Bible Reading: Job 38-42
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:2-3)
Job’s life was hit with sudden suffering that came with no explanation. A pious and godly man, Job had not committed any horrendous crime that would result in severe punishment from God. Yet, all at once, Job loses all his children, livestock and wealth. Within moments, he also becomes terribly sick. The question that haunted Job and continues to haunt us today is why innocent people suffer, and why does injustice prevail?
Maybe we are in a situation like Job when he cries, “Behold, I cry out, ‘Violence!’ but I am not answered; I call for help, but there is no justice” (Job 19:7). Maybe at times, we look at our own circumstances and cry out, “why God?”
We see that Job’s friends came and tried to comfort Him according to the orthodox teachings. Job, again and again, affirms God’s promises to try and comfort Himself that God is good and that all is okay. He searches far and wide to try and rationalise what has happened and find an answer for himself. Yet, he could not. The puzzle remained incomplete. No two pieces of the jigsaw fit together, and Job is left questioning why the good God would inflict unjust suffering to him.
However, the profound answer that God gives Job teaches us how we should respond. God did not answer Job directly. God did not provide a rational explanation for why Job suffered. Instead, God pointed out to Job His unfathomable wisdom and majesty in all that He had created. God questions Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4). God then goes on to point out His wisdom in the waters, light, hail, storm, lions, ravens, mountain goats, donkeys, oxen, ostriches, horses, hawks, and the list goes on.
God revealed to Job, and He reveals to us that His ways are not our ways, and His wisdom surpasses our capabilities of understanding. God reveals that we are not meant to know everything. If we did, we would not need God because we would be God. Instead, God shows us that His wisdom is unfathomable and that He is good. He wants us to learn to trust Him in things we cannot fully understand.
This goes against the essence of our sinful nature. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit because they did not trust God and His goodness. Similarly, we don’t trust God and pursue our own ways instead of His. Yet, through Christ, God calls us to trust in Him once again amid the problem of evil we cannot fully comprehend. But, God does not call for blind faith. Christ came and entered into the problem of evil. The Holy one was crucified on the cross by sinful men. Yet, He rose again and overcame it. Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s nature (see Hebrews 1:3). In Christ, we see God’s unfathomable wisdom to resolve the problem of evil in ways that we still cannot fully comprehend. Yet, God has revealed enough for us to trust in Him and believe that He has got everything in control.
Lord, forgive me for my pride which demands all the answers. You are God Almighty, and I am not. You know all things, and I do not. Help me to trust in You because You are good. Help me walk with You and praise You forever because of what You have done on the cross. In Jesus’ name, amen.