Who Do You Think You Are?

KEY VERSE: “Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.” —Job 42:1,2

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Job 38:1-7; 42:1-6,10

BEWILDERED BY HIS severe suffering, and receiving no comfort from his friends, Job repeatedly demands a hearing before God, confident that he would be vindicated. (Job 13:3,22; 23:3-7) He envisions a court-like setting where he could plead his case, but when his anticipated meeting with God arrives, Job receives the surprise of his life! Suddenly Job gets his request, only it is now God who demands a hearing, and God who asks the questions!

God answers Job “out of the whirlwind” (Job 38:1), symbolic of God’s power and mystery. The chaos of the whirlwind demonstrates something beyond Job’s control, showing God’s ability to come and go as he pleases, and not in response to our demands.

In the face of such power, Job is immediately humbled by God’s words, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2, New International Version) This is the same indictment Job had used against his three friends; wordiness and arrogance. ‘Words without knowledge’ refers to Job’s many accusations against God for apparently causing his suffering without a just reason.

God throws a steady stream of questions at Job relating to Creation, which he is unable to answer. (Job 38:4) The purpose of the questioning appears to be to humble Job, and to help him realize his folly in presuming to be as God, or in thinking he has a right to demand that God explain his suffering.

This line of questioning had an enlightening effect on Job, and his answer, in chapter 42, shows his increased understanding of God. “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. … My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” (vss. 3,5, New International Version) Having seen God with his ‘eyes’ indicates that Job experienced God’s presence and came away with a deeper understanding of his total control over man’s affairs.

As a result, Job no longer asked “why” this happened to him, because he knew “who” was directing the issues of his life. Job’s ultimate peace came not from getting answers to his questions. Rather, Job’s peace came from not needing to know the answers, and by placing his trust totally in the Almighty Creator, assured that his purposes cannot be “thwarted.”—Job 42:2, NIV

Here is the key to understanding the plight of Job: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”—Isa. 55:8,9

Just as Solomon learned to give thanks to God for his daily gifts whether great or small, Job finally realized that faith in the Almighty Creator was the true source of peace.

The Holy Spirit reveals God’s plan—the mystery of God’s wisdom has been unveiled so that we can understand the reason for the permission of suffering and evil. It is not punishment for individual sins. It is God’s eternal plan of the ages to teach us the exceeding sinfulness of sin.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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