Originally published Wednesday, 01 November 2017.
Week Fifteen Study Overview: Today is the day we’ve been waiting for! We will study Job chapters 38-41, and finally hear God’s response to Job’s lamenting!
Key Point of Struggle: How do we handle ourselves when conviction finally arises?
Key Proof of Comfort: Job 41:11
- If you haven’t read Job chapters 38-41, now would be a great time.
Last week, we learned that Job’s three friends stopped responding to him. Job made one final plea, but after his words were finished, a man named Elihu walked on the scene choosing to make the most out of this moment of silence in hopes of sneaking his opinions and mixed theology into the conversation. After his lectures are finished, it’s as if Elihu was never there. In fact, we never hear another word about him. Chapter 38 begins with a mighty wind.
- To put all this in context, it might help to reread the last defense Job spoke before Elihu came. (See Chapter 31)
I picture God watching every detail through Job’s suffering, hearing every word he prayed, and listening to every argument between Job and his three friends… until He couldn’t allow one more second to pass without setting Job straight.
We know that Job did nothing to cause his suffering, but he did feel as if God was absent throughout his affliction. With every breath in his body he made his feelings well known about the Almighty’s presence leaving him. Job acted as if God picked up every ounce of favor He ever bestowed on his life and left without looking back.
God never leaves.
If you’ve ever felt that way, or feel that way right now, I need you to know that God does not leave anything He created. Friend, He created you! You aren’t alone. (See Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5)
However, it can feel that way at times. Job definitely started to rely on feeling as if God was absent. And so God did what only God can do… He showed up in a way that Job could never deny.
When I start to read chapter 38, it’s as if I’m there. I picture a strong wind swirling, and a thunderous voice booming as God quickly calls everything and everyone into order. I can almost see Job drop to his knees in awe of this majestic God who was breathing life back into him through that very same whirlwind and a barrage of questions.
My favorite question comes in Job 38:4…
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding…”
God pours out question after question, but this is the one that keeps me shaking in my boots. When it comes to my own life, the truth is I wasn’t anything until He said I was, and Job wasn’t anything until He said Job was. We have no understanding of why certain situations turn out the way they do, because we have no control.
We aren’t the Creator, we are simply the created. (And yet we are so precious to Him.)
Chapters 38-40 give us glimpses into the creation story and make us more aware than ever that we must learn to be fully dependent on the One who holds everything together.
He has a perfect order and it’s not for us to understand it, it’s for us to serve Him throughout it.
None of us want to live inside sorrow, but I believe there is purpose inside every circumstance we will ever face. There is purpose in our pain. We might not ever understand it this side of heaven, but it’s never for nothing.
In Job 40, we have a chance to hear Job respond:
“Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer You?”
Sometimes God gives revelation and opens ears to what hearts are finally ready to hear. Throughout, the process of conviction comes swiftly, but it’s not meant to make room for condemnation to grow. Instead, it’s meant to create a further dependency on who this great God and Father is to us, and the direction He has for our lives. It teaches us trust, how to wholly repent, and grow in holiness.
Our comfort comes through the following verse:
“…Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.”
EVERYTHING under heaven is mine! That means we belong to Him, there is nothing under heaven that doesn’t belong to Him. There is no greater comfort. We belong to the God of the universe. We belong.
Next week, we will finally arrive at the conclusion of our There is Promise in Pain study. I’ve learned so much through these last few months, and I hope you have as well. This Friday, in our #WordforYourWeekend subscriber only content, I’m going to talk about my “God in the whirlwind moment.”
- In your Journal, please write the last part of Job 41:11 …Everything under heaven is mine. When you’re done, list someone who is having a difficult time understanding they belong to God, it can even be you, and write a prayer for them. Ask God to give them a mighty revelation as to who they are in Christ.
- Please read Chapter 42 in preparation of our last week of study.
PS: I have a guest post on Jeremy and Audrey Roloff's blog: Beating 50 Percent! I would love for you to click over there and give it a read!