Questioning God?

Readings Job 8:1-42:17 

 hand-print-clipart5

What beautiful artwork if brought home on paper!  To the refrigerator door it goes!

But if found on a clean wall or window, it is bound for destruction!

   Dear amateur pottery makers,

 I remember when I was young and trying to make something in school out of clay to bring home to my mom for a gift.  It was really ugly.  But my mom loved it.  I loved seeing things my kids brought home from school as well.  (Although all their projects were done with great skill and beauty. 🙂 ) One of my favorite items was a hand simply placed in some plaster and dried.  I loved seeing those little hands.  Do you love seeing the hand of God in your life, no matter what the circumstance?

As I read through the rest of Job, the words of James in the New Testament come to mind, “Be quick to listen and slow to speak.”

The more Job and his friends spoke the deeper the hole they dug.  The friends were trying to get Job to repent of things he had not done, and Job was trying to question God in what He was doing and trying to justify himself before his friends and God. 

How much do you and I need to learn to be still and listen to God.  It did not seem like seven days was long enough for Job and his friends.

The second thing that came to mind was the verse, “All your righteousness is as filthy rags.”  Job’s recitation of how life was before his losses, sounded like a bragging match.  He was merely trying to refute his friend’s accusations, but for what purpose, to question God? 

And Job again took up his discourse and said,

2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by,
As in the days when God watched over me;
3 When His lamp shone over my head,
And by His light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in the prime of my days,
When the friendship of God was over my tent;
5 When the Almighty was yet with me,
And my children were around me;
6 When my steps were bathed in butter,
And the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 “When I went out to the gate of the city,
When I took my seat in the square,
8 The young men saw me and hid themselves,
And the old men arose and stood.
9 “The princes stopped talking
And put their hands on their mouths;
10 The voice of the nobles was hushed ,
And their tongue stuck to their palate.
11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed,
And when the eye saw, it gave witness of me,
12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
And the orphan who had no helper.
13 “The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me,
And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.
14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban………………………………..
    Job 29:1-25 (NASB)

When you are accused of something do you try to defend yourself, to save your integrity?  Maybe there is a time for that, but sometimes we just need to let things go.  All our righteous deeds fall far short of God’s righteousness, and it seems that our pride will eventually show itself if we start trying to defend ourselves.

That leads me to the final thought that came to mind.  Have you ever heard this or something like it, “God is big enough to handle your questions”?

It appears to be an attempt to release us to be honest before our God.  If we read the Psalms, we will see David reveal his heart, his emotions.  It is interesting how he always comes back to reaffirming God’s goodness and Sovereignty.  But should we be encouraged to question God?

Here in Job, we see the conversation spiraling out of control, and Job continues to question God, and we see how God feels about all of Job’s questioning.  Sure, God is big enough to handle our questioning, but is that what He desires or should that be our response?

 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

2 “Who is this that darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
3 “Now gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
5 Who set its measurements? Since you know.
Or who stretched the line on it?
6 “On what were its bases sunk?
Or who laid its cornerstone,
7 When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?………..  Job 38:1-7 (NASB)

Hopefully as we grow we will simply trust God in the midst of our circumstances, recognizing His character and His position, and not call Him out and question what in the world He is doing.  I pray as I mature (hopefully soon:)), I will eagerly look for God in each situation and long to see what He will do in my life and others as we submit, yield, make ourselves available for whatever He wants to do. 

We are clay in His hands.  Mold me LORD!  Put the handle where you want.  Make the spout as big as you want.  Make me short and stout, or tall and crooked.  Just remain in this cracked pot! 

19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” 20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? 21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?    Romans 9:19-21 (NASB)

Longing for those days of simple trust, of being quiet and listening to God, to not trying to justify my “integrity” before God and others.  Thank you Job for the lesson.

Thank you God that you never leave me, even if it appears like you do to me and others.

In His hands,

Steve

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