We are in the middle of the Book of Job now.
Job’s lament is turning toward hope. And after the week we’ve had in the US, I could use some hope.
Here is Robert Alter’s translation of 14:7-9:
For a tree has hope: though cut down, it can still be removed, and its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the ground and its stock die in the dust, from the scent of water it flowers, and puts forth branches like a sapling.
I don’t often think of trees when I think of hope. And I confess when I am pulling up elm shoots that have decided to grown in my lawn and flowerbeds, “hope” is not the word that comes to mind.
The Job poet weaves our connectedness to nature throughout the entire book, though, reminding us of yet another point of contact with nature, reminding us that humanity and nature are both vulnerable pieces of creation.
In chapter 19, Job speaks the words I know better from Handel’s Messiah. “I know that my Redeemer lives.” The Hebrew word for ‘redeemer’ is different than the New Testament word, no matter how much Handel makes us think of it. It is more like Boaz and Ruth. Here’s an article about the word at Working Preacher.
Job is still in the midst of his argument. Where are you thinking of preaching this week?
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Marci Auld Glass is the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church and lives with her husband and sons in Boise, Idaho. She is a graduate of Trinity University and Columbia Theological Seminary.