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He was a bear of a man and had a similar disposition at times. Gruff and all too ready to bark out orders, he was also CUTTINGLY HONEST! I liked that. John (not his real name) was a great old man and I loved him.
John lost his arm in a TRAGIC ACCIDENT when he was young and was left feeling bitter. When I asked him about the accident, John would look at the empty space where his arm used to be and say "I BLAME GOD! God did this to me and it is totally unfair" and I was not able to counsel him otherwise.
In his early years John had led a Youth Group in his Church and had actively served God. In his mind God did this to him when all he had tried to do was serve Him faithfully. He had taken away everything, PUNISHED him when he did not deserve to suffer. We still had some good discussions and times of prayer but nothing I could say would sway him from the fact that God was DESPOTIC AND CRUEL.
When he was able John attended my devotions and somehow clung onto his faith in Christ despite his inability to explain his accident apart from the judgment of God. He loved to sing the old hymns but his bitterness was like the cancer that eventually riddled his body in his old age. And only a few days ago, John died in hospital.
I canít help but be reminded of Job when I think of John. Job was being tested and God allowed Job to be brought to the brink of death by Satan. Job says in Job 27:1 that God has TAKEN AWAY HIS RIGHTS and like John, he is EMBITTERED by what has been thrown at him, but it seems that Job didnít allow his bitter ordeal to eat into his soul.
Now you would think that his friends, seeing that Job is writhing in pain, would just pray for him. After having known Jobís faithfulness to God throughout his life they are more concerned with expounding their rigid theology of Godís judgment than seeking Godís healing grace. Over and over they continue to accuse Job of sin and that he is being PUNISHED BY GOD. Nice one! Job is dumbfounded. He says in effect "Hang on. You have watched the way I live." In Job 27:12 (NLT) he says "But you have seen all this, yet you say all these useless things to me." It is so important to speak words of life into the wounded places of a personís life. There is so much more power in prayer than in presumption.
Job defends himself with cutting honesty. In Job 27:2-6 (NLT) he says "As long as I live, while I have breath from God, ... I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live."
I find it fascinating that all these thoughts in some way echo down through the corridors of time and finally find voice in the events of the cross where Jesus would face death, having been TRIED AND JUDGED UNFAIRLY.
Far from being embittered by His crucifixion, Jesus faces His unjust treatment and agonizing death with FORGIVENESS to His accusers. God speaks of these momentous events of the cross in Isaiah 53:8 (NLT). He says that Jesus was "UNJUSTLY CONDEMNED, .... But He was struck down for the rebellion of My people."
If Jobís friends had been present, they, like many people would have looked at Jesus with scorn and accused Him of blasphemy deserving of death. "CRUCIFY HIM!" they would say.
Despite the injustice of Jesus death, He died for my sins and as
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