Then Job answered the LORD and said,
What a wonderful response! Job has “seen” God in His sovereignty. He repents.
He realizes he uttered what he didn’t know. (and if you don't know the rest of the story, read it!)
A few recurring themes struck me this time reading through Job.
We don’t know what God is doing.
God’s greatness is surpassing.
God will accomplish His desires.
I can rejoice in Him!
In prayer meeting the past couple weeks we’ve been memorizing a verse:
There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the LORD.
I find such overwhelming comfort in this! Hallelujah!
Goats and deer, wild oxen and wild donkeys, ostriches, storks, war horses, and locusts, hawks and eagles… all illustrations of Job’s ignorance and God’s knowledge. What amazing creatures! What strange and wonderful ways! Job 39.
If Job can’t understand the ways of these creatures, how can He understand the ways of God? God’s creation is not random, but orderly. He controls, provides, cares for and delights in His creation.
Job’s first response…
Then the LORD said to Job,
Job’s first response is silence. What can he say? If God is so purposeful with His creatures, He must have purpose behind Job and his sufferings.
It makes me want to know the Lord more.
"Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You. Exodus 33:30
Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Psalm 25:4
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
My heart bows in worship. Lord, I want to know You more!
Elihu has yet to speak to Job and when he does… look out. He has listened quietly and now he can’t take it anymore and bursts. Through 6 chapters. He has some catching up to do. He says so many true and wonderful things about God. It is a platform for what God will say. I love this.
Whether for correction,
Job’s other friends proceeded under the assumption that Job deserved his sufferings. This is a new thought. Some sufferings are in lovingkindness. Hmmm. I like Elihu. He doesn't buy into the popular thoughts of his friends. Read what he says about God. Some wonderful things! In fact Elihu isn't in the group that God rebukes later.
Listen to this, O Job, Stand and consider the wonders of God.
The bottom line for me today... Don’t try to figure things out. Consider the wonders of God. Trust God. Fear God. What a relief!
Oh that I knew where I might find Him! Job 23:3
I’m so thankful for Job and people like him whose stories have been recorded for us. Job wanted so desperately to have a personal encounter with the Lord, but He couldn’t find Him. The heavens were brass, so to speak. Still Job had the calm assurance that God knew exactly where he was! No matter how bad life got for him, Job clung to the Lord. He treasured His words. What a testimony. So many people going through trials get mad at the Lord and leave Him. So foolish! But so many go through affliction and their faith gets stronger. That reminded me of David in Psalm 142… read it! And Jeremiah in Lamentations 3. Thank you, Lord for men who have gone through affliction and come out as gold.
This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope.
Why do the wicked still live, continue on, also become very powerful? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes, their houses are safe from fear, and the rod of God is not on them. His ox mates without fail; His cow calves and does not abort. They send forth their little ones like the flock, and their children skip about. They sing to the timbrel and harp and rejoice at the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity, and suddenly they go down to Sheol. They say to God, 'Depart from us! We do not even desire the knowledge of Your ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him, And what would we gain if we entreat Him?' Job 21:7-15
Don't you feel like this sometimes? There are many things in life that just don't look right! This reminded me of a few Psalms. So I read Psalm 73 for perspective. Here are a few excerpts.
For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death, and their body is fat. They are not in trouble as other men, nor are they plagued like mankind. Psalm 73:3-5
What’s the key to understanding life’s dilemmas? Coming into the sanctuary of God. The nearness of God is my good. The Lord is my refuge. Wonderful!
As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
Words I love today:
As for me
At the last
He will take His stand on the earth!
after my skin is destroyed
I shall see God!
Today I'm singing...
Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
Job couldn’t find a mediator, so he takes on the role himself and asks God a series of questions. (Because I’ve read the book, I know later he learns to listen to God, not talk. Hmmmm... something to think about.)
Your hands fashioned and made me altogether, And would You destroy me?
The clay is asking the potter what he’s doing and calling the potter to account for his work! Astonishing! Today I’m thinking about the sovereignty of God. I NEED to think about the Sovereignty of God!
"Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'? Isaiah 45:9
There is an important fact here to consider! God is God! He doesn't have to enter into conversation with his creation. He doesn't have to explain Himself. The Lord can do what He wants because He is the Sovereign Ruler. Just a reminder... you and I aren’t God.
This truth makes me bow low in worship.
This truth comforts me because I know that God is Good and Kind in all His ways.
How good is the God we adore,
Job answers Eliphaz with such a picturesque description of his grief and suffering!
You really should read it.
"Does the wild donkey bray over his grass,
Or does the ox low over his fodder? Job 6:5
Just like a hungry donkey can’t stop his cries for food, Job’s cries sprung from his insides. He couldn’t stop them. I haven’t known Job’s grief, but I’ve known that kind of grief. The kind that bursts out. You can’t stop it.
Oh that my grief were actually weighed and laid in the balances together with my calamity! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas; Therefore my words have been rash. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, Their poison my spirit drinks; The terrors of God are arrayed against me. Job 6:2-4
Wow! What a beautiful description of his pain.
For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend;
So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty. Job 6:14
Job didn’t receive kindness from his friends. Grief on top of grief.
But it is still my consolation, And I rejoice in unsparing pain,
That I have not denied the words of the Holy One. Job 6:10
Wow! What a beautiful description of his trust in God. Oh thank you, Lord for putting Job’s life down in black and white for us to read. I’m encouraged by his testimony!
Job’s friends start talking to him.
I always wish they would just be quiet.
I liked them until they started talking.
Eliphaz begins by telling Job what he thinks of suffering.
Oh wow… not helpful. Not compassionate.
Remember now, who ever perished being innocent?
The conclusion of Eliphaz is that Job deserves suffering! Job is not innocent. Job sowed trouble and is getting the harvest of suffering. This conclusion is based on everything Eliphaz has seen in his lifetime. Well, it has to be right then! Nope! The problem is that Eliphaz can’t see what is taking place in the heavenlies. He doesn’t see the very reason that Job is suffering is because he is innocent. Job has sown righteousness and gotten trouble!
What does the Bible say about suffering? A lot! But I’m carrying one verse with me today:
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 1 Peter 2:19, 20
There is unjust suffering. Our goal should be to stay under that kind of suffering and act like a Christian knowing that God is involved. This finds God’s grace!
I’d rather have the favor of God than the understanding of man!
A few thoughts for me today as I go on my way rejoicing…
Remember to be quiet with my suffering friends. I have no idea what God is doing in their lives. Just be quiet! Be compassionate.
Remember my conclusions about things are so often wrong because I don’t see as God sees!
I love these thoughts today! I’m going on my way singing because God is in charge of suffering. The Lord Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. His was unjust suffering! I’m looking at Him today!
After 7 days with no words, Job speaks and curses the day of his birth. Three things struck me today in my devotional reading.
First, Job didn’t curse God. Cursing the day of your birth is very different than cursing God. I appreciate his implicit trust in God.
The second thing that impressed me is that Satan not only worked havoc with Job’s family and things, but here he took a toll on his mind. Satan does that. This is why we need to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Ephesians 4:22-24
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness,
Lastly, if you just looked at this chapter you wouldn’t think of Job as one who persevered. But the story isn’t over until it’s over! The New Testament praises him for his endurance. Any single day in our lives might not look too good, but God sees the whole. So, if you didn’t do so well yesterday, today is a new day to live for God. Patiently endure.
We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5:11
I’m thankful for this account of Job’s life!
More than anything I would like to encourage you in your walk with God!