reflections on Job
“Why” is a little three-lettered word that sometimes gets us into trouble. Children sometimes exasperate their elders as they use it to learn about the world around them. If we question the established order of things, as adults, we may irritate others. Sometimes it is a word used when we fall into desperate circumstances. Often we question God with “Why?” when things are hard to understand, such as natural disasters, or the death of a loved one or a pandemic!
God understands our query more than we know. He too might ask “Why” questions. As His people wandered away from His goodness, His will and His ways, we might wonder why? However, an omniscient God knows all. He knows the end from the beginning. Why? Because He is God. Look at God’s declaration to Isaiah:
“I am God and there is no other [god]!
I am God and there is none like Me!
I make known the end from the beginning!
I say: My purpose will stand! And
I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
Why then does God allow trouble and violence and death? Job is the Bible character outstanding for his suffering. Yet he was a man described by God Himself, as blameless. From this we learn that trouble does not always perform as a punishment in our lives. Yes – there are consequences for our poor choices, but what did this blameless man learn from his woeful experience?
He did ask “Why” questions: “Why have You made me Your target?” (Job 7:20).
“Why did You bring me out of my mother’s womb?” (Job 10:18).
It seems Job’s faith passed the test because he concludes:
“I could only plead with my Judge for mercy” (Job 9:15).
“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since He judges even the highest?” (Job 21:22).
“In His hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind (Job 12:10).
“To God belong wisdom and power, counsel and understanding are His…..He pours contempt of the nobles
and disarms the mighty…..He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason” (Job 12:13, 21, 24).
These reflections may not be encouraging, but Job gives us some very beautiful and up-lifting reasons to trust in God. “He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 32:10).
“The fear [reverence] of the Lord – that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).
Job longed for those days “When I was in my prime…God’s intimate friendship blessed my house!” (Job 29:4). However, Job also looks to the future “I know that my Redeemer lives…and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God!…How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
Does your knowledge of God, your experience of His mercy and His loving faithfulness prompt this same response when you face sorrow and struggles, when you ask “Why?”
by Marilyn Daniels