If you’re reading the Bible this year Chronologically, you know we’re in the book of Job. It’s a unique book that wrestles with questions like: If God is all-loving and merciful, why do the righteous suffer? Where is God in my trials.
We also see the sovereignty of God. He is all supreme and in all control. Of Satan–he tells him how far he can go and Satan goes no further. And over our circumstances. Job isn’t privy to the heavenly conversation. He has no idea Satan has been prowling around looking to devour him, but can’t. So when Satan challenges God that the only reason Job worships him and is full of integrity is because he’s wealthy, healthy and protected. So God allows Satan a certain amount of leash. He knows the truth, but later we find that Job knows he’s being refined and coming out as gold through this testing. When taking all way from him, Job doesn’t curse God and die ie give up on God and abandon his faith in him. Satan says well it’s because you haven’t let me touch his skin. A sick man will curse you. So he’s allowed to harm his body but not kill him–though Job wishes for death. Yet God is protecting his life.
In Job’s suffering, he makes wrong assumptions about God–which we all do when our pain lead the procession of thought about God. And God is silent. Job begs God to show up and tell him why he’s going through this suffering.
His friends aren’t friends at all. They accuse him of sin and his children of sinning. Repent! But Job holds fast that he is righteous.
God is still silent.
Job still asks why.
Finally God speaks. He corrects Job’s false assumptions about him. And he rebukes his friends, except the youngest Elihu for their terrible advice.
But he never answers the question Job wants. Why? But he does answer.
Many times we don’t get what we want from God. But we always get what we need from him.
Job repents. Job never abandons God even when he thinks God has abandoned him. And this testing refines him. It also speaks to us, as scriptures do–so that we can learn from them as they give us hope while we ourselves wait patiently for God to fulfill his promises.
Forward Reflection: When I go through suffering, what do I believe about God? Do I make wrong assumptions too? Am I going to give up on God when he doesn’t answer me? Or will I remain steadfast?
What do you love most/least about the book of Job?