(Originally published 8/4/13)
I just finished the book of Job which, to be honest, has never been one of my favorites. It pains me to admit it, but the theological discussion Job and his friends get into is so circular and long that I quickly get bored. But this time, God impressed a truth on my heart.
Job is stated to be a Godly and righteous man. When satan catches wind of this, he gets God’s permission to attack Job and takes almost everything away from him: property, servants, children, health, etc. Job’s friends come and morn with him for seven days and nights without speaking, then the theological debate begins.
Job claims adamantly that he has done nothing to deserve his trials while his friends say over and over again that he must have done something wrong because God is just and righteous and would never punish an innocent man. They go round and round trying to make sense of it and that’s when I realized the problem.
These men were so desperate for an explanation to what had happened, but the fact is, God did not owe them one.They were trying in their human capacity to find God’s reasons and that’s something we simply are not capable of doing.
When bad things happen to me or a loved one, one of my first reactions is to try to make sense of it. But God does not owe me an explanation. He does not have to share His plan with me. He does not have to tell me the reason behind His actions.
God does not owe me a thing. When I’m feeling stressed out and everything seems to be going wrong, I will usually adopt a Job mindset: ‘But I didn’t do anything wrong! Why is this happening to me?’ When something terrible happens to someone else, I wonder why, because they seemed like such good people.
Tragedy doesn’t make sense to me; it doesn’t fit into my rules. I figure that if I play by the rules, then God has to as well. But they are not His rules. I draw up the game play and expect the Almighty Creator of the Universe to play along. It does not work that way.
God is mighty and just and all powerful. He is the Awesome I Am, the same yesterday, today, and forever. This is the God Who breathed the stars into existence, Who spoke the world into being. He knitted me together in my mother’s womb. He holds the universe in His hand. That is so incredible to me.
I highly recommend you watch Louie Giglio’s How Great is our God video. This changed my perspective of God and allowed me to catch even the slightest glimpse of how unfathomably huge He is. There is no way a great God like that has to answer to or explain Himself to me.
There is a quote I heard one time that I tried to find but couldn’t. So sorry, I’ll have to improvise. Anyway, as the story goes, a woman approached a preacher (Spurgeon, I think) about Romans 9:13; ‘As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.’ The woman said she was having a hard time understanding the ‘Esau I have hated’ bit. The pastor replied that he struggled with that verse as well, but the part he couldn’t get over was ‘Jacob I have loved.’
And that’s the truth. God doesn’t owe me anything, even love. If He were to forgive me my sins and make me His slave, that would be a tremendous mercy that I could never hope to deserve. But He goes further than that and adopts me as His child.
He chooses to love and bless me, so even when rain falls, my response should to be to accept and submit to His will, even if I never know why He’s done what He’s done. Because God is great, and worthy of all praise and admiration, even when it rains.