“May the day perish on which I was born…May that day be darkness.” Job 3:3,4
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Job 38:4
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” Matthew 5:5
I have to admit, from a human perspective, at least from my perspective, the Book of Job is a tough book to get my arms, really my spirit around. It is the basic premise or should I say set up that I find most confusing. For, from my human perspective, Job seems to be basically a pawn between two spiritual titans; Satan accuses and God then allows. Job shouldn’t be treated like that. Job is entitled to better. Hmmm, maybe I should be treated better? Maybe I’m entitled to not have earthly negative things happen to me? As difficult as this book can be to understand, to take the time to read through, I can see, at least for me, it has the potential to be, except for the four gospels of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the most powerful book of the bible. Why would I say that? For the following reasons:
1. God is the Supreme Sovereign. God is over all. Both in the beginning of Job and toward the end, when God answers Job from the whirlwind, God’s supreme nature, supreme wisdom, supreme power, are never in question.
2. God did not bring the harm. Job’s possessions are destroyed. Job’s loved ones are killed. Job’s health is destroyed. Yet none of those things come by the actual Hand of God. It is true God allowed them to happen. It appears, at least to my judgement, that they could not have happened without His allowance. However, they were not His direct actions.
3. God does not condemn His own. Job loses hope. Job curses his own life. Though throughout most of the book, Job does not humble himself, Job appears to accuse God of not being fair, Job’s friends seem to feel it is okay to speak for God; God, in His infinite patience and mercy, neither condemns Job, nor his friends.
4. God restores. When Job is finally faced with wisdom, the power, the truth, the perfection of God, he freely confesses, he repents, he understands he lacks the wherewithal to truly grasp and understand the Nature of God. God in His Grace, restores Job, not only from an earthly nature with things and family, but most importantly spiritually.
The power of the book of Job is in its reflective properties. This book is a mirror. This book boldly and without apology exposes the process of human thought, human judgement used against Our Heavenly Father. In the end, it also shows the folly of that human thought, that judgement as compared to the perfection of God.
What human thought; what human judgement you ask? Let’s take a look. First let us consider before the terrible things befell Job. Job was prosperous. Job was healthy. Job was happy. God, Himself call Job upright. Now is when our human logic jumps in. No where, again no where in this book does it say that Job’s prosperity, health and happiness were a direct payment owed to him because of his being upright. No, what is directly said is that God has blessed the work of his hands. What Job has is a gift from God.
Then worldly events impact Job. Horrible things happen to the things he has, his family, even his health. Once that happens, again human judgement kicks in. What is left of his family, his wife, deserts him; “Enough with your complaining, curse God and die”, she tells Job. Job’s “friends” then come; to “comfort” him. “You get what you deserve,” they tell him in one way or another. The human logic is, if earthly things are going wrong, then you must have done something wrong. If things go really bad, you must have become truly evil. Thus become good and good will happen. Do good and you will be entitled to good things. Sounds reasonable. Sounds fair. I will go out and do good based upon what I deem is good and how much is good enough.
Then God enters in; and in an interaction to amazing to truly grasp; He doesn’t condemn, He doesn’t destroy, He asks some questions. Who are you, man to question me? Did I need to consult you when creating the earth and heavens? Did you give Me insight into creating the life on earth? Did we discuss on an equal basis what is good in this life and what is evil? If none of those things happened; on what grounds do you judge Me about what is fair or not?, God asks Job, God asks each of us.
When faced with God, if we are truly going to believe in God, then we are forced to come to the conclusion Job did. We utter things about which we do not understand. God’s things are things too wonderful for us, that we can truly, completely never know.
What is our response then to be? Jesus Christ told us. To inherit the earth, we must be meek. The only way to come into the presence of God is to be humble. To allow the all powerful Will of God to work within us we must set aside our will and the pride of power that we think we have. We must understand, what I have is a gift, a blessing from God and not a payment, not an entitlement for my good works.
Job said it: “I am vile.” Yet understand this; God was not going to leave Job in his vileness. God had a better plan for Job. God has a better plan for us. God does not want to leave us in our earthly thoughts, our earthly judgements, our earthly sins. In His amazing mercy and love, God longs for, God is desperate for, us to be in His peace and joy and relationship with Him. How can we know? How can we be sure? He sent a savior. God sent His Only Son Jesus Christ to die for us; to wipe away or vileness that we may live anew with and in Him.
Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father we live in a world where the feeling of entitlement is paramount. Forgive us Most Merciful Father when we fall victim to that feeling and no longer see Your blessings as gifts but as entitled rewards for our good deeds. Hear us when we humbly repent, strengthening us to overcome the trials and tribulations of this world. Provide us with the spirit of meekness that we may see the Power in You and call upon Your Power to change this world. In Praise and in the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen