Today’s passage is from Job, and if anyone endured a great deal of suffering in the Old Testament, it was most certainly Job. As a reminder, Job lost everything at the hands of Satan, he lost his family, home, livelihood, health, etc. and in today’s passage he continues to suffer. Job loved God, and although he never stopped loving God, he did complain, lament, and argue against Him with his “so called” friends, requesting justice from God. Job wanted God to hear his case and to explain why he believed his suffering was unjust. So, beginning in chapter 38 God appears to Job, and He asks Job approximately 59 questions up to today’s passage. The questions are to remind Job that God’s ways are higher, both in all of creation and in Job’s life. God asks Job, “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?” (Job 40:8) Now we will see that God’s questions finally silence Job. It is only in his quietness that Job will begin to truly understand God’s goodness and justice even during suffering.
As I read today’s passage, I thought about how often I’ve questioned something God is doing or not doing within my life. In those moments, I’m typically feeling a level of suffering, and like Job, I’m frustrated and I really don’t want to suffer. So, I attempt to make something into my own image, and thus I don’t trust in God’s plan for my life, or in how it connects to His vast plan for all of creation. In doing this, I’m not in alignment with God, and if I’m not in alignment with God, then I’m in alignment with Satan. Friends, we are truly only connected to THE ONE or to the other. One way we can confirm that we are “mistakenly” in alignment with Satan, and we need to break away, is by checking our souls (our minds, wills, and emotions). If we are disappointed, bitter, frustrated, angry, fearful, filled with anxiety, confused, etc. than we’ve stepped away from our first and true Love…JESUS…and his Adversary, Satan, is just as happy as can be with that decision. Let’s look at Job’s response and then pray together for the strength of our souls to always be in the Hands of Jesus.
Job 40:1-5 NLT
1 Then the Lord said to Job,
2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”
Job Responds to the Lord
3 Then Job replied to the Lord,
4 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers?
I will cover my mouth with my hand.
5 I have said too much already.
I have nothing more to say.”
Prayer: Father, far too often we fail to obey Your plan for our lives. Please forgive us, Father. We know that when we are not allowing Your full authority over our lives, that we are allowing Your Adversary a foothold in our lives. So, we stand firmly as One with You, Jesus, and ask for Your protection over our souls from Satan. He has no place within our minds, no control over our wills, and he does not have a say over our emotions. Only, You, Jesus, have full authority and dominion over our souls. Please be with each of us during our times of suffering. Allow us some quiet time to be able to hear Your voice. Fill us with the trust and confidence in You so that we do not question You or Your plan, but rather we allow You to hold us through each step that You have laid out for us. We ask all of this in Your Precious Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant