Job moved from blessing God in all things to making self-righteous statements of his innocence and his desire to confront his Maker. When we question God in arrogance, we put ourselves in a dangerous position with respect to the Lord, who made us and loves us…
1 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?
1 Then Job replied to the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job 40:1-9, 42:1-6
When God finally spoke to Job, the servant of God was able to realize his mistake in questioning the Lord and promoting his own righteousness. In Job 1:22 we read that Job did not sin by charging the Lord with wrongdoing in his situation. Certainly Job’s first response was better than his later statements, which moved his focus off of blessing God in all things to making self-righteous statements of his innocence and his desire to confront his Maker.
Whether Job ever crossed the line into sin in his behaviour or words, in is certain that by the end of this trial, God is not pleased with Job or his counsellors.
When we question God, we put ourselves in a dangerous position with respect to the Lord. We can ask, Why, as we see King David do in the Psalms. Even Jesus, on the cross, cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” These questioning cries do not anger God like the ones in which we have a tone which promotes self and criticizes or judges the Lord. That seems to be the line…
When we discredit the justice of God or condemn God to justify ourselves, we set ourselves in opposition to the one who made us, cares for us, and holds our breath of life in his hands.
Job realizes here that he is unworthy to reply to God when he speaks to Job. Job chooses to put his hand over his mouth (40:4). Do you need to do that in your relationship with God? Have you been doing too much of the talking and not enough listening?
Job realizes (42:3-6) that he spoke of things he didn’t understand, which were above his pay grade and beyond his ability to fathom. And so, Job repented, despising himself for responding this way to God.
These days, people need to save face, diminish the sense of condemnation and ridicule, and extinguish the fire of wrath in their understanding of God. We often, perhaps without realizing it, act in a sense of equality with God which is arrogant and dangerous. In Job’s situation, his righteousness fueled his fire. In our time, we can make no such claim. Our arrogance is fueled by our misguided and inflated sense of understanding and enlightenment.
We think we are more spiritually aware than God. That’s why people feel so comfortable creating their own god from the buffet of religions across the world.
Not only does modern society believe it is equal to God, we believe we know better than God.
Which brings me back to Jesus.
In Philippians 2:6, Jesus is described as one “who, being in very nature, God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped.” In his incarnation, Jesus took on a humility that we often miss and/or mistake for weakness. Job finally reached this humility before his Father. It is truly the secret to right relationship with the Lord and the world we live in.
May we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord…