How much of God’s activity in your life do you think is beyond your ability to understand?
A few things? Many things? Most?
If you’re like me you say ‘most,’ but you live your life as if you expect to understand everything. And if we don’t understand something that’s important to us, we can cop an attitude (that we would never admit) towards God.
God knows this. So he wrote the book of Job.
Job was way better than you and me. ‘None like him on earth’ and ‘blameless and upright’ describe him. He was loaded with servants, property, possessions, and had a wife and ten kids.
In one day all his kids died and all his wealth was destroyed. He never knew why, but we do.
More going on than you can see
Satan announced that Job loved, trusted, and worshipped God only for what God could do for him. Satan said that without God’s blessings Job would curse God to his face. In the heavenly counsels where no people can go, this was all between God and Satan.
So Job loses everything in one day to swords and fire and catastrophe. You know the famous saying, “He gives and takes away; blessed be the Lord?” Those are Job’s words after he lost everything. Wow.
It gets worse. The whole Satan-God conversation is repeated, this time concerning Job’s health. Job ends up covered with “loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.” His friends can’t even recognize him.
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing
– Job 1.22
If your whole family was killed, and everything you owned was destroyed, and you suffered horribly 24-7, what would you say to God? Job’s wife tells him to just curse God and die. Instead, he calls her foolish. Wow again.
Job is a rock-star believer. He’s human however: he wishes he had not been born; he loses hope; he complains to God that his suffering would be understandable if he had been unfaithful, but he’s innocent.
His friends visit. They’re good people, but like you and me, one of the ways they try to help is by becoming little teachers explaining God’s ways and why this has happened. The explanations go on forever, chapter after chapter. Most of the book of Job is about the ‘help’ from the friends, and Job’s reaction. Their explanations add to Job’s suffering.
Understanding: a privilege not a right
In the end, Job not only gets NO answers to his questions of ‘why?’ but he is also LECTURED by God for expecting to understand!
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me
– Job 38.3
A grieving, sick, suffering man gets no babying.
Then Job REPENTS of his expectations and worships God. Job’s family is still dead and he is still suffering and he still has no answers–yet he worships. Then God tells Job to pray for the guys who tried to explain God’s ways (warning to us all!).
The end. That’s all you get. No answers, no coddling.
You end up thinking that God is very politically incorrect. He doesn’t just let the worst happen to a good man–he started it. And then God rebukes the innocent man.
The most normal reaction to struggles is to ask, Why is this happening to me? Where is God? What kind of God would let this happen? He must not love me.
Isn’t it interesting that worship resulted from NOT understanding ‘why?’ We can make ourselves the judge of God if we imply, when it all makes sense, then I’ll worship you.
What if you found out that your confusion, waiting, regret, and hopelessness was all rigged, and intended to be an opportunity to prove to heaven and earth that you don’t trust and worship God just for what he can do for you?
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The Everything Fits affirmation:
Therefore, whether it’s past, present, or future, I can have confidence and peace that somehow, someway, Everything Fits Even When It Doesn’t, and I will trust and cooperate with God in the fitting.