Thursday, January 13, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Job 30:1

But now they make sport of me ...
Job 30:1
I wonder if Job invented the concept of "Pride Goeth Before a Fall."
Job tells us that once he was very proud -- and secretly enjoyed it. "29:7 Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. 8 The young stepped aside when they saw me, ... the aged rose in respect at my coming ... 10 [and] the highest officials h[e]ld their tongues in respect. 11 All who heard of me praised me. ... 12 For I helped the poor in their need ...13 and I caused the widows' hearts to sing for joy. 15 I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16 I was a father to the poor and I made sure that even strangers received a fair trial. ... 21"Everyone listened to me and valued my advice... 23 They longed for me to speak as they longed for rain. 22 And my words fell on them like dew."
Proud? Yes. Notice how many times he said, "I ... I ... me ... and my."
But now, he is humbled.
Job said, "29:18 I thought, 'Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life ... 30:1 But now they make sport of me." And so, I wondered if Job invented the concept of "Pride Goeth Before a Fall."
Shakespeare would have been my second guess. He seemed to have invented half the cliches in the English language.
But the truth of the matter is that it was God who invented the phrase. Wait, let me be careful how I say that! God didn't invent it from personal experience. He whispered it to Solomon after watching hundreds of generations rise and fall before him. We still do. We swell with pride, and then we ALL fall. Death is inevitable. And if it is not a heart attack or accident that destroys us in an instant, even great kings and industry titans will languish in nursing home beds with barely a drawer full of possessions nearby.
Like Job, have you ever been made sport of? It's probably because you were thinking, "I ... I ... me ... and my." There's better balance and perspective that even kings, titans, and celebrities should learn. We should say, instead, "He ... He ... God ... and Awe!"
In Christ's Love,
a guy who doesn't want to rise
too proudly nor too high
Because the inevitable falls
hurt more from greater heights
(and since I can't rise as high as God anyway,
I might as well just settle on worshiping him from my knees)
(I, me, my = 14 times in the passage.)  Recently, while talking to a friend,  I caught myself saying, "I can't ..." repeatedly.  Pride? I don't know. But despite all the things Job did to help others, it wasn't enough. What is enough?

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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