When difficulties come, instinctively we ask, “Why is this happening?” Several times in the Bible, God’s people questioned Him as to why they were experiencing hardship. In many cases, God responded by pointing them to His great power demonstrated in creation. The Lord did not punish them for their questioning, but He drew their focus to ponder His Almighty nature.
Today we will bring our attention to the interactions Job had with God. Much of this lengthy book includes the numerous accusations that his friends made of Job. Over and over, they insisted that the great losses of family members, possessions, and good health must have been a result of God’s punishment for Job’s sin. Trial after trial came his way. Yet, he continued to honor God by not turning away or accusing God of wrongdoing. We see Job defend himself declaring that he lived a righteous life. In fact, Job 26-31 is Job’s discourse describing his exemplary behavior. I encourage you to read these chapters as they are a good guide as to how to live a godly life. Near the end of his prayer, he says, “I sign now my defense – let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. Surely, I would wear it on my shoulder, I would put it on a crown. I would give him an account of my every step; like a prince I would approach him” (Job 31:35-37).
The Lord answers Job’s request and responds with a long speech describing His great might and sovereignty over all creation. In Job 38-41, God answers Job by asking the question if he or any other human could create such an amazingly complex creation. He points out that the brilliant stars and the worshipful angels sing of His grandeur. The rolling waves, no man can stop. No one comprehends the vast expanse of the earth and the depths of the sea. God is sovereign over the lightning, the rain, and the snow. The weather must respond to His beckoning call. Only God can bring forth the constellations. Only He has dominion over the earth. Only God can create living creatures that have wisdom and understanding. It is God who put instincts in animals so they will hunt for their prey and run from danger. In each of His animals, He placed unique behavioral characteristics that enable them to reproduce, flourish, and adapt to the environments for which He placed them. The Lord drew Job’s attention to the distinctive features of the mountain goats, bears, wild donkeys, wild oxen, ostriches, storks, horses, hawks, eagles, and two of the Lord’s most powerful creatures at that time: the behemoths and the leviathans.
The Lord asks Job for a response: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (Job 40:1). Job was greatly humbled by his encounter with God. “I am unworthy – how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer – twice, but I will say no more” (Job 40:4-5). After God’s boasting about the behemoth and the leviathan, Job’s heart finally finds peace with God and declares, “I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted . . . My ears have heard You but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:2, 4).
I will admit that Job is a difficult book to read. It is hard to understand why the Lord allowed Satan to bring such hardship upon Job. Sometimes it is puzzling why we or one we love is going through great suffering. However, I have found that when I am going through trials and pain, the Lord will deliver me out of darkness and into light when I focus on the Almighty’s power and wisdom as revealed through His creation. The Lord helped Job to not “shrink God down to human size.” He brought Job to see that the Lord is so much greater than our minds can conceive. His ways are not our ways. It is easy to question God’s purposes, especially when we bring Him down to our human level. Thus, the Lord led Job to ponder the greatness of God’s creation. I encourage you to frequently take walks and look at nature. If you have little nature near you, utilize the internet to view magnificent pictures of our universe. Ponder the complexity and vastness of God’s creation. Praise Him for His great wisdom, power, and sovereignty. At times, use the name Almighty when you address Him. Like Job, this will help you to better acknowledge the wisdom of God and trust Him no matter what difficulties you are facing.
Today’s Bible Reading: Job 26-31, 38-42.
By Sue Corl