Job. Enosh.

I’m a little concerned about returning to the Book of Job after Passion Week and Easter.

Our family enjoys a beautiful Resurrection Sunday service, and an afternoon of food and rest.

Then Monday. And Job.

I read chapters 4 & 5, feeling like I’ve inadvertently stepped off into storm drain.

I know the framework of the book. I know this is the part where Job has broken his 7 day silence, and said some harsh things. Now, his friend, Eliphaz, speaks up and I’m already irritated. He delivers his message with sincerity and sarcasm.

Eli makes me tired. I suspect all of the friends will make me tired.                                                                    

The Cliff notes version of his message is: You are being afflicted because of secret sin. A spirit visited me in a dream and asked, “Can a mortal be more just than God?”

The obvious answer is “no,” but it is “mortal” that grabs my attention.

The Greek word for mortal is “enosh”: man in his frailty and imperfection. The Aramaic equivalent is bar’enash, a messianic term.  Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. Repeatedly.

Eliphaz inadvertently drops a marvelous thought into his diatribe. Jesus will, by choice, sit for 3 1/2 years in the ashes of humankind (sinlessly, make no mistake).  They will be years of  deprivation, false accusations, and a constant questioning of His motives. “Friends” will fall away.

A mere mortal, to answer the spirit’s question, cannot be more just than God. But Bar’enash will be God-in-flesh and unfailingly just.

It is a whisper of things to come.

I’m sorry to say, Job is going to have to listen to a lot more unsolicited advice.

Fortunately, he didn’t live in the 21st century where his plight would likely have attracted the attention of social media and he would have been receiving that advice from . . . sigh. I don’t even want to think about it.

Are you able to speak the truth – with love?







7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Erin Smith on April 10, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Yes, I agree… we must be very careful about what advice to listen to..solicited or not. We also should be very careful about the advice we give. We are called to encourage with truth…. tough balance for me for sure.


  2. It’s not that the friends don’t say some good things. They do. But there is always veiled (or straightup!) accusation, too. Truth with love is the recipe.


  3. Posted by jeanettebreaux on April 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    That ‘whisper of things to come’ breathes life into the book of Job, does it not?! Speaking truth in love takes courage. How do we encourage each other to more of this?


  4. There has to be a sense of safety (and confidence) in the relationship, I think. It’s a great conversation to have with friends.


  5. I’m only 1/2 way through your post but I just had to stop and laugh at the photo “Advice” Can I please put that on my business card? Now back to the post….


  6. The reason we don’t “speak the truth with love”, is that firstly we are unclear as to what the true truth is … truth is not just my “present provisional position.” And, secondly, since we all love so imperfectly, we are unclear about what the loving thing would be. All that gives great weight to companionable silence.


  7. Posted by jeanettebreaux on April 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Debra, it’s a great conversation to have with friends, maybe even ongoing. Carolyn, “huzzah!” for companionable silence.


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