All Job could see was day upon day of his suffering from head-to-toe boils and “miserable comforters” (Job 16:2) so he wanted to talk to God (Part 1 link below). But he slipped into contending with God and even accusing God, and challenged Him to answer (Part 2). Careful, we might get what we ask for!
“Who is this who darkens counsel without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” Who is this spouting in ignorance, presumption and arrogance! Resulting in darkness when we’re supposed to be a light to others!
The Word zings out pointed questions to help Job realize He didn’t have the wisdom—or the right—to question His awesome great Creator.
“Now God speaks to Job, but not to give Job the justification he had been demanding…. he reminds Job that the wisdom that directs the Creator’s ways is beyond the reach of human understanding” (Zondervan NIV Study Bible). None of us is even close to being in God’s league!
God was not there to browbeat Job. For three chapters (38-41) He gently chides Job like a loving parent comforting a hurting, confused child. The unrivaled Creator explains His great care and concern for all of His creation. As Paul would later explain, we must find contentment in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (Php. 4:10-12).
“Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it” (Job 40:2). Are you going to tell me what to do or complain about what I’ve done?
What say you
the one who would “fill my mouth with arguments” (Job 23:4)? Hah!
Here’s all Job could muster: “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4).
Because Job was humbling himself, the Word could give him some further correction: “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me: Would you indeed annul my judgment? Would you condemn me that you may be justified?” (Job 40:7-8).
The Word challenges Job to be God for a day if he thinks he can do a better job. Why would I need your advice in running the universe? Should I change my plans at the whim of every peevish complainer?
Repentance and Restoration
Job responds with what God has taught him and what he has learned:
“I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know….
“I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:2-6).
What he understood of God was based on what he had been taught by others. Now he is able to really see God for himself. Job abhors what he has foolishly uttered in ignorance and repents in total humility. His relationship with God took on a deeper, more humble bond.
He sounds like David after his egregious sins with Bathsheba and Uriah:
“For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight—that you may be found just when you speak, and blameless when you judge” (Psa. 51:4).
The purpose for all our trials may not be known in this life. God knows exactly what He is doing in all circumstances even when we don’t.
God dealt with Job in this special way to teach him something he needed in order to be in the Family & Kingdom. And thank God
We will see too!
We can pray. We can listen to God. We walk by faith—relaxed trust in God in any trial that comes our way.
It would be great to talk with God face to face and that’s going to happen for us and Job: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).