Today’s Reading: Job 11-25
“Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10) Job’s friends seemed to have an understanding of Job’s sufferings as if it was simply Job’s turn. He had been blessed for years and now it was his turn to suffer hardships – the reality of life. It is as if they are asking – where is your faith and where are your confident words now that the shoe is on the other foot?
They mocked Job saying, “Your words have supported those who were failing; you encouraged those with shaky knees. But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope?” – Job 4:4-6
Job had an attitude of self-pity and defeat – I can argue with God but what good will it do? He won’t listen anyhow.
“So who am I that I should try to answer God or even reason with him? Even if I were right, I would have no defense. I could only plead for mercy. And even if I summoned him and he responded, I’m not sure he would listen to me. For he attacks me with a storm and repeatedly wounds me without cause. He will not let me catch my breath, but fills me instead with bitter sorrows. If it’s a question of strength, he’s the strong one. If it’s a matter of justice, who dares to summon him to court?” – Job 9:14-19
I agree with Elihu’s response to Job when he said, “But it is wrong to say God doesn’t listen, to say the Almighty isn’t concerned” (Job 35:13).
Job goes on to question God’s wisdom in even allowing him to be born if He was going to eventually let him suffer like this (Job 10:8-12,18-22). Job demonstrates an internal conflict between being in awe of the power of God and being disappointed with the wisdom of God. In one breath he is speaking of how great God is and in another breath he is questioning the motives and decisions of God. If Job was without sin before the hard times came, he is now demonstrating his human, sinful side by questioning the authority of God.
More than that, Job was downright angry with God. Many of us can relate to a moment in our lives where we questioned God by asking “Why?” In our grief, we experienced anger and we took our anger to God but there’s a difference between taking your anger to God and taking your anger out on God. I think this is where Job messes up. It’s not a sin that he is experiencing human emotions in the midst of his grief and pain, it is what he does with the emotion that trips him up. Job is arguing with God and criticizing God’s wisdom.
Are you currently questioning the wisdom of God regarding a situation in your life? Are you arguing with God? Are you angry with Him? Let’s look at some verses in Job to consider just how awesome and wise our God is – how worthy He is of our trust in even the most difficult times. Let us consider that God is greater than we can understand.
“Can you solve the mysteries of God?
Can you discover everything about the Almighty?
Such knowledge is higher than the heavens – and who are you?
It is deeper than the underworld – what do you know?
It is broader than the earth and wider than the sea?” – Job 11:7-9
“God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight.
He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with clouds.
He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night.
The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke.
By his power the sea grew calm…
These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power.
Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?” – Job 26:7-12,14
“God alone understands the way to wisdom; he knows where it can be found, for he looks throughout the whole earth and sees everything under the heavens.
He decided how hard the winds should blow and how much rain should fall.
He made the laws for the rain and laid out a path for the lightning.
Then he saw wisdom and evaluated it thoroughly.
And this is what he says to all humanity:
‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.’” – Job 28:23-28
“Look, God is all-powerful. Who is a teacher like him?
No one can tell him what to do, or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
Instead, glorify his mighty works, singing songs of praise…
Look, God is greater than we can understand. His years cannot be counted.” – Job 36:22-24,26
God, you are greater than we can comprehend. Help us to simply rest in your wisdom, submitting ourselves to your greatness and your authority in our lives. Lord, give us the strength to let go of our need to understand and simply trust you. So when the reality we are facing is as bitter as our morning coffee, Lord we ask for the gift of faith and the ability to trust in order to sweeten up our perspective. Thank you for loving us patiently when we lack understanding. We love you back! Amen.