We’ve been working through the book of Job at church lately. I’m really glad we’ve been studying it, because I had never read the book before this year. All I knew was it was about Job and his suffering. Oh and he had some friends and an unhelpful wife.
Tonight’s talk was really good, and brought it all together for me. Unsurprisingly, it’s not about Job and his suffering at all. It’s about God. We’re so focused on ourselves and our problems (no matter how big or small) that we forget who God is. We question God when things don’t turn out as we want, we demand to know what he’s doing. But as Dave said, “God’s plans aren’t senseless; they are beyond our senses.” Just because we don’t understand doesn’t mean that God is obliged to explain his every move to us. But we need to trust, because he works all things for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28), even if sometimes that good is wrought through pain.
I also didn’t realise until it was being read aloud tonight what gorgeous poetry there is in Job. There is something transformative when Scripture is read aloud and read well. I all too easily just skim read, instead of allowing the metaphors and imagery sink into my mind. I said in my last post that CS Lewis has such a wonderful way with words, but you can’t go past God’s words about himself!
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
(Job 38:1-13 ESV)
(I especially love that last image!)
You can listen to the talks on the Wild Street website.