In Death and Suffering, Trust in God!
Scripture reading for May 22nd: Job 11-14
Job was a believer in God who was caught in a difficult trial. He lost everything when he once enjoyed prosperity. He lost his children suddenly through a violent storm. He then lost his health. Even his wife counseled him to curse God and die and his friends suggested that what he was getting was not as bad as what he deserved! These ingredients could have lead one the strongest of men into depression. Job revealed his thoughts in the midst of this trial.
Zophar, the third friend, directly confronted Job with his need to repent. (Job 11:13-15) He questioned Job’s assertion that he was pure and blameless. Zophar’s theology placed God so high that no man could understand Him and so just that each person got his due. The mercy of God was not addressed, nor was Job’s faith. Some of his theology was correct but incomplete and came across without mercy. (Job 13:4)
Job, however, knew that God was great and powerful. (Job 12:13-21) He also knew that God was just and all would stand before him. He desired to stand before God and argue his case. His friends had judged him wrongly and missed the mercy of God. Job so trusted God, that if God would take his life, he would still trust Him to do what was right. (Job 13:15)
From recent experience, Job knew the fleeting nature of human life and the troubles it entailed. His inner desire was for God to hide him in a grave until His anger had passed and then set a time to remember him again. (Job 14:13) Job had a desire for resurrection and sensed that God would at some future time call him forth and restore him. He understood what it looked like in the natural realm, but in his spirit man he knew about eternity. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
This ancient discussion of God’s nature and our human nature is still around today. Man tries to gain understanding of suffering and how to avoid it. Religion tries to teach a set of rules whereby man controls what happens to him or at least explains it. God’s word reveals that God is in control of everything and He will work everything out for good to those who trust Him. (Romans 8:28) (Job 13:15) Trusting God is the way to fruitful life and hope for the future.