Job 16:17 Although no violence is in my hands and my prayer is pure.
Job 17:12 The light is near, they say, in the face of darkness
Job 19:18 He is driven from light into darkness, and chased out of the world
Saul, renamed Paul after his experience on the road to Damascus, thought he was a religious man, born a Pharisee of Pharisees. He was in a state of religious zeal while on his way to imprison Christians. Yet Christ stops him asks, “Why are you persecuting me?” And even after walking with God as a mature Christian, Paul was plagued by a ‘thorn in the flesh’ suffering from an illness.
Job has a similar sentiment from the catastrophes in his life. He says, “I was at ease, but He shattered me.”
Both Job and Paul thought they knew God, but when God spoke, something larger and different than their preconceived image of Him was imparted. I don’t know if these men were so different than I am today. I believe in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse us from all unrighteousness; yet, I too, have felt the stinging pain of rejection by family, friends, and others. Their arguments and pronouncements can cause me tremendous guilt. Or worse yet, I start pointing a finger at someone else. Also, like Job and Saul, I listen for the voice of God in heaven to speak. In reality, I catch myself being snippy with someone or allowing myself a few mean-spirited moments. Before asking forgiveness, I feel stressed, helpless, and disillusioned with myself. The only thing to do is what Job and Saul concluded … I can only seek God’s live and let go of this need to ‘do perfect.’ When I listen, God reminds me that I am His and that He has made me to be a warrior for truth. Drawn in, I return to a deeper conception of His grace and mercy over me; my perception of even His judgments is broadened to accept the good, the bad, and the ugly in me. And more importantly, the beauty of His holiness.