Day 5: Job’s Afflictions*
Marami ka nang nakilalang ganitong tao. I met a lot of them too. Sila yung tipo na kapag may nangyaring hindi maganda sa’yo, sasabihin sa’yo may balat ka o ang malas mo. Pero madalas biruan lang naman (yung napipikon lang ang nagseseryoso). The bad news is may seryoso at malalang version sila. The worse news is many of them (if not most) are so-called Christians.
Kapag may nangyaring masama sa’yo iisipin nila na may kasalanan kang nagawa na hindi ikino-confess. Or may sumpa sa pamilya ninyo. This thinking is not wrong and can be traced to the Judeo-Christian tradition (or beliefs and practices by Jews and Christians). This is seen in John 9 when Jesus met a man born blind and the disciples asked who sinned, the man or his parents. Notice that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples by saying that their thinking is wrong. But rather, Jesus answered plainly. In short, walang mali sa pag-iisip ng ganito, but this thinking must be investigated. Sa kaso ng mga disciples, kinonfirm nila kay Jesus kung tama ba yung iniisip nila. Kasi may tinatawag na generational curses o parusa na dinadala ng mga anak bunga ng pagkakasala ng magulang o ninuno nila. Meron din namang suffering na dulot talaga ng pagkakasala ng tao, at hindi karma ang tawag dito. Ang tunay na Kristyano ay hindi naniniwala at nagbabanggit ng karma. Pero yun nga, sabi ni Jesus, ito yung tipo ng suffering na walang may kasalanan. So people thinking this way is not the worse version I speak of above.
Ang tinutukoy ko sa taas ay yung mga taong nag-aassume ng pagkakasala. They don’t just think, because they don’t investigate whether their thoughts are right or wrong. They thought the person’s suffering is his fault due to his sin, and they immediately assume they are right. Hindi kagaya ng mga disciples na nagtanong. The result? They end up judging the person and making rants and giving sermons kahit pa hindi naman nila alam ang sinasabi nila. Sila yung madalas na makita ko, sadly. I just had an encounter with a few not long ago. Ang daming sinabi, naghusga at nagsermon na, kahit hindi pa naman talaga niya alam kung tama ba yung assumption nya. Does it remind you of someone, too? (Sana wala.)
BAD things happen to GOOD people, just like the man born blind and just like Job.
(BTW, did you notice? In the chronology of the Bible, Job’s story happened before Abraham. After Noah the book of Genesis went on to the story of Abraham. Pero sa pagkakasunod-sunod pala ng pangyayari, between the approx. 500 years of gap between The Flood and Abraham’s story is the story of Job’s suffering. At yung mga Chaldeans na sumalakay kila Job ay mga ka-lahi ni Abraham.)
So, why do bad things happen to good people? Only God knows.
He has a reason and purpose, and that is not because He doesn’t love people equally. As for the blind man, Jesus said, “that the works of God might be displayed in him. As for Job, it was written that God allowed it to test Job’s faithfulness and righteousness. And Job actually passed. But his friends doesn’t know this. Sabi ko nga kanina, “only God knows.” It’s sad when people act like God as if they know everything.
Forget the other person you’re thinking of (kung meron man). Sometimes, tayo yun. What must we do? Don’t assume. Let’s just think, but not assume. Let us be quick to hear but slow to speak.
Ang tunay na Kristyano, nakikinig muna. At nakikinig uli. At handang makinig lagi. Pero hindi nagsasalita agad, lalo na kung hindi tayo sigurado kung kailangan. Because when we fail to practice this Real Christianity, sometimes — like Job’s friends — we become the BAD experience to the GOOD people around us.
May God deliver us from this temptation, in Jesus’ name!
IN-DEPTH VIEW OF THE SCRIPTURE PASSAGES
Early History of Job (Job 1:1-5)
Si Job ay yung parang nasa kanta ni Daniel Padilla, nasa kanya na ang lahat. But these verses could be summarized by these descriptions in verse : “he was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil.”
BIRTH OF JOB APPROX. 1967 B.C.
Satan Challenged Job’s Character (Job 1:6-12)
The truth is, it was the LORD who first mentioned Job to Satan. God was proud of Job. He was sort of bragging about Job. Pero sabi ni Satan, “Sus, akala mo lang…” Then God said, “Subukan mo pa…”
Job Aced The Test (Job 1:13-2:10)
The permission was already given and in these passages Satan brought tragedy upon Job’s life. But Job’s reply was remarkable. It is worth remembering that I will quote it again here:
Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
In short: “Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Pero humirit pa din si Satan, kulang pa daw kasi. And God gave permission again. “Subukan mo uli.” Job still did not sin, despite his wife’s urge to curse God and die. Wow!
Job Aided By His Three Friends (Job 2:11-13, 3:1-26)
These three are treasured friends of Job. How many of your friends weep aloud when a tragedy strikes you? How many of your friends are willing to do this?
…they sat on the groundwith him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.
This is the kind of friend we must become. If you want friends as such, be one to others.
THE FIRST ROUND OF SPEECHES
Eliphaz Reproves Job (Job 4:1-11)
How I wish Eliphaz remained silent, and remained the kind of friend we idealized a while ago. Yet he spoke. During the 1st verse until the 6th Eliphaz was still honoring Job, reminding how he was the strong one in many times. Kumbaga, siya yung tagabigay ng payo. Reminders are not bad. But Eliphaz went overboard on the 7th verse. He has clearly charged Job of not being innocent. A sad thing if you were Job and you know you’re innocent.
The Vision of Eliphaz (Job 4:12-21)
The way he described Eliphaz indeed seemed to have seen a vision. And what he spoke is true. It shows that men are nothing in front of God. His motive for saying this is questionable, though.
The Sin of Sinners is Their Ruin (Job 5:1-7)
Eliphaz continues to explain how he sees the sinners get ruined by their own sin. This is the consequence of sin I mentioned earlier as opposed to the Hindu concept of karma. Verse 3 and 4 mentions the curse being experienced even by the children of the sinners. Ours sins are not just ours to carry but for our descendants as well. Unless we lay them all at the foot of the Cross (Isaiah 53).
God As The Perpetual Helper (Job 5:8-16)
Eliphaz honors God in front of Job by appealing that his friend implores on God. He mentions how God provides, saves, and gives hope. God indeed is a Lord we can turn to.
The Happy Result of God’s Correction (Job 5:17-27)
In the assumption that his friend Job sinned, Eliphaz reminded him not to despise God’s correction and discipline. And so must our attitude be when God disciplines us. Minsan, kahit alam nating tayo na nga ang may kasalanan ng suffering na nararanasan natin, nakukuha pa nating magtampo at magreklamo kay Lord.
“Blessed is the one whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”
Job Justifies His Complaints (Job 6:1-30)
While Eliphaz made sense and mentioned truths about God and the nature of sin, he missed an important truth which is the real condition of his friend Job. Kumbaga, marami siyang alam. Masyado siyang maraming alam. Pero yung tunay na kalagayan ng kaibigan niya, hindi niya nalalaman o naiintindihan. One can sense the hurt in Job’s words:
“Teach me, and I will be quiet;
show me where I have been wrong.
How painful are honest words!
But what do your arguments prove?
Do you mean to correct what I say,
and treat my desperate words as wind?
You would even cast lots for the fatherless
and barter away your friend.
“But now be so kind as to look at me.
Would I lie to your face?
Relent, do not be unjust;
reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.
Is there any wickedness on my lips?
Can my mouth not discern malice?”