Job: God's Response in the Storm
February 6 - Nº 37 Job 37:25 – 42:12
As Job’s friends sat with him in the ashes, they tried to come up with an explanation for his suffering. Their own reasoning caused them to believe that righteousness produces rewards, and sin results in suffering. Therefore Job’s pain was certainly due to some unconfessed sin. They even tried to come up with a list of sins he could possibly have committed (Job 22:5-9). This upset Job very much, and he vigorously defended his innocence. Although he knew he wasn’t perfect, he believed that he was a righteous man. (God even acknowledged this when Satan first showed up in heaven—see #35.) Job finally concluded that, since he was innocent, God must be unjust! At the very least, the way He chose to run the world wasn’t very fair. Job demanded to speak to God. He wanted God to show up and personally explain why he was going through so much suffering. He wanted a chance to defend himself if there was some hidden sin. God did show up—surrounded by a whirlwind! From the mighty wind, He challenged Job’s accusations by taking him on a virtual tour of universe. He quizzed Job about its creation and operation: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4). He introduced details and intricacies Job knew nothing about: “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?” (Job 38:16). He pointed out the vast wisdom required to manage it all: “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?” (Job 38:12). God explained that His eyes saw everything all of the time, and with His power He controlled the entire universe. Job’s knowledge and experiences, on the other hand, were limited to one small place on the earth in one tiny sliver of time. “How dare you think you are in a position to question or judge Me?” (Job 40:2), God wanted to know. Although he had demanded to speak to God face to face, once he was given the opportunity, Job had nothing to say. God never did answer Job’s question of “why” he was suffering. And He never shared the back-story of the heavenly discussions with Satan. Instead He overwhelmed Job with the truth about Himself. When all the external things that had filled Job’s life were stripped away, Job could finally see Who God really was—the Master and Creator of the Universe. And Job began to worship Him in a new way. Instead of an explanation, Job was given an invitation to trust God completely—and he accepted it. The book concludes with God accusing Job’s friends of being wrong in their attempts to explain God’s actions. He praised Job for speaking more righteously and truthfully than they did. God was pleased with Job’s honest struggle and his willingness to come directly to Him with his questions and complaints. And in the end, Job’s health, his wealth, and his family were restored to him.
Instead of asking, “Why am I suffering?” we should be asking, “What can I learn from my pain?” Specifically, “What can I learn about my God?” Then we will trust Him more. And our lives will be much more rewarded!