Good Job again
One of the things I’ve learned from reading the book of Job is that you can ask God why. If you’re his child, his faithful and trusted servant like Job was, you can ask him your questions. You may not expect the answer you get. You may not understand why. In all likelihood the answer will actually be you having a greater understanding of God’s greatness, his sovereignty, his kindness and justice, his mercy. The truth is God doesn’t get cross with you for asking why. God expects you to be honest with him. He takes your questions and draws you into a deeper relationship with him. Because that is ultimately what matters most, your walk with him.
““Job, listen to this. Stop and notice God’s miracles.”
Job 37:14 ICB
God himself commended Job for his uprightness. Job feared God and he had a relationship with him. But he cultivated a closeness with God that became apparent only after his trials, and perhaps actually only as a result of his challenges. Job was tested and Job came out closer to his Master. He went from just being God-fearing to becoming God-friendly. In the end he didn’t just survive the terrible times but he thrived and became several times richer, happier, more fulfilled and spiritually more mature. He had such a phenomenal restoration of his fortunes that it could only have been a divine intervention. I suspect when we meet Job one day in heaven we can ask him, ‘any regrets?’ And his answer will be a resolute ‘No! No regrets!’
Elihu was a younger friend of Job’s. He wasn’t one of the three older friends(Eliphaz, Zophar and Bildad) who were blaming Job for his troubles but not giving him honest answers. Elihu said:
“So listen to me, you who can understand. God All-Powerful can never do wrong! It is impossible for God to do evil.”
Job 34:10 ICB
“Truly God will never do wrong! God All-Powerful will never twist what is right. No one chose God to rule over the earth. No one put him in charge of the whole world.”
Job 34:12-13 ICB
“God is not better to princes than other people. He is not better to rich people than poor people. This is because he made them all with his own hands.”
Job 34:19 ICB
““God is powerful, but he does not hate people. He is powerful and sure of what he wants to do.”
Job 36:5 ICB
Most importantly God does hear our cries and our questioning and God does answer. He helps us see clearly. He puts things in perspective so we can see that God’s ways are bigger than we can comprehend. His ways are just and his view is beyond any stretch of our imagination. God addresses Job directly in chapter 38 and he calls Job by name in chapter 39. He asks Job if he knows anything about the foundations of the earth. He tells him of the beginning of creation. He tells him about the stars and the angels. He tells him about the sea, storms, clouds and climate that he made. He tells him about the animals, and his caring for them. He reminds Job of the wonders of creation.
“Then the Lord answered Job from the storm. He said: “Who is this that makes my purpose unclear by saying things that are not true?
Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”
Job 38:1-2, 4 ICB
“The Lord said to Job: “Will the person who argues with God All-Powerful correct him? Let the person who accuses God answer him!””
Job 40:1-2 ICB
““Job, are you the one who gives the horse his strength? Or do you put a flowing mane on his neck?”
Job 39:19 ICB
“Then the Lord spoke to Job from the storm: “Be strong, like a man. I will ask you questions. And you must answer me. Would you say that I am unfair? Would you blame me to make yourself look right? Are you as strong as God? And can your voice thunder like his?”
Job 40:6-9 ICB
“No one has ever given me anything that I must pay back. Everything under heaven belongs to me.”
Job 41:11 ICB
“Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things. No plan of yours can be ruined. You asked, ‘Who is this that made my purpose unclear by saying things that are not true?’ Surely I talked about things I did not understand. I spoke of things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. I will ask you questions. And you must answer me.’ My ears had heard of you before. But now my eyes have seen you.”
Job 42:1-5 ICB
Job concludes by saying ‘my ears had heard of you before. But now my eyes have seen you.’ After his encounter with God, God scolded the three friends who had spent so much time accusing Job. Job’s family and friends then came to him and comforted and helped him. Job became so much richer than ever before and he had a new family. His daughters were known for their beauty and they received an inheritance with their seven brothers – they were influential. Job lived for another 140 years after his challenges. He lived to see his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren!
The truth is that when all is said and done, our relationship with God is what really matters. Circumstances come and go, change is a certainty. We can’t necessarily control events but we can chose to walk with God in and through everything. God is our father, he’s our friend, he’s our Lord and he has saved us. His plans for us are for good and not for evil. God really loves us. Job learnt to see him. We can too.
“We say they are happy because they were able to do this. You have heard about Job’s patience. You know that after all his trouble, the Lord helped him. This shows that the Lord is full of mercy and is kind.”
James 5:11 ICB