I read through the Book of Job this past week.
Like many of you, I have preached from the Book of Job. Maybe you have gone through suffering like Job. Perhaps you have been called upon to minister to those who have suffered like Job. I am thankful God blesses us with the Book of Job.
The Problem of Pain
The Book of Job leans into what C.S. Lewis called “the problem of pain.” Many scholars believe that Job lived during the time of the Patriarchs. The reality is suffering, pain, adversity are long term companions of human history.
Where is Hope
Job struggles with having hope. Job 14:7, “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.” In Job 14:14 he asks, “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
Imbedded in Job is a great verse of hope (one of my favorite verses in Job is 19:25), “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.”
We Do Not Grieve as Those Who Have No Hope
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13–18)
Keep Pressing on Praising the God of Hope
After the long dialogue between Job and his friends (my take-away there is always the same – sit quietly with the hurting), we come to the final section of the Lord speaking and Job’s reply.
Job says, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
God is greater than I could ever imagine; He is more loving than I could ever imagine; He is stronger than I could ever imagine.
Job’s worship, praise, and confession follows God asking Job a myriad of questions.
Here is a list of the some of the questions God asked Job. As we go into this work week, perhaps God’s questions to Job can prompt us to keep pressing on praising the God of hope.
Were you around when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Did you determine the depth of the foundation?
Did you stretch the measuring tape across the foundation?
Do you know what the foundation was attached to?
Do you know who it was that laid the corner stone?
Who was it that determined how much water the oceans would hold?
Have you set the time that the sun will rise – have you created the day break?
Have you discovered how the oceans are kept full?
Have you walked in the depth of the seas?
Do you know what death is like?
Do you know what lies beyond death – have you seen it?
Have you comprehended the vastness of the earth?
Where does light live – where does it dwell?
Where does darkness live – where is its resting place?
Do you know the path to the homes of light and darkness?
Are you old enough to have seen these things – were alive when this all began?
Do you know how many snowflakes are scheduled to fall on the earth?
Have you seen the storehouse of hail that is ready for the day of battle and war?
How does light travel to the ends of the earth?
Who has determined the course that water will flow?
Who has decided what path a thunderbolt will take?
Who causes the rain to fall in places where no man lives?
Who satisfies the thirsty ground with moisture?
Who causes the grass to grow?
What is the origin of rain – does it have a father?
Who has placed drops of morning dew on the lawn?
Where does ice come from?
Who hardens water when it is frozen?
Do you have the power to move the constellations in the heavens?
Do you have the strength to control Orion, Mazzaroth, or the Great Bear?
Have you ordained the movement of the stars?
Are you in charge over the earth?
Can you yell so loud at the clouds that they will cover you with rain?
Can you send out lighting and control it?
Who has put wisdom in your head?
Who has place understanding in your heart?
Who can measure the depth of wisdom?
Who causes the dirt of the ground to cling together and form clumps?
Can you provide the prey for the loin and satisfy their appetite?
Can you provide food for the raven and supply food for its young when they call out?
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)
Your brother in Christ,