Saturday, November 3, 2012

Job 38

Today's reading in our daily plan is Job 38. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In this chapter the book of Job seemingly wakes up; God speaks. God speaks to Job. After all, he has been through and all the things Job has said to and or about God, now God speaks. You may have heard people before say God has “spoke to them” but for Job, it was for real; God literally spoke to him from a storm. That had to be quite the shock to Job after all this time.
  • Right away God speaks with an authority that only he has and puts Job in his place. God tells Job to stand up and speak to him like a man and then tells Job he’s about to ask him some questions. God turned the table on Job and I can’t imagine being in Job’s shoes (nor would I want to be probably).
  • God asks Job a series of questions that would sober Job’s mind and shake him into the realization that God doesn’t owe Job any response to his questions. And to let Job know he has no place to question God’s attention, intentions or love. God asks Job if he was around for the process of creation. Or if he had ever commanded the morning to begin. Or if Job had ever had dominion over death itself. Or if Job knew where light or wind actually came from.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • In this chapter, God finally speaks to Job. Job had longed for one thing above all during his intense suffering and that was to be “connected” with God again. Job gets his wish but after he had already presented questions to and about God that must be answered. It should be noted that in his response God was not presenting these questions to Job to humiliate him. If God had wanted to humiliate Job all he would’ve had to do was parade his actual past sins before him as his companions had tried to do. Instead, God used these questions to instruct Job. God walked Job through creation to reveal to him that he was a God who could be trusted. 
  • God was revealing part of his character to Job. If God could be “trusted” to take care of all creation and put the limits on nature itself then we can trust God with the mysteries of suffering. This is a lesson we would still do well to learn from. Our pain in life can often seem pointless and if it is just pointless suffering with no purpose then it would only rationally lead us to the conclusion that God lacks compassion for us. 

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • In reading Job, we learn that even if we can’t see the purpose behind the suffering we can trust our God anyways. We won’t always have an answer for our pain but God is always in control and can use it for our good, the benefit of others and/or to his glory if we will only trust him. What pain do you need to trust God with today? Take some time and talk with God about it now.