Thursday, December 21, 2023

Who Are We To Judge? (Job 40:8-24)

“Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:8).

Think of the different ways people condemn God. When tragedy strikes, they blame God, asking “How could God, if He is truly good, allow this to happen?” Or when they are not visited with prosperity and success, they ask, “Why did God keep this from me? Don’t I deserve better?” When Job complained of his dreadful circumstances, he questioned God’s judgment. In doing so, he put himself in a position to judge God. To do this, Job would have had to assume that he was more righteous than God. Of course, Job did not explicitly make such an outrageous assumption, but his pleas for justice, his justifying of himself before God, his questioning of God’s ways, implied this assumption. In response, God asks Job, “Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified?” Who was Job to judge God? Who are we to condemn the living and righteous God?

“Those are very proud, and very ignorant both of God and themselves, who, to clear themselves, will condemn God; and the day is coming when, if the mistake be not rectified in time by repentance, the eternal judgment will be both the confutation of the plea and the confusion of the prisoner, for the heavens shall declare God’s righteousness and all the world shall become guilty before Him,” Henry wrote. We are in no place to judge or question God because He is altogether righteous. He is the well-spring, the fountain, of truth itself. Can we condemn that which is true and pure? Are we more righteous than God? That is our assumption if we think even for a moment that God is wrong in causing some calamity to fall upon us.

In asking, “How can God allow this to happen?” we are forgetting that we are made of dust, that we are sinners before a holy God. We do not live and judge by the truth as God does: “But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth” (Rom. 2:2). It would keep each of us humble and acceptable before God if we remember our place, that it is infinitely below God. As sinners, we are further from the truth than the night is from the noon day. God alone makes righteous judgments, and we must not question or judge His high and holy purposes.

Read Jeremiah 2:29–37. Why is God angry in this passage? What is Israel’s crime? What did Israel assume (v. 35)? Read Jeremiah 3:11–17. What is God’s remedy for Israel (v. 13)? Are you guilty of assuming your innocence before God? Have you condemned God in any way? If so, repent of it today by acknowledging your sin.