TOPIC: Help for the Hurting
Loving Lord, grant me the profound inner peace that comes from trusting you completely. I love you, Lord.
Read JOB 30
“But now they mock me,
men younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to put with my sheep dogs.
2 Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,
since their vigor had gone from them?
3 Haggard from want and hunger,
they roamed[a] the parched land
in desolate wastelands at night.
4 In the brush they gathered salt herbs,
and their food[b] was the root of the broom bush.
5 They were banished from human society,
shouted at as if they were thieves.
6 They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,
among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 They brayed among the bushes
and huddled in the undergrowth.
8 A base and nameless brood,
they were driven out of the land.
9 “And now those young men mock me in song;
I have become a byword among them.
10 They detest me and keep their distance;
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,
they throw off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right the tribe[c] attacks;
they lay snares for my feet,
they build their siege ramps against me.
13 They break up my road;
they succeed in destroying me.
‘No one can help him,’ they say.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach;
amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15 Terrors overwhelm me;
my dignity is driven away as by the wind,
my safety vanishes like a cloud.
16 “And now my life ebbs away;
days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones;
my gnawing pains never rest.
18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me[d];
he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud,
and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my pipe to the sound of wailing.
Job 30:3 Or gnawed
Job 30:4 Or fuel
Job 30:12 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
Job 30:18 Hebrew; Septuagint power he grasps my clothing
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Settle your heart before the Lord. Ask him to speak to you today, and to give you a willing heart to hear and obey anything he says.
What can we learn from a chapter like today’s, in which Job is contrasting the different treatment he gets from people now that he is no longer prosperous and successful?
Scripture Union Discovery 11th March 2023, Saturday
Perhaps we need to recognize ourselves in the people Job is accusing. How easily do we judge people by their outward success? How often do we praise and celebrate others while everything is going well, but turn our backs when they hit a rough patch? Sadly, this happens in churches at least as much as out in ‘the world.’ One friend recently told me that his church was incredibly supportive during his marriage preparation, but when his marriage was in trouble, there was little help to be found.
It can be hard for those who are hurting to hear from God or feel his comfort – as was the case for Job. They need us more than ever to press in and demonstrate God’s unending, unfailing love. We may not know what to say or do, but letting them know we care and are standing with them in prayer is a good place to start.
Do you know someone who is struggling just now? Maybe they haven’t been at church for a while or have seemed down when you talked to them. Pray for them, asking God to guide you as you reach out and share his compassion.
Compassionate One, you tell me to bear others’ burdens, but I know my initial response is to draw away from them. Forgive me Lord, and help me develop a tender heart.