By Erin Bird
This week, I want to begin a new series here about finding peace. Living in a pandemic, I keep hearing about people who lack peace. In fact, on a Zoom call with a bunch of pastors recently, one admitted that this past week has brought a lot of anxiety to her, her church, and her community.
I think a lack of peace for a lot of people comes from a lack of control. Right now, we can’t control whether we or a loved one gets the coronavirus or not. We are trying to control the issue by staying at home, wearing masks, washing our hands, etc. And yet, the coronavirus seems to get closer every day.
And so I want to draw you to God’s Word to help you find peace. But I’m going to do it in a slightly different way. I want to remind you that even though you are not in control, God is. (I know, that’s not strange.) One place we see in Scripture where God reveals just how much control He has is the thirty-eighth chapter of Job. And Job 38 is a bit strange!
A Quick Recap of Job
If you are not familiar with the book of Job, it is an ancient poetic-yet-epic tale found just before the book of Psalms in the Old Testament. Most people pronounce the title “J-OH-B” not “J-AW-B”. Some scholars believe Job is actually the oldest book in the Bible, written before Moses penned the first five books you find in the Old Testament.
But more important than the details about the book is what’s inside. The book of Job is the story of a really rich man (named Job) who had everything – a great marriage, tons of kids, lots of money, and the respect of his whole community. But like a sappy country song, Job loses everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) when God allows Satan to wreak havoc on Job’s life. Satan’s goal was to get Job to curse and reject God. But God knew Job’s heart.
All of this takes place in the first two chapters. From chapter 3 through 37, we hear Job go on an emotional roller coaster ride while enduring the bad advice and theologically inaccurate insights of some so-called “friends.” Then in chapter 38, God Himself shows up. And from the very first words we read from God, He exerts His authority. But He doesn’t just establish that He is God, He actually gets downright sarcastic and even seems to mock Job. (It’s quite the chapter.)
In our series over the next few weeks, what we are going to see in this unique chapter from the Bible is just how “awesome” God is. But here’s the thing: this “awesomeness” of God can actually bring a person fear. But within the fear-inducing words from God, we will actually find reminders that can bring us peace in the middle of a pandemic.
So here’s your assignment: Go read Job 38. Then buckle in with me next week as we working through this strange chapter of the Bible and find a deep peace through it.
P.S. Just want to keep reminding you that if you need someone to just talk with during this pandemic, don’t hesitate to reach out.