Read Job 12
12 Then Job replied:
2 “Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
3 But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
4 “I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
5 Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
13 “To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Job 12 encompasses Job’s reply to Zophar, and he begins by stating that all men are limited in their ability to know wisdom by being human in a way that the Lord is not limited by. As the chapter progresses Job reveals that he has been falsely rebuked by his friends. These verses (v. 4-6) remind us of Jesus, because He was and is perfect and holy. Nevertheless, He was accused, rebuked, and ridiculed for sins He did not commit and yet He still suffered on the cross when He sacrificed Himself for all, defeating death, giving us an opportunity to be reconciled to God, and joining God the Father in heaven three days later for eternity.
In the second half of Job 12, Job begins to address the Lord’s character. Job urges himself to remember the faithfulness of God by speaking on how all creatures exist to worship Him. Worship is the natural expression of creation praising its creator, and the Lord constantly reveals Himself as sovereign to humans through His creation. Job, despite not fully understanding God’s motive, practices faith in this moment. He chooses to exercise faith in hard circumstances because of his dependence on the character of God. Even if present situations make it hard to trust that God is who He says He is, every believer can grow in faith by remembering creation and remembering His faithfulness to us in the past.
Why does this matter? We can easily become entangled in the circumstances of our lives and attempt to take control, believing that our plan is the best plan, despite the Lord having one for us before we even came to exist. In the times when our plan doesn’t happen how we want it to, it is easy to run away from the Lord or listen to what the crowd of people around us is saying. Yet through Job 12, we can see that the best way to handle things not going our way is to reflect on the past. It is then we can begin to realize how sovereign, faithful, and wise the Lord truly is in our past, present, and future circumstances. If life had always gone the way we wanted it to when we were younger, it would be a disaster because we are humanly limited and do not know what is best for ourselves. So, the times that things do not go the way we planned for them to go may be the exact times that the Lord desires to grow our faith and intimacy with Him.
- How has God stretched your faith through difficult seasons in your life? What did you learn from those experiences?
- If your life had gone the way you wanted it to when you were 8, 15, 18, or any age, how much different would it look now?
- In what current circumstance(s) do you find it hard to trust the Lord in right now?
Father, thank you for Your Word and the opportunity to learn from it each day. I pray that, in the midst of painful seasons, I will remember Your faithfulness. Help me learn and grow my faith during these experiences. Help me maintain a proper perspective in the face of trials. In Your name, Amen.
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