Learning from Job

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. - Job 1:7-8

Job suffered plenty. As a result, he argued with God a lot. The local theologians came and tried to correct Job and tell him not to be disrespectful of God, but Job kept on venting, doubting, struggling, accusing, and arguing with God. Finally, in the end, God told the theologians that he respected Job and not them - and that they should learn from Job how to be faithful. Apparently, God’s not interested in blind faith, but rather in a wrestling faith.

Old Testament scholar Ellen Davis writes:

From [the book of Job] above all others in scripture, we learn that the person in pain is a theologian of unique authority. The one who complains to God, pleads with God, rails at God, does not let God off the hook for a minute – she is at last admitted to a mystery. She passes through a door that only pain will open, and is thus qualified to speak of God in a way that others, whom we generally call more fortunate, cannot speak.

Take a moment and reflect on Davis’s insights. Who are the “theologians of unique authority” that you know? What can you learn from them? Ask God for the grace to honor the Jobs in your life and to learn from them.