[June 13]--God Shows Up, Part Two

Job 40:1-14

Yesterday we summarized God’s appearance to Job at the end of the book: “Who do you think you are? Look buddy, I’m God and you’re not.” He pointed to creation as proof of his infinite wisdom, essentially saying “Since I know how to run the universe, don’t you think I know what I’m doing in your situation?” I wanted to look some more at something in 40:8, though. The Lord asks Job "Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" In fact, I think that this one little verse neatly crystallized the Lord’s main problem with Job.

Of course the author made it abundantly clear at the beginning of the book that Job and God were on very good terms with each other. Job was a righteous man; in fact the Lord’s boast about him seemed to indicate that he was the most godly and upright man on the planet at the time. As I mentioned before, if I knew that God said about me what he said about Job, I’d be thrilled! So Job didn’t have any gross sin from which he had to repent, and he didn’t curse God when tragedies struck like Satan expected.

So what was God’s main problem with Job, as indicated by these four chapters of divine speeches? I think vs. 8 get to the heart of the issue. Job knew that he wasn’t guilty of outrageous or secret sin, at least not the type of which his friends were accusing him. He had absolutely no problem believing in the Lord's absolute sovereignty, like some philosophers do today. So therefore God must be unjustly punishing him. the Lord of the universe just had some time on his hands, so he decided to mess with Job. The man, in his absolute agony, couldn’t come up with any other conclusion.

Now, I've never experienced even a fraction of what Job had undergone, and I wouldn’t claim to be anywhere near as righteous as he was. But that doesn’t change what God rebuked him for. His outbursts might have been completely understandable, but that doesn’t make them correct. He discredited God’s justice and condemned the Lord in order to justify himself.

God started out his speech by strongly implying that Job had spoken foolishly, and he hammered home why he knew so much better than Job as to how to run the universe by pointing to creation itself. But I noticed that in all the chapters of God’s speech, this is the worst specific thing that he said about Job’s character. Like the beginning of the book, if I knew that the worst thing that God had to say about me was what he said in vs. 8, I'd be thrilled. I don’t know about you, but there are plenty of things that've come out of my mouth which are a lot worse than anything Job had said.

But there's another issue at here worth considering. God’s problem with Job could be simply stated: “You think you know better than I do about running things.” If that’s so, that’s the foundation of every sin and every wrong-headed thought since the beginning of human history. Our first parents thought they knew better than their Creator, and that’s literally when all our problems began. And at the root of every sin in my life is the same goofy idea: “I know better than God.”

Lord Jesus, I repent of any foolish notion that I know better than you about anything. I have a sinful heart that constantly refuses to listen to you, and it hurts us both when I do that. Please change me, do whatever it takes.

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