Day 25

God’s Second Speech

from the Job reading plan


Job 40:1-24, Job 41:1-34, Mark 4:35-41, James 1:5-8

BY Melanie Rainer

In Night, the seminal autobiographical novel about his experience in Nazi concentration camps, writer Elie Wiesel says this: “Some of the men spoke of God: His mysterious ways, the sins of the Jewish people, and the redemption to come. As for me, I had ceased to pray. I concurred with Job! I was not denying His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice.”

Because it deeply resonated with his own experiences with tragedy and suffering, Wiesel publicly lectured on the book of Job throughout his career as a professor and Nobel Prize-winning author.

As I was researching Wiesel’s work on Job, I remembered reading Night in middle school. Then, I had a second thought, one that made my stomach drop and my eyes flood with tears. I realized that one day, my daughter is going to read Night. One day, she is going to find out about the Holocaust. She’ll read about about slavery and Jim Crow and 9/11. She’ll find out about war, famine, genocide, opioid overdoses, and school shootings. One day, she will learn about suffering. And even harder still to imagine, one day, she herself will suffer.

Where will God be when she learns about these things? And can I trust Him not only with my own suffering, but with my precious baby girl’s?

When my heart wavers and falters on the edge of faith, brought on by suffering and fear, I know I cannot stand on my own feelings. I must stand in faith, which is a gift of the Spirit, and I must pray unceasingly for Him to strengthen it. I must stand on the unwavering, infallible Word of God. Here is what it teaches me:

1) God is just and good. He controls the wind and waves, the leviathan and behemoth, and every living creature.

2) His Son Jesus, who is God incarnate, knew suffering here on earth, just as we do. But the suffering He endured was infinitely greater than anything we might bear, as He took on the weight of the world’s sins.

Suffering belongs to all of us, through all time. One of the gifts that comes with reading Job through the lens of the New Testament is knowing that his story of suffering is our story and that Jesus came to secure true righteousness for all who believe in Him.

God’s justice is absolute. In the depths of suffering, it is no wonder we question it. God speaks to Job, “Would you really challenge my justice? Would you declare me guilty to justify yourself?” (Job 40:8). Would we?

We can trust God with our suffering because He is the Creator and King of everything. But we can also trust God with our suffering because Jesus suffered, bearing all of our sorrows to the cross.

He himself bore our sicknesses,
and he carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds (Isaiah 53:4–5).

 

Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "God’s Second Speech"

  1. Claudia Elise Routson says:

    Amazing how in Mark it says Jesus is asleep in the storm. It’s makes me step back and realize that when I feel God being silent in my sufferering, it’s cuz he’s resting. And if the captain of my life is resting and not worried about it why should I? Be ye not fooled by Gods silence.

    1. Sherri Ellis says:

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  2. Monica Davis says:

    Great worship!

  3. Steph C says:

    “The whole creation groans [awaiting deliverance]”. So much suffering and grief in our world. We are not spared the sorrow. But we have a Savior who suffered as we suffer … and then He suffered FOR us in a way that we can never comprehend. He knew our grief and He redeemed it for His glory. And so, when I cannot understand, I can trust that He has never failed me and He never will.

  4. Jasmine says:

    As I was reading the supplemental scriptures today, I was a little confused. Specifically James 1 — it says “For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind, that person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord…”

    Job absolutely had his doubts and his faith was being tossed all around, yet God still came through. So I asked myself why James 1 doesn’t reflect the way Job acted. What am I missing here?

    Then, I realized now that we have Jesus, we can come to God BOLDLY. Job lived in a time where no one knew about Jesus. That changes everything.

    The disciples’ faith wavered while they were on the boat but Jesus showed them why they can and should be confident in Him.

  5. Tammy Sahadak says:

    This was so powerful. Thank you for reminding me of God’s goodness today.

  6. SC says:

    Every now and then, God’s initial speech to Job sounds so harsh even though I know how the story ends. Maybe it’s just where I am spiritually, or how I read it- since I wasn’t there in person to hear what tone God actually spoke this with.
    I put myself in Job’s shoes (though I’m not the righteous person that he was) in my suffering and pouted that God didn’t come deliver me in the most glorious way I envisioned, or acknowledged my faith in suffering. A lot of “how can he do this to me?” And “Why?”s as if I was somehow entitled, when HE didn’t HAVE to do anything. Didn’t have to be merciful to me, didn’t have to shed his precious Son’s blood to save me, didn’t have to answer the details of my personal prayers in the grand scheme of his kingdom. He is God, the Creator of these beasts who is sovereign, who is not wrong just so I can be right.
    Yet He chose to turn my heart to Him, chose to soften my heart and offer me eternal life.

    Job… Is still hard for me to read every time. Uhh, their speeches are just too articulate for me ^^;; but I love being able to see the mercy of God – What is man, that you are thinking of us?

  7. Kristen says:

    I know some were upset the way God answered Job, but read the last chapter. You will feel better. (Job 42)

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