May 18, 2022
I regularly just read the Bible for no other reason than it is good for my soul. I love to study a text in preparation for a sermon or a lesson, and am challenged, encouraged, and sometimes just speechless as I discover aspects of God’s truth that I had not seen before. But I also find that it’s good for me to regularly read the entire Bible. And for the past few days I have been reading Job.
Job and his friends all say a lot of things that are true about God, about people, and about their world. In fact, their grasp of the natural and the supernatural is very impressive. However, there is a big difference in their perspectives. Job’s friends talk as if they know exactly what is going on. They look at Job and his situation and render a judgment upon Job and become really frustrated because he won’t admit that they are right. He won’t confess to the secret sins that they “know” he is hiding. Job, on the other hand, doesn’t know what is going on and cannot figure it out. He is completely befuddled. The injustice of the world and the seeming injustice in his life leaves him without any satisfactory answers to help him have clarity in his circumstances.
He will not confess to something that he did not do, nor will he give up on God. It is a fascinating and really straining tension. He doesn’t know what is going on and sure wishes that he did. There are two things that he does know. 1) God is God and 2) His friends are wrong. Everything else is a blur.
You and I want to know what is going on. We want explanations for events. We want to be in the know. We want to be able to predict the future and be the person that others turn to for insider information. We go in search of information that supports our theories and feel bolstered when they do. Beloved, be careful. Be very careful! Remember that Job’s friends were so certain that they knew what was going on that they acted as judge and jury for an innocent man. The truth was, they didn’t know what was going on. In assuming that they represented God, they misrepresented him and God said to them, “My anger burns against you … for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” (42:7) Think about that for a minute!
Job’s friends knew some truths about God, but the fact that they knew some things correctly did not mean that they knew all things with certainty. What is the takeaway? Humility! Live with a posture of humility. Guard your heart and your mind from thinking you have to know everything (not like you can) so that you can figure out exactly what God is up to. God alone knows what he is up to. It is our role to live knowing that, in the end, he will have done all things well. Very, very well, indeed.
Grace and peace,
Sunday’s text: 1 Samuel 17:12-30