The first chapter sets the stage: God says to Satan, “Have you considered
my servant Job?” Job belongs to God and it sounds like God is offering up His
servant to the enemy. Hmmm. Then all hell breaks loose--against Job. First comes
the attack on his possessions, then his children and finally on Job’s body. He suffers
great loss, tremendous grief, and unremitting physical discomfort--all in the same
period of time. His friends suggest that there has to be a REASON, like sin,
for his suffering and Job better confess it! The implication in all of their arguments
is that since God is good and God is just, it HAS to be Job’s fault!
As I read through this book, I see God touching Job at his core. God wanted to
reveal Job’s heart to Job. I think that we see Job’s heart in the confession: “I know
that my redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin
has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25,26)
What an amazing man!
Then in the fulness of time--after man has had his say, God speaks directly to Job
out of a whirlwind:
“Who are you? Speak like a man! Where were you when I...?
What do you know about simple things like where the snow is stored,
how to set the constellations in place,
the way of the eagle?” Then God moves on:
“Can your own right hand save you?
Can you conquer the Leviathan? No?”
At this point all of Job’s questions vanish and he says,
“I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eyes see You.” Job worships God out of his brokenness.
God does not answer Job’s “why” questions or deal with his confusion, nor does he
explain the conversation He had with Satan. He does not usually answer my
“why” questions either. Answers fail to alleviate the pain if they don’t speak into
the deep recesses of my heart. I need the big picture: “Jane, where were you when
I hung the stars in space, when I set the ocean currents in motion, when the sun
began to flood the earth with light and beauty flowed forth in various colors?”
Suddenly the suffering of Job becomes the glory and majesty of God. It really
is always and only about HIM, is it not?