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How does our insecurity make us react?

Something to read

Pay attention! My thoughts urge me to answer, because of the agitation within me. I hear censure that insults me, and a spirit beyond my understanding answers me.

- Job 20:1-3.

Something to think about

Why is Zophar so agitated? He and his friends have come to comfort Job, but talking with him stirs up agitation within them.

Perhaps it is because the sight of the once successful and influential Job, sitting broken by his suffering, is threatening and unsettling. Job is an unwelcome example of how fragile our security really is. It is easier to conclude that he must have done something to deserve it - because I can, then I am safe (because obviously I will not make the same mistake).

It is perhaps Job’s vulnerability that ultimately vindicates him before God.

Something to do

As you listen to responses to the refugee crisis, to poverty or to other issues on the news and in politics, consider how much of the reaction is driven by insecurity and fear. How do you respond?

Something to pray

We are a fearful people, O God.

But we do not want to admit it, for we are afraid of our fear.

Open our ears to hear you say: ‘Be not afraid.’


Peter McDowell is a lecturer in Missiology with Practical Theology at Belfast Bible College. Previously he has been a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and worked in Nepal.