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 (33)

33 thoughts on "God’s Second Speech"

  1. Amanda MarieO'Malley says:

    I am going trough a lot right now. This reading really spoke to me today! It’s what I needed ❤️

  2. Shannon Coe says:

    This was needed today. When God’s answer is slow to come, or seemingly not at all, I struggle and I doubt. I doubt that I heard Him correctly, I wonder if He has forgotten me, I doubt that He is fighting for me, I wonder if He will answer at all. I have been wrestling with Him for the last several months and I’m still waiting for beauty to come from the ashes. I don’t know what He is doing or how this story will go, but I keep claiming over and over in faith that He is good at being God and He can be trusted. Easy to say, hard to live out.

  3. Shannon Cooper says:

    Lisa: I feel you!!! I wish for God to say those exact same things to Job. I want Job to be praised and vindicated! I am asking God why His response was what it was, and not what I wanted it to be. I have to remember He is good. He is just. I long for the day when every knee will bow at the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That will be a day of vindication for us all… and maybe Job.

  4. Lisa says:

    I do love this book, Job, but what I really wanted to hear God say is “Look Job, you are faithful and just, and Satan asked to test/try you, hoping you would fail and turn away from me. Your suffering has nothing to do with sin and punishment, and everything to do with your steadfast faith. Even in all of this mess, you have remained steadfast, and I’m so proud of you. You passed this awful test, and I’m not going to let the enemy have his way any longer. Well done, Job.”

    But that isn’t what God says. And I wonder why? I wonder why a loving Father would come back to Job with “who do you think you are?!?” instead of lifting him up and praising his steadfast faith?

    God is just. God is good. God is love. And God is going to do what He thinks best. He is sovereign and He is GOD. I am not. I suppose the fact that He he responds at all is quite something, but it leaves me wishing for a different kind of response.

    Anyone else?

    1. Mindy Kozminski says:

      Yes…I can’t help but feel like it’s a little harsh and unloving after all Job has been through. I think it’s just showing me how I’m really not the comfortable with God being God and me not.

    2. Natasha R says:

      I think God was just reminding Job of his absolute power. But I agree with you, it’s kinda harsh. Anyway, thanks, Lisa, for reminding me that “suffering has nothing to do with sin and punishment and everything to do with steadfast faith”.

  5. Becky Free says:

    DINOSAURS.

    1. Alexis Todd says:

      I’ve spent a lot of time today wondering if Leviathan was a sea-dragon. And since we still don’t know what REALLY is way down in the ocean, could he still be there? How amazing would that be?! (if you’re not on a sailboat or something).

    2. Becca McCleary says:

      i thought of a dragon bc of 41:21!

  6. GramsieSue says:

    Wow! Christiana, what a testimony. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

  7. Christiana Blankson says:

    I remember clear as a squeaky clean window the day I … ‘declared God guilty’, not to justify myself, but what this fallen world had done to my life, my heart..
    I needed a scapegoat for the heartache and suffering I was experiencing, I needed a fall guy.. and who/where was the last person, the last place I looked for help, for assurance, for hope..

    God.

    Right now, today, and in a different time and place of heart and soul, that question brings me to tears, hurts my heart, and i have sorrow…

    I know differently now. With eyes wide open, I absolutely know differently now..
    PRAISE GOD!
    PRAISE GOD!

    Here’s the thing…

    As someone who didn’t truly understand,but kept hearing “God is good” and “He will answer your prayers,”.. “you only have to ask”. When you ask, when you plead, with your whole being, on your knees ask, and the outcome is not whst you wanted… or asked for, you flip. I lost the plot. I ranted and I raved, I accused. I blamed and I don’t say this proudly, I disrespected God..ouch. what an awful person I was…

    But God..

    He still sent His son to die on the cross for me, knowing I would be this not so nice person in that season.. that person who would show no regard for His power, His Majesty, His Sovereignty.. Ahh,
    Job 40:8 Will haunt me if I let it.. But for God..

    I let my suffering, my heartache, my sorrows overwhelm Me, but trusting God with them, over the years has been peace giving, heart calming, hope reviving..

    I am not perfect..by a loooooonnnnnggg shot ( I certainly need to take a lesson out of Jobs book), but heres the thing.. by God’s grace and sacrifice, i am learniing to lean and trust and hope and believe that He knows. He knows. He knows the sorrow the heartache the struggles because His Son carried them to the cross..Amen.

    I’ve rambled.. but God knows..

    Happy Thursday Sisters.. with love…

    1. Lori Wat says:

      Amen, amen!

  8. Summer Chavez says:

    I have read these passages several times over the last few weeks or so during this time and find them really intriguing. God’s majesty and greatness seem so overwhelming and grand compared to my small speck of a being. It makes me wonder “so why would he care about me then?” It also brings to mind the relationship that David and Job had with God. When does questioning why something bad has happened cross the line? They cried out to God in their suffering. I have a hard time accepting the justification of suffering as the sovereignty of God. How to reconcile God’s justice and love together? How can the deaths of millions of people during the Holocaust, especially children ever be okay? Hard stuff this morning!

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