Is God Just?
Scripture reading for May 21st: Job 8-10
When you talk with unbelievers, one complaint against God 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 people suffer because God is punishing them? These questions were discussed in the time of Job over 4000 years ago!
Bildad the Shuhite spoke next. 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 answered his friend with a question: ” How can any mortal man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2) Job had some insight into God’s greatness, holiness and omniscience. He understood the great gap between him and God. He felt the need for a mediator, one who could arbitrate for him with this great God. (Job 9:32-35) Job spoke plainly to God about his need to understand what he had done wrong. (Job 10:2) He hurt so much that he wished he could have died before birth and he asked for a reprieve before death comes! (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 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. We know that God said that Job was blameless! (Job 1:8) This had to make this trial hard to understand.
Another thing to note 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 merciful to each of us through His own Son, Jesus Christ! (1st Timothy 2:5-6)