Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Foreshadowing - Job Part 11

    Both Job and the Lord Jesus Christ suffered accusation and rejection at the hands of those who should have been friends.    

    "Who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off? (Job 4:7).
    "And one shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands?  Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends… " (Zechariah 13:6).

    Job's friends, the "miserable comforters" that they were, could not fathom his sufferings apart from the certainty that his sins had found him out.  In no way was this the case.  Job rather suffered because God pointed out His servant's faithfulness to Satan, who took this as a cue to attack the man (Job 1:8).  Elizphaz, Bildad, and Zophar did not know this (anymore than did Job).  They thought Job needed to acknowledge and repent of his sins - "If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles" (Job 21:23).  One can only imagine the sorrow upon sorrow heaped upon Job by these who should have suffered with him rather than stoke the flames of the furnace in which Job's heart suffered.

    The Lord Jesus faced the same misunderstanding and despite from those even nearer to Him - "neither did His brethren believe in Him" (John 7:5).  I find this to be the most shocking verse in the Bible.  How could the Savior, perfect He was, live three decades without his brothers discovering who He was?   Even when His ministry began, the performance of miracles and teaching greater than all others did not convince them that their brother was the Son of God.  Add to this the largely negative response of Israel to the Lord's person and life, and as with Job, we can only imagine the deep pain of rejection our Lord experienced "in the house of My friends."

    We will also not escape being hurt sometimes by those near to us.  Nor will we escape injustice from those who should be friends.  Our loved ones are human beings, subject to the same devilish temptations that caused Job's friends and the Lord's own people to become mouthpieces for "the accuser of our brethren" (Revelation 12:10).  This does not excuse such behavior.  It does, however, explain it.  Thus, when the house of our friends becomes a place of unjust misunderstanding and accusation, we do well to recall the example of Job, who at the end of his trial prayed for those who had attacked him (Job 42:10).  We do even better to "consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself" (Hebrews 12:3).  The Lord Jesus died for those who accused and rejected Him, including those near and dear ones who possessed the most keenly painful sword because of their close proximity of heart.  Prayers and sacrifice will beckon us on similar heart-aching and breaking occasions, as will the love of Christ that calls us to the grace whereby we "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).  Yes, when the house of our friends becomes a place of unjust darkness rather than comforting light, the Friend that "sticketh closer than a brother" meets us as we remember that He knows far better than do we the challenge of such times (Proverbs 18:24).

"He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." 
(John 1:11)

Weekly Memory Verse
    And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
(II Thessalonians 3:5)

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