Discover His heart: With wisdom and mercy, He directs our lives. He can be trusted.
The Job Finale! The final two chapters of the season will have you glued to your…Bible. Stay tuned as the drama unfolds.
Previously in Job. In his accusation to God, Satan charged Job with believing in God only because of God’s goodness to him. He wanted to test Job. God responded, “All right, you may test him.” (1:12) Job lost all his wealth, his children and his health. As Job battles for his life, he is left with four accusers, a wife who wants him to die, his belief in God and the gnawing question of why this has happened to him. On trial for crimes against his humanity, Job defended himself against his accusers, refused to die despite his wife’s wishes and presented the case of his innocence. Believing he was falsely accused, Job demanded to speak to the Judge, but the Judge had not entered the courtroom. Job believed the Judge had ruled incorrectly in this case because he was innocent. The Judge must answer questions as to why he has ruled in this way! Where is the Judge?
The following takes place today in Job. The Judge entered the courtroom…
Forgive the dramatic pretense, but the story does read somewhat like a courtroom drama. In some mysteries on television, the viewer discovers who the culprit is right along with the detectives; in others, the viewer is privy to the crime and watches as the detectives uncover the culprit. In Job, we already know the scenario from Chapter 1, but other than God and Satan, none of the other characters are aware of the setup – ever.
Hitchcockesque in nature, the end of the story never revealed to Job why all this trouble happened to him, but then that really isn’t the point of the Book of Job.
Job revolves around two major principles: Our belief in God cannot be based on His goodness to us but must be founded on Who He is. This was the premise of Satan’s test, and Job passed the test and did not curse God when trouble came. After losing everything, Job declared, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives.” (19:25)
The second principle is that our trust or confidence in Him cannot be based on our goodness to Him. This is where Job faltered. In long soliloquies throughout the story, Job defended his innocence – he was very, very good and his goodness did not deserve this response from God. He demanded answers, “Look, I will sign my name to my defense. Let the Almighty answer me.” (31:35) I get nervous every time I read this. Job revealed that he had lost confidence in God when he questioned God’s wisdom, God must have made a mistake. Not good.
Finally, the Judge entered the courtroom. God did not answer any of Job’s questions nor did He commend Job’s goodness. Through a series of questions to Job, He revealed Who He is, and Job was humbled. “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” (42:5-6) Job had nothing more to say. Mission accomplished, case closed, the series ends!
Epilogue. God rebuked the bumbling detectives/friends who tried to discover the reason for Job’s trial. Job forgave them, and it was then, God restored Job’s fortunes and “blessed him in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning.” (42:12) Everyone loves a happy ending.
The lessons of Job are invaluable. We learn that God is Sovereign. He loves and cares for us regardless of how good we are. His ways are higher and more perfect than we could ever imagine, and in humility, we bow to His wisdom. In Chapter 1, we learn that our enemy, Satan, is not all that! He is not sovereign and must ask permission to do anything. He is not omnipresent and must patrol the earth to find out what is going on. He cannot read our minds nor foretell the future, or he would have already known the outcome. Someday, when we see him cast into his eternity, we will wonder how this sniveling nothing was able to make us think he was anything more than that.
As Job learned, life is not so much about what happens to us or why as much as it is about Who, Who our God is, and the relationship we have with Him along the way to eternity.
Moving Forward: Whether or not this day finds the answers I seek, you are the living God! I bow to your wisdom today, Lord. You know what is best.
Tomorrow @ Jeremiah 42-46