Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward

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Job 5:1-7; 6:1-10

When two massive egos clash we say that “sparks fly.”  But in Job, when “man” meets “world”   that’s when the sparks fly.

As we’ve been reading, the book of Job is the story of man.  And at its heart is the question of innocent suffering.  Is there such a thing?  His miserable comforters say no.  And actually humanity has a lot invested in saying no.  We would love to believe that our lives are in our own hands and that our efforts can save us.  But if that’s true then trouble is earned.

The Book of Job tells us the truth about trouble:

“Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:6-7)

Notice here that this doesn’t say “Existence is suffering.”  Creation isn’t the “trouble”.  The problem is not with physicality or the natural world.  In Genesis, both “dust” and “the ground” are said to be the raw materials of “man”. But “man’s” matter is not the matter.  Instead there’s something about man in the world that inevitably leads to trouble.

This is because man’s story is one of falling and rising.  In Adam man tumbles down.  All who are born in Him are born to trouble.  Yet Christ came as the last Adam.  He takes our trouble on Himself.  He is the One who is supremely born to trouble.  In fact it’s His trouble – the cross – that defines the direction of travel for all men.  It’s not the last word, but it is the path all must tread.  However,  it’s trouble that has a happy ending.

So then in your affliction there’s bad news and good news.  The bad news is, you’ve been born to it.  But, if you belong to Christ, you’re born again to a renewed humanity.  For the Christian there’s a sequel to the verse.  After trouble and through trouble we can be certain: As surely as sparks rise – so will the believer!

The Apostle Peter gets that balance between falling and rising just right:

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy”.  (1 Peter 4:12-13)

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