God Speaks; Job Replies

God Speaks; Job Replies

Job 38:1-5; 40:1-5; 42:1-9

38:1 — God sure waited a long time to speak to Job!

Perhaps God had to wait that long before the hearts of Job and his three friends were open to what He had to say. Perhaps the wait hints at unrevealed developments in the conflict between God and Satan.

God didn’t pull the curtain back on Job’s suffering. We know what it was about. It seems apparent that Job never did.

38:2 — Job 42:2 may be Job’s answer: “I uttered that I understood not.”

40:4 — When God is our standard of measure, we respond as Job did, “I am vile.”

42:3 — He realized he had misunderstood and misrepresented God.

42:4 — KJV uses demand when a much more frequent translation of the Hebrew term is ask.

42:5 — Remember Job 23:8? There Job talked about not being able to see God. Now he sees Him. Perhaps this was a similar experience to Isaiah’s as recorded in Isaiah 6:1-7.

42:6 — Job’s perspective changed when he saw God. Gone was his self-defense and self-justification. Facing God’s holiness and perfection, his own righteousness became as filthy rags on a vile person. Gone was the self-absorption that allowed self-pity to challenge faith and crowd out God.

42:8 — This sure sounds like Job filled a priestly role between his friends and God.

  • They were to take their sacrifice animals to Job.
  • Job was to pray for them so God would accept their petition.

I wish Christian Light had gone on one more verse!

42:10 — Job lost interest in his personal vindication. Instead, he prayed for his friends and received a wonderful blessing for it: “And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.”

What important lessons do you see in the Book of Job?

  • Never conclude that God is unjust.
  • Remember we never have all the facts.
  • Remember the universal conflict.
  • Always trust God.
  • Beware about the conclusions we draw about what we or others are going through.
  • Even those who know God can always learn to know Him better.

Why did Job suffer?

  • Result of the universal conflict between God and Satan.
  • Allow God to demonstrate that Satan is a liar and a cheat.
  • Prove that Satan is wrong.
  • Prove that God will be served even when He does not bless any longer.
  • Answer evil and vindicate God.
  • Give him and his friends a more accurate view of God.
  • Uphold the glory of God in the face of the devil’s accusations.

Remember about God

  • He is over all — sovereign, powerful, in control.
  • He is good — loving, just, righteous, holy.
  • He is wise — inerrant, perfect, omniscient, purposeful.
  • He is able to accomplish His purposes — despite the devil, despite our circumstances, despite us.
  • He is personal — knows us, knows our limits, knows our positives, cares for us

Open to Correction: The LORD trieth the hearts

God answers

God puts up with a lot of talk and thought from us humans. Whether verbally or mentally, we have an inclination to whine, complain, fret, challenge, and so forth. We Christians are not exempt from this human frailty, even though we may try to mask our back-talk by directing it against circumstances, events, conditions, and people. If we genuinely accept that God is the sovereign ruler over everything, then we will also accept that even something as “little” as complaining about the weather is actually fretting against God.

Who shall dare to question God?

God not only knows what He is doing, He does all things well. His decisions, rulings, commandments, and plans are inerrant and just.

In part of His answer to Job, God asked him if he also intended to make void what God had decided and established: “Wilt thou also disannul my judgment?” The same verse records this follow-up question from God: “Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:8). I wonder if Job felt like protesting, “But, Lord! That is not what I meant with all my thoughts and words!” Whatever Job may have thought, we know precisely what God thought and how He took Job’s earlier complaints and observations. May we remember that fact whenever we get in the complaining, questioning, challenging mode!

Read the rest: Job Meets God

Additional reading

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