What do you see as you read Job? Do you see pain and loss? Do you see judgment? Do you see hope?
It can be hard to read this book. It’s hard to see the pain radiating from Job’s every word, so evident, as is the judgement coming from his supposed friends. If you read these verses, verses that speak of abandonment and pain from God, it might just shake your faith to the core.
Have you ever been in the middle of a very difficult time in your life, and in that place you are completely blinded to anything but your pain? But later, as life started to breathe again, you could look back and even see good things that God had done in you during it.
That is kind of the place Job is right now. He’s lost in a sea of grief and depression. If you’ve ever been depressed his words will sound familiar. He’s lost, alone, he doesn’t understand.
His friends are also operating out of a perspective. Theirs is one of judgment and a culture steeped in self-righteousness. This is the culture they have lived in, this is their belief system, and it makes perfect sense to them.
It’s why I was so concerned with pointing out how wrong these people are in the beginning of this study, because I can’t have you reading verses all about how Job is being unfairly hurt by God Himself and let you think that that is what is actually going on!
I can’t let you read verse after verse condemning Job as wicked and let you think that it may be true.
So often in scripture there are areas that must be taken in context, or else you misunderstand the truth that they present.
Our life can be the same way.
We can be stuck in the chapter of our life that is filled with pain and judgment, not able to see the scope of the whole of what is going on. Only God can see the full tapestry.
Only God can see the whole scope of a lifetime.
Job looks at his life and he sees abandonment, a God who is judging him for crimes he’s not committed, and he’s asking “Why?”
“Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“Why do good things happen to bad people?”
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. Job 12:13
But if that is true, if He really is so wise, why all of this?
Will you speak wickedly on God’s behalf? Will you speak deceitfully for him? Will you show him partiality? Will you argue the case for God? Would it turn out well if he examined you? Could you deceive him as you might deceive a mortal? He would surely call you to account if you secretly showed partiality. Job 13:7-10
Job knows his friends are wrong in their judgment of him, but he also doesn’t understand what is going on! As you sift through his words you find truth and falsehood intermixed, and so many places where you see the hope that is brought by Christ.
You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. Surely then you will count my steps and not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin. Job 14:15-17
It’s not what seems to be happening, but when you read those words in light of Christ you know that those words outline God’s plan for this world. But Job only voices them as a vague hope, not reality.
But what we see is rarely reality.
God sees reality, we just don’t. We’re stuck in a chapter, He sees the whole. But in that place we can find hope, because the truths that leak through in Job’s words are more true now than they ever were.
I pray friend, that next time you find yourself overwhelmed by the dark, you’ll remember Job and remember that this is only one chapter out of your life. You’ll remember that the whole of the story is in God’s hands and not yours, and you can trust Him and what He is doing.
Because when we can’t see, we can still trust Him!
Joy Aletheia Stevens
Are you studying Job with me? I’m Blogging through the Bible with Good Morning Girls!
Share what God is showing you in your study in the comments!