The Mercy and Majesty of God
Open Your Bible
Job 36:1-33, Job 37:1-24, Jeremiah 9:24, Romans 5:20-21
Today’s readings are about mercy and majesty, two perfect descriptors of our perfect God. He is indeed merciful, and He is the King. But toward the end of this book about suffering, these two truths stand on trial. God has yet to show mercy to Job. If He is King, and sovereign, and has dominion over everything, why has His faithful servant suffered so much?
Like God Himself, weather is unpredictable, wild, and powerful. So when Elihu describes the power of God, he talks about the weather. “He says to the snow, ‘fall to the earth,’” and “Ice is formed by the breath of God,” and “He saturates clouds with moisture; he scatters his lightning through them.” The wild, untamable weather that, despite our most advanced radar and predictions, never does what we think it will—this weather is controlled by God, a testament to His sovereignty and majesty.
I write this while most of the United States is gripped by deadly freezing temperatures, the lowest in a generation. I write this after seeing our local weather-people get utterly destroyed on Twitter because they missed a forecast for snow. And always, their defense is simply this: weather is WEATHER. It is, by its very nature, impossible to control. We can read the radar, the charts, the signs, but at the end of the day, weather does what weather wants. Or rather, weather does what God wants.
But God’s majesty does have boundaries, lines drawn by His character and His goodness. In 37:13 we read, “He causes this to happen for punishment, for his land, or for his faithful love” (emphasis added). In verse 23, we are told, “The Almighty—we cannot reach him—he is exalted in power! He will not violate justice and abundant righteousness.” God may be utterly other, higher than anything we can fathom, but He has bound Himself by His character. And His character, proclaimed by Elihu and written throughout the Scriptures, is steadfast and faithful love, justice, and abundant righteousness.
The answer to the question, Can we trust God in our suffering? is yes, because of His abundant righteousness. Yes, because of His perfect will and His unbreakable commitment to His people, to us.
The psalmist wrote:
I wait for the LORD; I wait
and put my hope in his word.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning—
more than watchmen for the morning.
Israel, put your hope in the Lord.
For there is faithful love with the LORD,
and with him is redemption in abundance (Psalm 130:5–7).
We can wait, and we can hope, even in the deepest suffering, because there is faithful love and redemption in abundance in the arms of our good Father.