Friday, October 4, 2019

Job Before God

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5–6).

Sometimes a child gets angry with his parents. He imagines all the things he will say to them when he sees them. “They’ve been unfair to me,” he thinks, “and they’re going to have to answer to me.” He tells his friends about what he is going to say to his folks, or to his teacher, or to his youth minister. 

But when the time comes, he chooses to remain silent. In the face of the person of his father, or mother, or teacher, or youth minister, he finds that he really doesn’t want to say anything at all. It is not just that the parent is awesome in his authority, but it is also that the parent is overwhelming in his love. Suddenly the child’s grievances seem slight and unimportant.

That’s how it was when God appeared to Job. Job had been through some horrible experiences, and it was God who was ultimately responsible for those horrible experiences. But when Job met God, somehow the experiences no longer seemed worthy of complaint. God’s greatness and His infinite love overwhelmed Job, and he felt guilty that he had ever complained to his friends about God.

God’s self-revelation to Job is especially significant to us because God also recorded it in a speech to Job. Since in this life we cannot expect to see God face to face, how can we come to grips with His authority and love? How can we have the experience Job had that will put everything in perspective for us?

God’s speech to Job answers that question. God points to His work of creation, a work so vast and amazing that we can only be mute in the face of it. God points to the wonders of His creation: the stars, the order of nature, the great storms, and huge beasts. As we contemplate the revelation of God’s glory and His person in nature, we can begin to sense the immensity of His plan and goodness. Meditating on these truths will help us put the difficulties of our lives into a proper perspective.

God’s last word for Job was not, however, the greatness of His power. In the end, God blessed Job and rewarded his faithfulness.

The immediate problems of our lives often cause us to spiral inward into ourselves, so that we shut ourselves off from God’s revelation. Job 38–41 provides a vision of God’s greatness that will restore us to a true perspective on our problems. Job 42 promises that in His time God will reward His faithful children. Read these chapters the next time you are struggling and seek also to apply them to your own life now.