Continuing in Job...
[Job speaking...] I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me...
Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress.
Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness. The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.
...I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls...
[Job, still...] If I have denied justice to any of my servants, whether male or female, when they had a grievance against me, what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account?
Did not the one who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same One form us both within our mothers?
If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless - but from my youth I reared them as a father would, and from my birth I guided the widow -
if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing, or the needy without garments, and their hearts did not bless me for warming them with the fleece from my sheep,
if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint.
For I dreaded destruction from God, and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.
[Job's friend speaking...] Is God not the One who says to kings, ‘You are worthless,’ and to nobles, ‘You are wicked,’
who shows no partiality to princes and does not favor the rich over the poor, for they are all the work of God's hands...?
...God's eyes are on the ways of mortals; God sees their every step...
God punishes them for their wickedness where everyone can see them, because they turned from following God and had no regard for any of God's ways.
They caused the cry of the poor to come before God, so that the Lord heard the cry of the needy.
As noted in the previous post, Job moreso than most books of the Bible must be handled carefully. Job's friends speak, but not every word from them is a good word. Job speaks, but not every one of his rants speak for God.
Having said that, I think we can see clearly in Job, the great reverence/importance that ancient Jewish folk placed on the treatment of the poor and otherwise marginalized.
How one treats the poor and marginalized and how one deals with one's employees and customers is a measurement of one's morality. Even the "friends" of Job with their sometimes flawed reasoning echo this great biblical concern, and do so frequently and emphatically.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
The Bible and Economics
Continuing in Job...