God is Just God and That's Ok

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I've been reading through the book of Job, and what follows is my straight up opinion, no bible commentary stuff (so I might be totally wrong), but the thoughts have been rattling around my brain, so why not.

There are some really unique things happening in the book. In the story, God basically gives the devil permission to mess with Job, who God seems to have an awful lot of trust in. Also, God knows everything, so that helps.

Anyways, what really interested me so far wasn't Job's super awful day or any of the multitude of questions opened up with this God/Devil conversation. No, what really caught my attention was the reaction of Job and of his friends.

Once Job loses everything (and he gets all the news in like three minutes) he mourns, tears his clothes, sack cloth and ashes, the whole deal. Eventually, he meets up with his three buddies, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. The bible says that they sat in silence for seven days and nights before anyone talked. Awkward.

We finally hear from Job. He's upset, understandably. He wishes he was never born. He looks forward to his death.

Job and his friends see what happened to Job in completely different ways, and that contrast is what stuck out to me and really got me thinking. Through all of his lamenting life and his situation, he never backs down on the idea that he didn't do anything wrong, that he always honored God and loved his word, which was totally true.

His friends repeatedly and very harshly tell him that this is incorrect and that he is full of crap. The ESV has Job's friends calling his speech "windy" quite often (Job is full of hot air). Their fundamental view of the world, which, at the time, was understandable for them to cling to, was that if someone was suffering as miserably as Job, God must be angry with him. Why wouldn't they think this? Seems pretty standard Old Testament to me.

These guys will not listen to Job, no matter how he tries to make his case. They all call each other stupid. It's kind of ugly.

Here is what is so amazing about Job's view on the whole deal, to me, though. We know he doesn't sin through the whole thing and he doesn't ever curse God. I went into the story expecting this. What stuck out to me about Job this time, though, was that it wasn't JUST that he didn't curse God. His understanding of God was complete enough that he saw the situation like this: God is obviously in charge of everything. He made it all. He formed the Earth. He moves mountains like they are nothing. God can do whatever He wants, and it isn't always black and white.

This feels revelatory to me, and his friends had no ability to grasp it. God does what God wants because He is God. He didn't give Job an explanation, and Job realized that God didn't owe him one. Was he upset, and did he question? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, he knew that God is God and He does what He wants to do.

This is terrifying and awesome to me. Kind of freeing, too, though. How often to we look for every little meaning in every little thing? Maybe sometimes God is just God and we won't ever get the neat package with the bow on top that answers all of our loose ends and plot holes.

Maybe it's enough to know that God is just God.


Rene' said...

Yeah, you are back. I never thought it would happen.
I love your post about Job, not Gob.
Job has always been a wonder to me. Yes, God is God, but I don't know how I would do if I were tested like that.

Megan said...

Wow H. So glad to see you posting again. It was awesome.
Not that I'm anything close to Job but I've kind of had to come to terms with my migraines like that. God is all powerful and he could heal me in a minute. But he hasn't. And this may be my life. But that doesn't mean that God isn't God. And that doesn't mean that God isn't good.
Anyway, great writing. great post! keep it up