“Why doth thine heart carry thee away? and what do thy eyes wink at, That thou turnest thy spirit against God, and lettest such words go out of thy mouth?” (Job 15:12-13)
Raining on the parade
Eliphaz the Temanite levels this stinging invective at Job. I’ve read Job was anywhere between 70 and 140 at the time of his testing. Eliphaz begins his statement, asserting that “With us are both the grayheaded and very aged men, much elder than thy father.” (15:10) Ouch. Dropping that hammer on anyone, superseding their lineage in such a rude fashion, is bound to put salt in the wound. Job had gone through more than, I would say, most, and not one of his friends had any genuine words of comfort to add to the encounter.
“Then Job answered and said, I have I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:1-2)
But the point I would like to illustrate here begins with that word wink. In Hebrew, it’s razam and Strong’s defines it as a “twinkle” in the eye. I’m not one to credit any of Job’s buddies with any rightness or what-have-you, but for Job to be able to “wink” at all the criticisms flung in his direction, takes a youthfulness coupled with a resolve borne of years of discipline. Not an easy thing to surmount. Think about it. Read through Job and each time his turn to speak comes around, he gracefully holds his own leading up to his God-given exoneration. God did have some things to iron out in Job’s life, however, but they had to do with Job’s understanding of just who God is and how He is incomprehensible unless you’re humble. But the wink? That subtle and fleeting expression of nonchalance? That way of looking at life, hard as it may be at present, that shrugs off the crushing circumstance-based fear? God is all for it, if I may.
And I’m not talking about “foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient” (Ephesians 5:4). Yes, Paul does ask “That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate” (Titus 2:2). But there’s that fine line of playfulness I’m seeking to pull out of this tapestry of Job’s life and examine under an impartial light (See? Right there.). Because if you lose your sense of humor and your lightheartedness, life will dry up and you’ll age faster than you ought.
Not sure how it applies. It’s a three-dimensional parallelogram. But it’s the last part that reminds me of this verse–it’s just how I think:
“But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.” (Matthew 11:16-17)
Jesus is referring to the non-plussedness of the multitude there to hear Him speak. I find this attitude seeks to infect a lot of life. A cynicism that has at its root an indifference to simple beauties and joys. God asks Job in chapter 38 (5-7): “Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” This is substrate. The joy of God is the basis for our world and our lives, don’t let anyone tell you different. To try and kill that in a person is of utmost cruelty and abomination. I’m just talking, but if you’ve experienced it firsthand, my heart goes out to you. Here. God will restore your joy if need be. All you have to do is ask. And don’t worry about unraveling the circumstances you think caused it in the first place. He’ll work it out.
“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:22)