Finally, after chapters of religious talk between the characters, God appears, bursting in just as Elihu is explaining why Job has no right to demand answers from God. His magnificent speech is recorded for us in Job 38-41. God presents the evidence of the amazing work of creation, but He doesn’t say anything about the question of suffering that has been the central focus of the book. Why? Job and his friends have been discussing suffering because, trapped by their limited vision, they can see nothing else. God knows, as we do after reading of the scene in heaven at the beginning, that the real issue here is whether a human being will trust a sovereign, invisible God when everything around makes that so difficult. So, far from answering Job’s questions, God demands of Job, Job 38:2-3. In other words, God turns the situation around and puts Job back in the dock. Job has no right to demand answers, God is the judge. He is the One running and sustaining the physical universe and chooses not to intervene every time His moral law is contravened. Once Job returns to a view of the glory and majesty and power of God, his doubts melt away. The contest for Job’s faith hinged on him clinging to his faith in God when every reason for doing so had been taken from him. In spite of everything, he holds up. Satan loses. With Job’s repentance and his reconciliation with God, God lavishes upon him rewards making him even more prosperous than before.
What does this teach us about what we do with life? We take the issue of the battle of faith that determines our final relationship with God and limit it by our questioning the pain and suffering in life. Things do happen to us, and its so easy to let our circumstances influence our view of God. Job teaches us that we need faith most at the precise moment when it seems impossible. When tragedy strikes we get caught up in our restricted view, tempted to blame God and judge Him for His lack of action. But the thing is, God cares more about our faith than our pleasure or comfort, and all of the people He praises most in the Bible have gone through times of trial, temptation and suffering. But He trusts us, and believes that we will persist in our faith in spite of everything that happens to us.
We will look at this again tomorrow…
Let’s remember in prayer today:
Sharon & Solomon, with George