Thursday, January 31, 2008

Word Pictures from Job

This week I'm still reading through the book of Job in my Chronological Bible. As I read through chapters 29 and 30, it struck me how much I could learn from Job--not just about God and life, but about writing. Editors often tell me I need to use more action verbs. Just listen to some of these beautiful word pictures in Job's speeches:

"Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths." (29:7-9)

Job doesn't just tell us that he used to be respected; he paints a vivid picture. He does the same in the next chapter, when he wants to express how he feels God is treating him: "With a strong hand, God grabs my garment. He grips me by the collar of my tunic. He has thrown me into the mud. I have become as dust and ashes." (30:18-19)

These pictures help me feel a little of what Job must have been feeling--far more powerful than just telling me, "I feel that God is treating me badly, lately."

I didn't expect to get such a powerful writing lesson from my devotions this week!

(Bible quotes are from the New Living Translation.)