Week 21 Thursday

The Rest of the Story

Today’s scripture selection: Job 41-42

Key verse: Job 42:2

For many years radio commentator Paul Harvey had a program which featured something he called “the rest of the story.”

He would tell a tale about some interesting situation; some historical event, then, just about when you thought you understood it’s meaning – he would add a twist – a punch line of sorts – that would add a dramatic element of surprise.

Well that happens in the biblical tale about a man named Job.  Originally blessed with much; then crushed by tragedy and loss; pushed to questioning – but never giving up his faith – in God.  And the rest of the story? In the end, God “blesses” his servant even more than before.

Some have misunderstood or minimized the meaning of this ancient tale.  Some have concluded it’s a simple story to tell us to “hang in there” and one day we’ll be happy and rich beyond description.  I don’t think this surface interpretation gives the tale its full due.  Instead, I think Job helps us plumb the deepest mysteries of life – how the innocent suffer; how life can push us to the limits with no explanation; how God is both awesome in His power and compassionate in His love.  And how in the heavenly realms, there is a debate that rages on between God and Satan, whose very name means “adversary” or “accuser.”

But, if we can weather the storm with Job, we can take comfort when the scriptures reveal “the rest of the story.”

We can breathe a sigh of relief that this servant of God who is humbled by life’s circumstances in the end stands before his maker as justified.

I know it’s a cliché – that life is a “mystery.”  It’s also true.  So when it smacks you in the face, and you can’t make sense of it, remember Job.  Remember there are some things we must ultimately leave in the hands of the God we do not always comprehend.

The good news is He is a God of love.

Prayer: Father, in light of the mystery, I humbly bow, AMEN.

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