"Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face." – Job 13:15 ESV
Job was the favorite book in the Bible for Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Writing to his wife in 1875, he described how reading Job brought him to a state of “ecstasy.” As he read, he was so moved his eyes often filled with tears.
Why was he so attracted to Job? Because he related to Job. He felt his own life “resembled that of Job in many ways.” Through his troubles, Job reminded him that there always is hope. That God is present even when things seem dark and hopeless.
Dostoyevsky used Job to describe a turning point for Father Zosima, a key character in his novel The Brothers Karamazov. Zosima read Job with “awe and wonder and gladness” and tears. Dostoyevsky realized that Job was mysterious, but also highly practical. Here was a man who lost everything and had to endure relentless accusations from his friends. Even his own wife gave up on him and urged him to give up.
Yet, like many people, Dostoyevsky found encouragement in Job. In fact, Job reminds us that the Bible is very practical. It is filled with the accounts of real people, who experienced real problems, who struggled and didn’t always know what to do. And ultimately, it’s about how God gave them perspective, hope, and help.
As you read the Bible, ask God to reveal principles that can guide and encourage you. Realize that no matter what, God is with you.
PrayerFather, I commit my life to You. Give me Your perspective. Teach me. Give me hope. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingJob 13