Thursday, January 12, 2012

13, Pt. 2

On BibleGateway.com, I pull up Job. Parallel translations. King James on the left, as always. A simpler, easier-to-read translation on the right. My eyes bounce back and forth.

And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it (Job 1:7, KJV).

Seven verses out the gate, and already I'm crying. I feel him, Satan, walking to and fro around me: indeed, in the very ashes and dust of my body. I feel him pacing in my brain.

I read how Satan accuses God of placing a hedge around Job, Job's house, and Job's possessions. I read how Satan challenges God to put forth His hand and touch everything Job has; how God doesn't; how God, instead, gives Satan the power to touch everything Job has. To me it's an important distinction: God's allowing Satan to touch as opposed to touching, Himself.

Satan takes from Job seven sons and three daughters; seven thousand sheep; three thousand camels; five hundred yoke of oxen; five hundred she asses; and countless servants.

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly (Job 1: 20-22, KJV).

I weep for Job.

It gets worse. God allows Satan to cover Job in boils. Job's wife encourages Job to curse God and die. (Job refuses.) Job's friends show up to mourn with and comfort Job, and they don't seem so bad at first; they weep, tear their clothing, sprinkle dust on their heads, and sit quietly with Job for a week. They listen to Job when he breaks his silence and cries out, cursing the day he was born.

But then the friends try to convince Job that he or his children have done something to bring God's wrath upon them. Their words agitate Job even further. He insists of his innocence to both his friends and God. It goes on and on, chapter after chapter.

I'm reading mostly in the simpler translation, now. I'm totally engrossed in the story and feeling glad for my spouse and friends. I'm flying along when, for some unknown reason, I look back left to King James. And I read:

Though he [God] slay me, yet will I trust in him.

I come screeching to a halt. My friend and mentor Anne Conder has written these exact words to me more than once in the past month. I'd assumed they were scriptural but didn't know (or look up) fom where, in the Bible, they'd come.

I wonder: where in Job am I, anyway? I look up and gasp. 13. I'm in Chapter 13! And what is the verse number? 13? I look down. No. Verse 15. The middle of Chapter 13? I look down to see how many verses are in Chapter 13. There are 28.

I am 13 verses up from the end of Chapter 13. 13: the name I've given my baby because--on 1/3--God answered my question.

Though he [God] slay me, yet will I trust in him.

I've been scheduled for months to start teaching, this coming Sunday, on trust.

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