What is interesting about these chapters of Job is thinking about the omnipotence (all-powerfulness) of God….That even in the midst of trouble and what seems to be chaos God is still in control. Even in the midst of crime and injustice, God still has the final say. And it seems he allows for injustice…
The tents of robbers prosper, and those who provoke God are secure—in what God provided by His hand. But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? (Job 12:6-10)
If God is in complete control, why would He allow some of the injustices in our world to happen? Why does He make nations great and destroy them? Why does He make leaders “wander in a pathless wilderness…in the dark without light…like a drunken man”? Is God not just? Why does He allow corrupt leaders to rule? Why does He allow men and women to steal, kill, and destroy?
Job, in the middle of his conversation back and forth with these so-called friends of his, is dealing with this very issue. For Job sees all of this: He sees that God is in complete control of the birds of the air and of mankind and decides what will happen. God runs the show. God has ordained Job’s current sickness and trouble. Job doesn’t know why He runs the show the way He does.
Job’s friends believe that only sinners go through hardship. So, time and again, they condemn him. But Job argues that his friends cannot be right because the wicked are blessed. It rains on the just and the unjust. So what is the deal? Is just about luck and chance? Is there a reason for any of this?
Why do you believe things the way they are? Why do you believe the wicked are blessed? Do you believe God is not just? Do you believe that He is not real and that we are all a random cosmologic accident? What do you think?
I believe God’s ways are pass finding out:
Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper the Sheol (hell)—What can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.” (Job 11:7-9)
So there will be many things we don’t understand because our knowledge is finite and extremely narrow in focus. We have to trust God. Oh, but how hard that can be when you’re in the midst of a tornado and everything around you is being destroyed for seemingly no reason!
This is why I firmly believe that we cannot just be nominal Christians (people who only label themselves Christian by name). We must not play around and truly begin building ourselves up on our most holiest faith. We must know the truth so that we can be set free from hypocrisy and useless debates and indifference toward our fellow man. We’re supposed to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. This means to me that we ought to be loving them enough to want them to be won over to Christ. Which means, whenever these questions come up, we need to have a solution or response of some sort that can potentially bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ. We cannot just shrug our shoulders or offer cliche’s and worldly phrases. Our own faith in these things must be strong and evident. We should be ready in season and out to declare the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Pain and suffering is real. Rape and murder are real. Child molestation and suicide are real. Death and disease are real. What do we say to a world of hurting people?
“How could the world be so chaotic and at that same time run by loving, omnipotent God?”
At the Worship Center last night, the worship team sang a song that I think is part of the main answer to this question. The lyrics go: “I’m going back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about you… It’s all about you Jesus.” I believe it is all about Jesus! In John 9, Jesus and His disciples come upon a man who was blind from birth. His disciples ask him who sinned, this man or is parents that this has happened to him.
“Jesus answered, neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me…As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
The disciples didn’t ask a foolish question about sin being the cause of the man’s blindness, for the reason why afflictions do come upon humanity is because of sin (starting in the garden). Sin did separate us from God and lead us into a cycle of destruction. But Jesus makes a bigger point: “that the works of God should be revealed in him.” Why does God allow injustice to occur? Why does God allow us to go through all the things we see in the world today? What is the great mystery? It is to reveal the works of God. It is to reveal the love of God. Yes, sin was involved. Yes, Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and put us in a death spiral. But why did God let it happen? Why did He allow darkness? So that He can say, “Let there be light!”
It is all about Jesus. This thing we call life is about Jesus. “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:3-5)
Often we make life about ourselves or about something we’ve found on the earth, but it is really all about God. And what ends up happening when it isn’t about God is that we sense some disparity, we feel like there is something missing, we realize that we are naked and hopeless, and we grab whatever fig leaves we find in society, we go through stress and depression, we experience pain and trauma; yet this is all for the sake of us returning back to God. This all happens so that we can be brought into the knowledge and love of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. In Him we have joy, purpose, and life eternal! So to Him be the glory and honor and power forever and ever! Amen!