The Soul As A Boiling Pot

“But now they laugh at me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. What could I gain from the strength of their hands, men whose vigor is gone? Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation; they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes, and the roots of the broom tree for their food. They are driven out from human company; they shout after them as after a thief. In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell, in holes of the earth and of the rocks. Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. A senseless, a nameless brood, they have been whipped out of the land. “And now I have become their song; I am a byword to them. They abhor me; they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. On my right hand the rabble rise; they push away my feet; they cast up against me their ways of destruction. They break up my path; they promote my calamity; they need no one to help them. As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on. Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. “And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. With great force my garment is disfigured; it binds me about like the collar of my tunic. God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me. You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me. You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm. For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living. “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help? Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. My inward parts are in turmoil and never still; days of affliction come to meet me. I go about darkened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. I am a brother of jackals and a companion of ostriches. My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep. (‭Job‬ ‭30‬:‭1-31‬ ESV)

Chapter 29 explained to us what Job was treated like by those around him before this great season of suffering. By contrast, chapter 30 reveals the dishonor, disrespect, and lack of compassion these same folks show him now; even spitting upon the ground in his presence. Job feels utterly rejected by both people and God.

This rejection has caused a turmoil in the soul of Job that is described as never being still.

My inward parts are in turmoil and never still; days of affliction come to meet me. (Job 30:27 ESV)

The word turmoil describes a continual churning or boiling of water. Water boiling in a pot is never at rest, but is in constant distress and anxiety. This is the state of the suffering servant of God, and my family knows it well.

Job was under extreme stress through this intense test of faith. We will probably never experience a turmoil quite like Job did. Yet for the unbeliever, their turmoil begins here and finishes in eternity at a degree that makes Job’s earthly turmoil look like a still quiet stream.

Jesus intends for us to find quietness in the midst of our storms. He said:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The resting soul is quieted from the turmoil of suffering. This rest is accessed to us only by coming to Jesus.

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