Recently I was asked how I go about writing a devotional book. I answered that “going about” is a good way to put it, since I do not approach such a project directly or in any deliberate way.
“God has made me his target; his archers surround me.” (Job 16:12)
In Renaissance art one of the most commonly portrayed martyrdoms was that of St. Sebastian. The sight of this great lover of God with his body riddled with bloodied arrows is a shocking one, as the artists intended it to be. Yet how much more shocking it is to state, as Job does, that God Himself is the cruel archer who so tortures His own saints to death.
If only there were someone to arbitrate between us,
to lay his hand upon us both,
someone to remove God’s rod from me,
so that his terror would frighten me no more. (Job 9:33-4)
The Gospel According To Job is a book that grew out of a time of deep depression in my life. It took five years to write, and it came as a great surprise when at the end of that time I was more depressed than ever!