ODJ: The Job Paradox

July 29, 2016 

READ: Job 38:1-18  

The Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?” (vv.1-2).

A wise man once said, “Conflict is never about what’s happening on the surface—there’s always much more at stake.” Chances are that Job would have agreed with that statement. He found himself thrust suddenly and forcefully into heartbreak of catastrophic proportions. His livestock, fields, servants and children were all destroyed in one day.

In the midst of the turmoil, his wife urged him to curse God and die. Job wisely shunned this counsel, but he did demand an audience with God to plead his case (Job 13:3,15). When God finally responded, He did so with questions of His own (38:1-2). Rather than receiving the answers he sought, Job encountered the sovereignty of God (v.4). Humbly, he acknowledged that God’s ways were ultimately righteous and just—even if they were beyond his understanding (42:1-3).

This reaction was proof of Job’s character—tested, but shining with a God-honouring radiance. Although he never knew it this side of eternity, Job was caught up in a fierce battle to test his faith and faithfulness. The tragedies that befell him were just a pretext for an attempt by Satan to get him to renounce his God and faith (1:12).

While we have the benefit of the background to Job’s story, we rarely do when it comes to our own. And when we’re faced with a paradox of perplexing and unfair circumstances, there’s a strong temptation to denounce God’s justice. But instead of choosing to “curse God and die”, we can seek the heart of the God of the universe. As we encounter Him, our perspectives will be transformed and we’ll learn to trust His wisdom.

Only God knows the full story every time. As we rest in Him, He’ll use each chapter of our lives for our good and His glory.

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: John 8:1-20

Read Romans 9:19-23 and see what Paul writes about God’s just and sovereign ways. 
When have you missed an opportunity to follow God’s guidance during a difficult time? How will you choose to rest in His wise and loving plans in the future?