Job 11:1-9 and Ephesians 1:17-19
Job is best known by the cliché “patience of Job”. Relentlessly suffering loss and enduring pain through no fault of his own. The Hebrew meaning of Job is “persecuted”; and the Greek is translated as “patience”. However, it means not so much patience as “persistence”, and “steadfastness”.
Today’s reading finds Job receiving rebuke from the third of his not so helpful friends who criticize and chastise Job for his situation. Ancient Near Eastern theology of the time believed that misfortune and illness were brought on by God who was punishing the afflicted for their sins. So Job’s friend believed that although Job appeared righteous outwardly there must be hidden sins that only God could see. It was Job’s persistence in claiming his innocence that escalated his discourse to verbosity and alienated him from his community. Questions of divine justice torture Job. Although he never forsakes God, today’s reading foreshadows his lesson to come. We are but human and stubborn. Job’s limited understanding of the nature of God illustrates that human intellect cannot be satisfied. Wisdom and its transcendent peace comes from God alone.
Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians illuminates the promise of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice that tore down the temple curtain that separated us from God. Through God’s grace we are enlightened. God’s revelation invites us to come to know Jesus and the hope to which we are all called. May God teach us to open ourselves into the joys of His Kingdom.