The Old Testament book of Job is one of those books, that we are rarely compelled to spend time reading. But if we don’t read it we miss some awesome truth. I was reminded last week of a phrase in Job, “Write it on a Rock.” Let me set the context.
In Job 19, Job has already experienced in a few months, more hardship and difficulties than many of us will experience in a lifetime. Most of his children and their families have been killed. His business has been ruined. His house has been destroyed. In Job 19:13-19 he says that his close friend have forgotten him; his servants ignore him, his breath is offensive to his wife, and his kids don’t want to look at him. Life is hard for Job. In fact he says, in vs. 19:20-22,
I have been reduced to skin and bones and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth. Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy, for the hand of God has struck me. Must you also persecute me, like God does? Haven’t you chewed me up enough?
See if we want to be honest about life, first of all we would say that life isn’t always easy. Sometimes life is just hard. Bad things happen. I don’t really need to say more on this one, because if you know you know.
Then in the midst of the bad times, sometimes we find that friends just aren’t really friends. That’s one of the things Job is struggling with. He’s going through the worst days of his life and these three self-appointed friends come to minister to him, but really all they are doing is tearing him down. It’s all your fault Job. God must be punishing you. Did you ever go through a time when it seemed like your friends weren’t really friends? You were just looking for a word of hope and they told you all hope is lost. You were looking for a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold you up and they just weren’t around. You were looking for someone to pray for you, but they just didn’t have time.
If we want to be honest about life, the reality is that sometimes friends just aren’t friends and it can’t get worse than that…until it seems like even God… Sometimes it seems like God’s against me.
That’s where Job was at, but that’s not where he stayed. His story takes a turn. It’s a turn that caused me to ask myself, what words are engraved on my rock? You’re thinking, we’ll what do you mean Dan? In vs. 23-24 Job cries out,
Oh, that my words could be recorded. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock.
If you are going to engrave words on a rock, you are going to engrave words that matter. You are going to engrave words that will last forever. You are going to engrave words that you want to be remembered as your words. So let me just ask you… what words are engraved on your rock? When you go through difficult times, what words matter the most to you?