Learning from one of the ancients

Whenever I think of Job (as in Job, from the Bible), I get so anxious. So many questions run through my brain. Would I react the same as he did? Would I have the strength to say after everything is taken away from me, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD,” (Job 1:21)? Would the LORD allow something like this to happen again? To me??

This is not fair

From the very first chapter when we are introduced to Job, we know that he was a good, righteous man. And yet, after the LORD allowed terrible things to happen to him, his friends came to him to “comfort” him, all the while assuming he was guilty of the worst of sins. With absolutely no evidence, they hurled accusations at him relentlessly. Didn’t they know Job? But in their mind, that was the only explanation why God would allow these atrocities to befall Job. Job of course, knew he wasn’t at fault for any of it. But Job clearly didn’t have a better explanation why in the world all of this happened to him. Therefore he really wanted one from God. I don’t blame him.

Interestingly, when God finally responds to Job towards the end of the book, He not only chastises Job, but the chastisement is quite long and He doesn’t hold back. How is that fair? And He first addressed Job, not the friends who misrepresented Him. That is extremely not fair. AND He never did explain to Job why he went through all that he did.


All men are fallen

Although Job was a good and righteous man, he was not perfect. Granted, the way he initially responded to all of his hardships was incredible. But as we read the book of Job, something becomes subtly apparent. Job refers to his righteousness and good works, and wants to have a reason why God has allowed everything to happen. He doesn’t understand and he wants to have a discussion with God about it. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

But here’s the rub. We are not in the position to ask “why.” That was the entire point of the response from God to Job: Were we there when the LORD told the waters where to stop (Job 38:8-11)? Have we told the thunderbolt where to go (Job 38:25)? I think He was trying to tell Job, and all of us throughout time, He’s got this. He’s got Job. He’s got us. Whether or not we understand or agree. He is sovereign.

The gray is everywhere

Life is so full of gray, where confusion and frustration lives and thrives. Of course, we want to be able to understand, and have clarity and conclusions we can rely on. The thing is, there’s no way for us to fully understand the “why’s” in this life because of sin and perspective. “Sin,” in the sense that we are sinful and will never be able to understand (on this side of heaven) all that the LORD is trying to do in our lives and the lives around us. His wisdom is far beyond ours. And “perspective,” in the sense that we do not have God’s perspective, and never will. He is God and we are not.

Our contemporary cultural mess

I find this fact so comforting. Our lives can often feel out of control and confusing. And we won’t always understand why God does what He does and why He allows what He allows. I get so frustrated sometimes (i.e. every day) about many of the things happening around me right now. Why does God allow wicked people to rule? Why are so many people suffering needlessly? Why are so many people who should know better (i.e. Believers) full of fear and anxiety? Why are some people blessed with things that they care nothing about, while others would love to have those same gifts and are denied them?

But guess what? It’s not our job to know or understand everything. Of course, we should do our best to live out God’s Word in obedience and help those around us. But just as it was explained in Job, we may never understand why some things happen.

And “fair” is rarely part of the equation. And that’s OK. The question is, will we bend our knee and trust in Who God is and in His sovereignty? Will we obey and honor God and trust in His goodness, despite what others may say or think or assume about us?

Our uncertain future

The world as we knew it seems to be slipping away from us. Our world has been turned upside down, and it doesn’t seem as if it will ever go back to what it was. It all seems so difficult to understand and accept. But here again, we must trust God in the thick of it. Especially since it’s only going to get “thicker.” Praise His name, God is still sovereign and He remains good. We can trust Him as we face the future, just as Job and so many people of God who have gone before us have. No matter the circumstances.

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. LORD help us all to remember that.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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