Read Job 40
40 The Lord said to Job:
2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”
3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more.”
6 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you.
15 “Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
19 It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
20 The hills bring it their produce,
and all the wild animals play nearby.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream surround it.
23 A raging river does not alarm it;
it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
or trap it and pierce its nose?
God is clearly not finished with Job. Job’s attitude and response to all that has happened shifts dramatically. He turns away from being a sufferer and toward his rightful place as a worshiper.
Job comes to recognize he has no business asking for an audience with his creator. Job says, “I lay my hand over my mouth” to demonstrate his understanding of how little he knows. David Guzik in the Enduring Word Commentary said this about the shift in Job’s posture: “The different tone was not because Job’s circumstances had substantially changed. He was still in misery and had lost virtually everything. The tone changed because while he once felt that God had forsaken him, now he felt and knew that God was with Him.” He cannot judge God or begin to understand all that God knows about him and his circumstances.
How often do we stop to realize how little we know? It may be hard to wrap our minds around just how little we fully understand. An easier question to answer might be, “How often have we been wrong about something?” We can all remember a time when we did not know the whole story. When we were unaware of some key details in a given situation. When we graduate from school and think we know nearly everything about almost anything. When we realize if we got the job, spouse or house we wanted, then we would have never known about the one we ended up with that is so much better than the original one we wanted so bad. Or when we get what we want and find it is not worth as much as we thought. When we think we know what we want when we retire in ten years but we do not like the coffee we ordered this morning. We are often wrong. We are often wrong because we do not know much.
Job teaches us what to do when we realize we do not know much. We should put our hands over our mouths. We should stop telling God and ourselves what we are so utterly uninformed about. We should come to realize we are God’s children and not God’s teacher. We should realize our place in His kingdom is not one with a speaking part. While our culture may have taught us differently, God teaches us to put ourselves aside.
Job saw himself as a sufferer who had reason to tell God some things. We can all expect suffering in this life. Even when we do, let us learn, as Job did, to listen to what God has to say. Our suffering is not the whole story or maybe not even a crucial part of the story. Job’s realization stands in stark contrast to his friends who have tried to apply their limited knowledge (and lack of context) to what has transpired with Job.
- How can we refocus our response when we suffer?
- How can we humble ourselves in our daily walk with the Lord?
- What is one area of our lives that we may not know much about?
By the Way
Those who are suffering naturally seek comfort. Click here to read more (in Isaiah 43) where you can continue to explore how God may be working in your circumstances.
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