Monday, December 20, 2004

God is unfair and there nothing I can do about it. Job 9:32-33

"For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, that we may go to court together. There is no umpire between us, who may lay his hand upon us both." (Job 9:32-33)
In Job's bitterness of soul, he speaks without regard to his words. He says, "I loathe my own life; I will give full vent to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul." (Job 10:1) In expressing his pain, Job's mind is drifting from sound truth. His understanding is succumbing to three common errors.

First, in his heart, he believes that God is wrong. He knows that his pain is not the result of his own sins, yet God is still afflicting him. How can God afflict the righteous? Job begins to believe that God does not need a reason to afflict anyone, even the righteous. Job questions God, saying "Is it right for You indeed to oppress, to reject the labor of Your hands, and to look favorably on the schemes of the wicked?" (Job 10:3) Job sees his cause as just and God's treatment of him, at best, as arbitrary.

Secondly, Job begins to feel like the victim. God is oppressing him and there is nothing he can do about it! "God will not turn back His anger; beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab. How then can I answer Him, and choose my words before Him? For though I were right, I could not answer; I would have to implore the mercy of my judge." (Job 9:13-15) This since of being the victim, only fosters feelings of self pity and despair. If we are the victim of God's malevolence, then we are, more than all others, people without hope.

Third, Job is loosing his awe of God. He is loosing his reverence for God. "Let Him remove His rod from me, and let not dread of Him terrify me. Then I would speak and not fear Him; but I am not like that in myself." (Job 9:34-35) Job is desiring that his righteousness and God's treatment of him could be weighted and judged. He is sure that, if he could go to court with God, that he would be acquitted. His challenges of God become more and more daring as God is reduced in his sight. The scriptures say that we are to magnify God, but Job is magnifying is trouble and diminishing God. Job's problems are becoming larger in his eyes while God is becoming smaller.

In normal circumstances, most of us would never consider such things, but in times of great distress, we can easily be tempted to believe the lie and not the truth about God. The truth is that God is love. That God carries us on His wings. That He walks with us and holds our hand as we pass through the water and the fire. God is a very present help in our time of trouble. These are the truths about God. We need to remind ourselves, and others, about these things. Its not important to show someone where their thinking is wrong, deep down they already know that, but we need to remind them of the truth. After all, it is the truth that will set us free.

David Robison

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