“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know…I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”—Job 42:2-3; 5,6
Last time, we saw Job’s despair in trying to find God in the midst of his unforeseen trials, and yet he also saw the light of hope, that no matter what happened, he would continue to believe and “come forth as gold.” Now, after his friends cease their moralizing, a young theologian by the name of Elihu shows up and rebukes Job for suggesting that God has been unjust or dealt with him unfairly.
Then finally, God comes on the scene to speak to Job one on one, granting His servant’s wish to speak directly to the Almighty. However, rather than answering Job’s questions, God came with a few dozen questions of His own—questions about the created order that Job could not answer. God’s point: if you don’t understand the created, physical realm, what makes you think that you can understand what I am doing in the moral realm; what makes you think you can understand My purposes for you or anyone else, for that matter?
Job is humiliated by this encounter. He was passing judgment on the Almighty, calling into question His justice and care for one of His servants. Now that he had an opportunity to speak he replied, “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth” (40:4). Having seen God, he now realized that God’s wisdom and justice was beyond human understanding.
In the presence of God there is only one proper response: worship. And, as Job learned, we can worship God even without explanations.
Pray that all of us would be more consistent in our worship, knowing that God is beyond our understanding; indeed, if we could “find Him out” and discern His hidden purposes, we would be bringing Him down to our level.
Let Us Pray
Father, we worship You today. We confess that we have complained against You because life is often so hard for no apparent reason. We have questioned Your ways, believing that if we had Your power, we would have done a better job of running this universe than You’ve done.
Father, I pray for ______ that they might not rebel against Your sovereignty. I pray that when they see injustice in the world, they might not ascribe it to You; I pray that they might remember that You, O Lord, are God, and we are not. Help them to believe that Your way is perfect. And let that admission lead to submission, repentance and thanksgiving.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.