Job is one of my favorite Old Testament books.
It begins with a challenge. God points out how righteous and blameless Job is. Satan claims Job is only good because God gives him wealth and health. He says that God is not loved for Himself, but that He is only making mercenaries.
Like us, the characters are totally unaware of what is going on behind the scenes and they spend most of their time trying to figure out why God was allowing Job to suffer so many evils.
When God steps in, He does not tell them why. Instead, He takes Job on a cosmic tour of creation and reminds him that no matter how small or great the things in the cosmos are even these are beyond Job’s full comprehension. He could not understand God’s governance of the whole system if he tried — and he certainly could not take over the controls even if he wanted to.
God describes Behemoth and Leviathan and tells Job that even these are on His leash.
The human characters were all assuming that somehow the world has to be fair if God is just. God shows them this fallen world is not fair, He does not run it on fairness — instead, He governs the flawed cosmos in wisdom.
Through it all, Job never complained of the loss of his wealth or health, what he really wanted was his relationship with God. And though he had moments of doubt, he also continued to trust — “Though He slay me, YET will I trust him.” (Job 13:15). And when God appears in a theophany, Job stops asking why these things had happened, “Now my eyes have seen Thee”. Job is satisfied.
Then God restores all things to Job, more than he had before. Not as a reward for passing some test, but simply as a gift of grace.
In the end, that great dragon — the true Leviathan — the Devil, is shown to be wrong. God is lovable and righteous. People love Him for Himself and not just for the things He can give them.
I came across a great quote that says it all, whenever we think we can run things better than God. It comes from a 19th century Frenchman who was renowned for his oratorical skills. His name was J.M.L. Monsabre, and he said,
“If God would concede me His omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if He gave me His wisdom too, I would leave things as they are.”
Wisdom, let us attend!
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