The Pattern of Confusion

As I read through my Bible I have been somewhat guaranteed that every tenth chapter that I read will leave me utterly confused.  I’ve become so sure of this phenomena that as I come upon this tenth chapter I go ahead and ask God, “Are you going to explain this one to me?”

I’ve mentioned before that I have a system for reading the Bible that works best for me.  You can read more about it here, but basically I have bookmarks in various passages and I read one chapter from each section before I move on to the next.

The consistent confusion comes when I find the bookmark in the book of Job.

I find Job’s story to be sad and troubling.  And most of the chapters are completely lost on me.  I know just enough about it to know that I know almost nothing.

Here’s what I know.

  • Job loses everything except his life through no fault of his own.
  • Job talks to God about this.
  • Job’s friends talk to him about this.
  • God talks to Job about this.
  • There is a lot of talking about Job’s sad situation.

Here’s what I don’t know.

  • Why would God allow Job to go through so much pain?
  • Which (if any) of Job’s friends are giving him good advice?
  • Which (if any) of Job’s friends should I believe?
  • How does God actually want us to respond to times of grief and trouble?
  • Is God the “King of Sarcasm” or what?  He’s laying it on pretty thick.  See chapter 39.

I guess my main problem is that there are a lot of strongly worded and seemingly contradictory ideas about who God is, how he behaves, and how he relates to the human race.  I’m having a hard time separating truth, sarcasm, and bad advice.

As I type this, I’m realizing this problem goes beyond the book of Job.  Finding the truth buried in a pile of sarcasm and bad advice is a situation I find myself in quite often in life.  Right now, the only thing I know to do is to keep Asking questions and keep Listening for God’s voice of truth.

via Daily Prompt: Pattern

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