Job’s First Reflection Upon His Suffering

This meditation is based on a passage for August 25, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Job 6:1, 7:1-21

Reflection and Question: Now Job speaks in this timeless contribution to literature, an extended poem in the Wisdom tradition. After his friend has urged hope upon him, Job, afflicted from head to foot, responds with this beautiful image: “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; and come to their end without hope” (7:6). As the notes in the New Revised Standard Version point out, the Hebrew word for “thread” and “hope” are the same word; they are homonyms. The weaver’s thread is like life — it has an end. And suffering like Job’s snuffs out hope, something the comfortable cannot understand. Where do you find hope amidst suffering?

Prayer: Holy and Great God, with Job and countless others through the course of time, we lift our hearts to You with the anguished cry of “Why?” Why this suffering in our lives and Your beautiful world? Only Your Word gives us hope. Speak it. Amen.