Pentecost +21 - Year B
Job 42:1-6, 10-17
The humanity of Job (dust and ashes) brings us ambiguity of what is being recanted, despised, relented by one who is suffering. This doesn’t address the divinity of Job (made in G*D’s image) that calls to be encountered on that level. A note in The Jewish Study Bible suggests verse 6 “may be a prosaic notice that Job feels this way while he is mourning on a dust-heap”. Once off said dung-heap, Job’s response may be different. How like ourselves.
In some sense all the poetry ends with Job vindicated against his “friends” who are caught falsifying the character of Job and the character of G*D. Likewise the prose ends with G*D vindicated against “The Satan”. All the sturm und drang of Job vs G*D begins to take a back seat against these other level-playing-field debates.
Perhaps we need only focus on the debates we have with our family and friends regarding what we see as the nature of creation - a basic goodness begun. To expect privilege in a goodness-oriented creation is to expect too much and thus the importance of simply not blaspheming creation. We remember our beginning and know that we must stand firm in calling G*D to account - whether a desirable response comes forth or not. When so many false arguments about the worth of the least, the outcast, the closeted, the poor, the uninsured swirl around us, it is good to cut through them all with a clear perspective of basic goodness.
Job’s daughters are a sign of what a new world we are in when we attend to clarity of goodness in this world. The women are named (not the sons) and given rights of inheritance - both contrary to usual patriarchal patterns. What sign will you give, will you be, of the value of this world?