It gets good now. We’ve heard Job’s complaints and his friends’ “comforting.” We’ve heard Job question God, and we’ve hurt with him. Now, we get to hear from the Big Man Himself. From all Job’s groaning and questioning – his hours upon hours of agony – his feeling like God had abandoned him – “Then the Lord answered Job” (Job 38:1). This is such a beautiful promise in itself. God Will answer. God Will provide – in His own time.
All throughout Job, I’ve seen a lot of pride. Job even boasts in his own righteousness. God gets some glory throughout, but what I’ve seen more of is Job saying all the things that he has done right and how he doesn’t understand why bad would come upon him. God gets straight forward with all of them real quick. In Job 38:2-4, God says, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” God says we are nobody compared to Him. He spends two whole chapters showing all the things that He is in control of and that man is not. God is so much higher than man. He is not held to the constraints that we are. He knows all, sees all, and created all. Who are we to question the Almighty God? Who are we to place our preferences above His precedence? Who are we to assume a higher morality than God Himself? We do this all the time when we try to read our own preferences into the Bible instead of just taking it at its word. Of course you won’t understand everything! If we would, we wouldn’t go on sinning.
Something really stood out to me in reading Job this time. I’ve always thought that it is ok to question God like Job did. I’ve even been told by some pastors that it is ok to question God like Job did. Upon reading these last few chapters, I am not fully convinced anymore. When I read what God said in Job 28:2, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” I was confused whether God was talking to Job or to Job’s friends. He was talking to Job. In Job 42:3, Job says to God, “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” It is clear from this verse that Job was the one that God was talking about in Job 28:2. Also, in Job 40:2, God says to Job, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Reader, if you question God, be prepared to give an answer. Job questioned God and was in the wrong, but I believe it was Job’s short answer to God that put him in the right.
Job 42:1-6 says, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” First off, if Job was not in the wrong against God, he wouldn’t have reason to repent. Second, repentance was Job’s reply to God. Job’s reply to God wasn’t one of haughty knowledge and arguing his point. His reply was one of humble submission to the authority of God.
That should be my reply. That should be your reply. Quit trying to act like you know everything – submit to the One who does.
Because of Job’s repentance, “The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” (Job 42:12)
What do you need to repent of today?
Don’t question God. Let God be God.