samedi 5 octobre 2013

Was God Preparing Job for Judgement Day? Was Job proud?

Kent Hovind affirms this and affirms that Job went thence "a changed man". Now, I had a hunch, I have not yet checked it with consulting the great Patristic authority on Job - namely Pope St Gregory the Great with his Moralia in Hiob* - so you should before taking it from me. At least check, as I will, whether my hunch contradicts him.

Job was not openly proud. Noone could catch him in pride. Some proud thoughts he had entertained, perhaps (if you check Job's answer and also God's first question in chapter 40, which reminds me of a Psalm where King David is basically answering God's question - "no God, it is you who shall be justified" but I have forgotten which Psalm it was. I am sure it was not sung at Matins, I have heard it too often in Le Barroux when there, and I think it might be in the Parvum Officium Beatae Mariae Virginis).

But apart from that God showed up publically before Eliphaz and the rest what He had already shown Satan: that Job was just. In this particular case, he was humble before God. I think some of these had tried to read Job's thoughts and find him proud, as if that explained why God was punishing him. There is a kind of pride that could tempt a man in the situation of Job - the pride of a man knowing he is so unjustly suffering and thinking God has a debt to him - or the kind of pride in knowing one is similar to God on the Cross, for I think Job though not telling so openly foreknew the Crucifixion.

What were the words of Alexander Pope again?

Yes I am proud: I must be proud to see
Men not afraid of God afraid of me.

He was being candid about it in a playful way. But he was a man isolated for his just belief in Catholicism and his arguably just loyalty to the Jacobite cause. What God read in the heart of Job and what Job admitted being wrong about might have been similar thoughts though perhaps not willfully entertained. But not yet opposed as much as he should have.

Job had, if I recall the story correctly, forty more years to go and happily so. Oh, actually one hundred and forty, which means this was shortly after the Flood. A proud and bitter thought might have spoiled the fun for him. God was preparing Job for happiness. Curing him of an itch that would have marred the melody and embittered the sweetness.

Note that it was God who was doing that. Eliphaz and the rest had been trying to, and God rejects their efforts of "fraternal correction" as so much injustice.

It is not easy to be ashamed when being beaten or slapped. Afterwards, if it came from a loved and respected one, one may be ashamed, even pretty immediately afterwards, if it is short, but while it is going on it may engender fear and pride. God knew exactly what risks He had exposed Job to and how He could heal it.

7 And after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, he said to Eliphaz, the Themanite: My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends, because you have not spoken the thing that is right before me, as my servant, Job, hath.

8 Take unto you, therefore, seven oxen, and seven rams, and go to my servant, Job, and offer for yourselves a holocaust: and my servant, Job, shall pray for you: his face I will accept, that folly be not imputed to you: for you have not spoken right things before me, as my servant Job hath.

By the way, if Kent Hovind came as far as this, why is he rejecting Intercession of the Saints?

I am thankful for an occasion of being ashamed I had after doing a bad thing to a girl. She might sue me, and I might go to prison for it, but I would be more ashamed before her for what I did than before the judges. I would like to have shown her I am not always as bad as that.

It shows two things: I am still capable of shame, and I am not very fit for celibacy. Even though there are monasteries that I like.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Martyrdom of St Placidus
and other disciples of St Bennet
in Messina

* Lectionary Central : Morals on the Book of Job

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