Devotional: ‘Letting God be God’

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Job 10:1 “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; show me why You contend with me.’”

If you are familiar with the story of Job, then you know that he was someone who was severely attacked by Satan. The Bible tells us that in a matter of days, Job lost his wealth, his health, and his family. In addition to these afflictions, he was also accused by his friends of having sin in his life and his wife encouraged him to turn against God. Job was hit from all sides: physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

At first, Job remained strong through these troubles. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:21-22) Job began strong, but over time, the relentless attacks began to affect him. In today’s passage, we see that Job starts to question God over why He is allowing this to happen. “Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked?” (Job 10:3) In other words, “Do you get pleasure out of seeing me suffer? Why do you reject someone who has tried to live for you while receiving the wicked?”   

Though our circumstances may not be exactly like Job’s, perhaps there are some of us who have sometimes wondered why God does what He does. Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why do children suffer? Why do evil people prosper? Why is life sometimes so hard for those who are trying to live for Him? There are some who say that we should never ask God ‘why’, and then there are others who say that we can’t help but to ask. James tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8) If we keep James’ counsel in its proper context, we see that the wisdom we are searching for has to do with the problems we are experiencing.

Job asked why, but he asked it for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. Job’s questioning was more like an accusation. “Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked?” (Job 10:3) Consider how God responded to Job’s accusations,

Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind: 2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? NLT 

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” NLT

Job 40:3 Then Job replied to the LORD, 4 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. 5 I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” NLT

Here is a fact that we all must accept: God is God and we’re not and nothing we can say or do will ever change that. God does not owe us an explanation for what He does, nor would we always be able to understand it if He did. One thing we can know, God does what He does for His glory and our good. Consider what Job said at the end of his trials, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” (Job 42:5 NLT) Job’s trials took him to a level in his relationship with God that otherwise would not have been possible.

God bless you brethren.

* Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New King James Version.

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