Today’s reading: Job 22-31, Psalm 69
Job brings his defense to an end today. By now, he is so agitated that his friends can hardly get a word in. You can almost hear him working up to a feverish pitch as he makes his closing argument. Like a good attorney, he has stayed focused and consistent in presenting his case throughout the proceedings–he has done nothing to deserve the things that have happened to him. No one has been able to pry him off this foundation.
The notion of what we deserve in life is an interesting one. Job bases his argument on the assumption that life’s equation is supposed to work like this:
upright living + kindness + generosity = material well being + happy family – suffering = good life
This same equation still gets used today in judging whether people get what they deserve or not. Why is it that we assume that if we “do the right thing,” we should be entitled to a life that is pain-free? We have too often taken our cue for what we think we deserve in life from the gospel according to Horatio Alger instead of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Perhaps we should reconsider what constitutes the “good life” in terms other than material blessings and the absence of pain. After all, there is only one who ever would have been justified in presenting his case. . .instead, he freely gave up his life.