Sometimes life is tough. Sometimes circumstances and occurrences are put in our path that cause the normal, everyday things of life to fade into the background or stop all together. We become crushed under the weight of emotion; anger, fear, worry, rage, stress and depression clog up the normal workings of body and mind to the point that it become hard just to keep standing.
Life isn’t fair.
It’s not fair that some live while others die. It’s not fair that a few are rich while many more languish in poverty, its not fair that some are punished unjustly while others get away with murder. It’s not fair!
Job knew more about suffering than most. Step by step he lost his wealth, family and health until he was left with nothing but his life. After some less than helpful advice from his friends he brings his complaints to the God he had so faithfully served. Rather than being met with sympathy God firmly puts Job in his place in a ‘smack down’ quite literally of biblical proportion. Over 4 chapters God challenges Job to understand his position in the world.
God revealed himself and forced Job to come to terms with his own weak and sinful state and his true standing before his awesomely holy and powerful God.
Then Job answered the LORD:
“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more.”
Job finally realises his true position under God and his wisdom and love and that whatever Job has lost it cannot be measured against the storehouses of the God he served. Ultimately Job repents of his failings
My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
But just a moment, the book says right at the start that Job was ‘upright and blameless’ and that even in the depths of his sufferings he ‘did not sin in what he said’ (Job 2:10). So what has he done that is worthy of repentance?
Simply this; that he was, like you and I are, just another sinner. Just another human being living under the curse of sin and in need of a saviour. That a holy and righteous God would even have anything to do with mankind is one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Despite our cataclysmic moral collapse as a people following our perfect representatives (Adam and Eve) rebellion in the garden this same God still wants to know you and me, more than that, he loved us so much that he sent his only son to die and take the punishment that was due to us as a race. Talk about not fair…
I’m pretty sure that all this didn’t make Job feel much better about his losses. In fact I’m sure that his experience shaped his personality for many years following the events of his life recorded for us in the Bible. But perhaps that’s the whole point. God doesn’t send us troubles to destroy us but to build us up and to encourage us to rely on him for everything, sometimes though to build up properly you need to demolish a few things first.
If you think it’s not fair then you’re absolutely right, it’s not. There’s no way that we should have stand a chance, we, our whole race, should be dead, condemned by the curse of sin and yet God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…