God is pleased when his people have faith and trust in him. This is true especially in times when we do not understand the actions of God. He is the potter. We are the clay. Today we re-learn that faith is trusting God even when we think we know better…
3 Does it please you to oppress me,
to spurn the work of your hands,
7 though you know that I am not guilty
and that no one can rescue me from your hand?
8 “Your hands shaped me and made me.
Will you now turn and destroy me?
9 Remember that you molded me like clay.
Will you now turn me to dust again?
12 You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 10:3, 7-9, 12
14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”
20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?
Romans 9:14, 20-21
Job questions God about the Lord’s oppression of him: does it please you, God? He realizes that even though he cannot see guilt in himself, he also sees that no one can rescue us from God’s hand if it is upon us. This is because the Lord is the one who shapes us, makes us, molds us, and determines our outcomes. Job knows this.
The idea that God is sovereign over our lives from before we are born until our demise is a consistent teaching of the Bible. Paul refers to the relationship between the potter and the clay in Romans 9. David, in Psalm 139, recognizes that God knew us when we were unformed and God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs.
God raises us up out of dust and returns us to dust. In the meantime, Job also knows that God has shown him kindness and watched over his spirit. Yet now, God has withdrawn his kindness from Job. He has let Satan test him and ravage his life. Job does not understand why, and neither would we.
The idea that we cannot talk back to God doesn’t sit well with us, does it?
We are in a time which may be much like the time of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). We have developed intellectually to the point where we are evaluating God’s behaviour and perspectives and justice – we know better. If God doesn’t see the world the way we see it, perhaps God has it wrong. Isn’t that the kind of statement we hear these days?
Faith is trusting God even when we think we know better.
Is God unjust? Not at all. He is the potter. We are the clay. Job is in this moment when, as the clay, he wants to challenge the potter. You might be in a similar situation. We should be cautious. I think it’s a guarantee in this life that we will not always understand the actions of our God. If we believe, however, that God is just, that he is gracious, that he is holy, and that he is never wrong, perhaps we can bridge our lack of understanding with trust in God.
This may be the hardest thing you have ever done, yet God is pleased when his people have faith and trust in him…