Is God Just?
Scripture reading for May 21st: Job 8-10
When you talk with unbelievers, one of the main accusations against God and this idea of a supreme being is the injustice that is in the world. How can a loving God allow such suffering of innocent people? If God is all powerful, why does He allow evil to happen to good people? If He is indeed just, does this mean that all suffering people are suffering because God is punishing them? This is hard to discern. For many, these questions keep them from knowing God and embracing Him by faith! These are not new questions asked only in our age, however. They were also discussed in the time of Job!
The next friend of Job to speak was Bildad the Shuhite. He told Job that his words were like a blustering wind! He told Job that when his children sinned, God merely gave them over to the penalty of their sin! (Job 8:2-4) He was sure that God gave people what they deserved and he pointed Job to past generations and what they had experienced. (Job 8:8-9) He did encourage Job to plead with God for mercy and told him that God could restore him if he were really pure and upright. (Job 8:5-6)
Job answers his friend with a question: ” How can any mortal man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2) Job seems to understand God’s greatness, holiness and omniscience. He also seems to understand the great gap between him and God. He feels the need for a mediator, one who could arbitrate for him with this great God. (Job 9:32-35) Job speaks plainly to God about his need to understand what he has done wrong. (Job 10:2) He is not sure if he is guilty. Even if he is innocent, Job is hurting so much that he feels shame! (Job 10:15) He hurts so bad that he wishes he could have died before birth. He asks for a reprieve before he does die! (Job 10:20)
Suffering encourages us to ask the hard questions about our own life. Job truly wanted to know if he was guilty of sin and if so, what was that sin? Job grappled with his mortality and God’s great power and knowledge. He tried to understand the justice of God in a situation that felt unfair. His own friend Bildad had tried to help him see an aspect of God’s justice, but it was not feeling right in Job’s spirit. Job did not know what sin was causing this suffering. We know that God said that Job was blameless! (Job 1:8)
Another thing to take note of is God’s answer to Job’s prayer for a mediator. We now have a mediator who will stand before God on our behalf! Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man! He is a man like us and understands our suffering and weakness and is able to help us when we suffer and are tempted! God is just and very compassionate and merciful to each of us through His own Son, Jesus Christ! (1st Timothy 2:5-6)