This is wisdom?

It’s often said that Job’s friends don’t speak falsely or foolishly, but simply misapply wisdom. The problem is, Job doesn’t agree with this assessment. “I do not find a wise man among you” (17:10). And, “your answers remain falsehood” (21:34). Their . . . . Continue Reading »

Taste of hearing

Job dismisses Zophar’s comfort with a “with you wisdom will die” (12:2). Job has heard wisdom before, and his ear is attuned to it. His ear tests words “as the palate tests its food” (v. 11). It’s a pregnant analogy. It suggests that hearing is active rather than . . . . Continue Reading »

Filial Rain

God is the Father of precipitation, Job says (Job 38:25-30). Rain is filial, the Father’s nourishing gift to the world. The same imagery appears elsewhere. The righteous king is “like rain upon the mown grass” (Psalm 72:6), and the king’s “favor is like a cloud with . . . . Continue Reading »

With My Body I Thee Worship

In the old Book of Common Prayer marriage liturgy, the man says these words as he places a ring on his wife’s finger: “With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, with all my worldly goods I thee endow.” That “I thee worship” jars. But it has biblical . . . . Continue Reading »

Poor Naked Wretches

Naked and “unaccommodated” on a storm-shaken heath, Lear comes to see his failures as a king: “Poor naked wretches, whereso’er you are, / That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, / How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides, / Your loop’d and window’d . . . . Continue Reading »

Salvation by/as argument

“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him,” Job says (13:15). But hope is not inconsistent with complaint. In hope, “I will argue my ways to His face,” he immediately adds. Job argues with the Lord not in spite of hope, but because of hope. He’s like an attorney whose . . . . Continue Reading »

A Son in Glory

My pastoral colleague, Toby Sumpter, has just come out with a wonderful commentary on Job, Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory . I am biased in favor of my friend, but I’m confident that even an unbiased reader will find a lot to like. Toby reads Job as something more than theodicy or a . . . . Continue Reading »

True King

In his excellent study of God’s generosity ( God So Loved, He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity , 134-5), Kelly Kapic summarizes the “righteousness” of Job: “In Job 29:1-25 this man describes, in his own words, what his righteousness actually looked like. . . . . Continue Reading »

Oxen and mangers

Yahweh appears to Job in a whirlwind and challenges Job by reminding Him of His infinite creative power. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” He asks. “Who set its measurements? Where were you, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God . . . . Continue Reading »