Job 27:11–12: “I [Job] will teach you about the hand of God; / What is with the Almighty I will not conceal. / Surely all of you have seen it; / Why then do you behave with complete nonsense?”

June 19th, 2017 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Job continued to assert his innocence in answer to his friends’ charge that he was hiding some great sin. The accepted theology of the day was that God did not allow the innocent to suffer, so if a person was suffering, it was because of their sins. They believed you could tell the guilt or innocence of a person by their circumstances. Job may have even held those same opinions before pain and suffering fell on him. But now he saw that his friends’ mechanistic understanding of God’s ways was wrong and “complete nonsense.”

Both Job and his friends agreed that the wicked deserved God’s judgment, and Job even described the punishment they deserved. By inference, he was also suggesting that his friends deserved this kind of punishment for their false and arrogant accusations against him. But where they differed was that Job knew suffering didn’t mean you were wicked and that the wicked could even have success in life. However, at some point they would face God’s judgment.

The fact that good people suffer has always been one of the great challenges to believers. For centuries, even non-believers have asked how one could reconcile pain and suffering with God’s justice and love. The Book of Job is not glib about evil and suffering. In fact, Scripture is brutally honest about them, and the challenges they present to faith. Such darkness can only make sense by looking at the passion of Jesus. We have a Creator, a Savior, who understands suffering. As New Testament believers, we can stand at the foot of the cross in dark times, and that is where we find the true depth of the pain and suffering God endured on our behalf. Scottish pastor Alexander McLaren said it this way: “There are things that God gives us to do without any light or illumination at all, except His own command; but those who know the way to God, can find it in the dark.”

“LORD, please keep Your hand on our lives this day, in Jesus’ name.”