Sunday, February 20, 2011

But then...

After a brief introduction of the man named Job, the next part of the story says "One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord." This comes right after we are told what a great and righteous man Job was. I think it should say, "But then one day..." because it would provide a signal to the beginning of Job's trouble. Things were going well, but then...

It's the "but then" moments that test our faith, unravel the perfect tapestry of our theology, and cause us to re-examine the beliefs we hold so dear, as they did for Job.

"One day the angels came..." is such an innocent and uneventful sounding opening to a passage in which God agrees to allow the satan to destroy his favorite servant's life. "But then..." would at least prepare the reader for the drastic change that was about to occur to this too perfect picture.

I remember a story I read years ago (but have been unable to find any reference to) in which the central character goes about his daily life and then suddenly falls through a "trapdoor in time" when his life completely changes. I don't remember a lot about the story, but the concept has stayed with me through the years. The trapdoor of life when nothing is as it was before.

That's how I envision Job's story. His life was going along quite nicely, thank you, until God opened an unseen trapdoor under him and he fell into a world he did not understand or know existed... a world in which the God he encountered was nothing like the God he thought he knew; a world in which all the theology and philosophy and history and wisdom he was accustomed to wielding with such understanding suddenly held no answers for his dilemma.

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