Today’s Readings: Job 38-39
Job opens with God bragging to Satan about Job’s righteousness. When Satan argues that Job only loves God for His gifts, God allows Satan to take everything from Job. Although Job initially praises God, his faith in God’s goodness wanes as his misery continues through his friends’ judgment, his wife’s repulsion, and children’s disdain. Thus, Job defends himself, testifies falsely about God, and demands a reason for his suffering.
God appears in a storm with a simple message – that Job that is not God (“Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me” ) and that, unlike God, Job is surrounded by things that he does not understand and over which he has no control. God communicates this message by exposing Job’s ignorance about and impotence over the world, e.g., “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? … Who marked off its dimensions?” . He then draws attention to how little Job knows about or has power over the world’s billions of events, e.g., “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?” .
Although it is absurd to think that Job could tell God how to run the world or his life, we sympathize with him because we, too, want to know the reason for our suffering. Moreover, like Job, our childlike inquiries often become angry indictments when do not get answers. Thus, Job reveals our great sin – not trusting God.
Unlike Job, however, we have little reason not to trust God because we know His promises under the new covenant that has been sealed by Christ’s blood. We know that, although God is doing a million things each moment, He has freely promised to work everything out for our good , to never stop doing good to us, and to rejoice in doing good to us with all His heart and soul .
Lord, You stand apart from us and we are in awe of You. We confess that, although we know little of the world and its events, we often arrogantly indict You when we feel that things do not go our way. Forgive us for thinking the world exists to serve us. Open our hearts to trust You, even when we do not know the reason for our suffering. Amen.