The Agora
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Job: the imperfect "perfect" man!

Whereas Job was plainly a righteous, indeed a "perfect" man (Job 1:1) -- under extreme testing, physical and mental and spiritual, he came up short. But this should be no reflection on him; almost certainly, none of us would have fared nearly so well as did he.

And that seems, to me, to be one of the key features of the Book of Job. Even though Job is a type of Christ -- and that is very plain to see -- he can, of necessity, be nothing more than an imperfect type! The very best of men, tested in something like the way that Jesus would be tested, while comporting himself very well in the beginning, and enduring fairly well the continued trials (brought on by his "friends"!)... still came up short: drifting down into self-pity and anger and bitterness.

But, of course, it would ill become us to make any disparaging remarks about Job's reactions to his extreme trials. What might our reactions have been, in similar circumstances? I almost hesitate to ask the question, for fear of... whatever!

The Book of Job is there in the Bible, I think, to remind us: here's what the VERY BEST or men could do with something approaching the VERY WORST of trials. Job is both a comparison and a contrast, to Christ. And in his great trial, and his (relative) coming short, Job simply emphasizes to us the incredible nature of the character and trials and sufferings of our Lord. How humbling is that!

I am a sports fan, and baseball is my game, especially. It's interesting, from a historical perspective, to note that in the history of baseball -- with literally thousands of players participating on the highest level for well over 100 years -- there have been maybe a dozen pitchers who could consistently throw a baseball over 100 miles per hour. Hundreds and hundreds of pitchers can hit, maybe, 95 miles per hour; and thousands could generate, say, 90 miles per hour. But only the very, very greatest could have occasionally thrown a baseball at 100 or 102 miles per hour -- and they are legendary: Walter Johnson, Satchel Paige, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson. (For perspective's sake, very good amateur pitchers might hit 80 mph -- and ordinary people, on the best days of their young lives, might throw a baseball at something like 60 mph.)

Anyway, with that in perspective, suppose there came along a pitcher would could consistently throw a baseball... let us, say, 150 miles per hour. Well, first of all, it would revolutionize the game of baseball -- such a baseball would be, for all practical purposes -- unhittable. The very rules of the game would have to be changed. (120 miles per hour would probably be unhittable, for that matter.)

In the realm of such pitching (which, admittedly, has limited value otherwise -- but just for the sake of discussion), a Walter Johnson or a Bob Feller would be... Job. The extraordinarily talented or gifted man -- one among thousands -- whose feats are so far beyond other mortals as to make their comparison with him ludicrous.

But alongside such a "superman", how would we characterize the man who could throw half again faster than he?

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