experience of the cosmos can be rattled. Missions rattles our little bubble. Missions precludes our view of life and the world from us being the most important ones and forces us to a God-centered view of the world, a view dedicated to EVERY people and nation having a place at His table. For those used to the best portion and home-cooked meals, this can be a grievous threat. We all tend to settle on a comfortable view of God. God shakes us so He might use us to shake the nations.