Question: a word or sentence asking for information.
If we are honest we all want a little more information from God because it seems that He has not given us enough insight into the things we are experiencing. There are things in this world that we do not understand and we sometimes think that God has left out some details that would be very helpful for us to continue in this life. Many people say that when they get to Heaven they have some questions they are going to ask God but I do not believe that is true. I think once we see God all our questions will be answered without us having to say a word.
Job has some questions that I believe many of us have and I believe it is helpful to know that other people struggle with the same questions we sometimes struggle with. As we look at these chapters in Job I believe we will see the very questions Job struggled with are the same ones we have today. Questions are not bad in themselves but they can be if we use them as more of a criticism rather than a place to discover information. Although questions are not bad we must also remember that God does not owe us an explanation.
1) Why does Evil Seem to Win?
Job 20:4-5 Do you not know this from of old, since man was placed on earth, 5 that the exulting of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless but for a moment?
Jobs friends Zophar kept saying that evil people get punished but Job did not see it that way. It is true that those who commit evil acts will eventually be caught but that does not seem like the case with every individual especially when we see people who seem to get away with breaking the laws of the land. If you are like me you tend to cry out to God how unfair this is because you want justice now. We look at the evil people and it seems that God does not care that they are allowed to live their lives freely even though they continue to break the law and hurt others.
Read Job 21:7-15
Job points out that God seems to leave the people who could care less about God alone while those who are trying to live a righteous life God punishes. It does seem that the evil prospers while those of us who are trying to do it the right way and by the rules seem to suffer. You may be frustrated with some of our leaders or you may have had a personal attack by someone who destroyed you through lies and deceit and wondered why God did not intervene on your behalf. The Prophet Jeremiah felt the same way when he said..
Jeremiah 12:1-2 Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? 2 You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart.
Satan wants us to blame God for being unfair and grow discouraged in even serving God. Satan wants us to believe that there is no benefit in serving God so we give up and live selfish lives.
What profit is there if we serve Him? (21:15)
What is the point in serving God when He seems to bless the wicked more than those who love Him? At this point God can ask us why we serve Him. When we worship God for what we can get instead of for God Himself then we miss out on what would truly satisfy our souls. Jesus Christ did not die on the cross so that God could make us healthy wealthy and wise. He died on the cross because our relationship with God was destroyed because of sin and that sin had to be removed so our relationship with God can be restored.
Is God enough or do we need all His stuff in order to serve Him?
Do I love God or only what He can do for me?
Matthew 5:44-45 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
This is what we call Common Grace which means that God’s grace and care extends to all humanity even those who do not acknowledge Him. Are the evil sometimes blessed? Yes. Do the righteous sometimes suffer? Yes We may not understand it fully but when we think we know fully how God works we are mistaken. As finite creatures we will never fully understand what God is doing this side of Heaven.
Jobs friends, and many people I talk to, think that God helps those who try and punishes those who do not. If God only loved and blessed those who served Him then we would selfishly serve God for His blessings and not for a relationship with Him. Like the older brother in the story of the prodigal son we are only serving the Father for what we can get out of Him not for who He is.
Luke 16:31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
With Me” The son wanted the stuff the Father wanted the relationship. Do you want to know God or just experience His material possessions and blessings?
Psalm 84:2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Many Christians are seeking the blessings of God but are missing out on the only thing that will satisfy their soul and that is a relationship with God Himself. When we get to Heaven and see God nothing else will matter. Everything that we thought was important on this earth will be nothing compared to the Glory of God.
Read Job 21:22-26
Regardless of this life death is an equalizer that puts us all before God. All of us one day will leave this earth with nothing. Our Riches, our power, and our fame will mean nothing as we are face to face with God.
Ecclesiastes 5:15 As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand.
Hebrews 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
In Job 22 Job’s friend cannot answer Jobs question and his friend is having a difficult time because what he believes about God is being challenged by Job. Instead of adjusting his thinking of God to the truth he gets mad at Job. In chapters 22-23 Job stops even addressing him because he is not listening.
2) Why are you silent when I need you the most?
Read Job 23:1-10
Another question that we sometimes have is why is God silent when we need Him the most. We have talked about the silence of God before but Job brings the question up again. Where is God when I need Him? Where is God so I can plead my case? Why can I not find Him even though I search for Him everywhere? There is a purpose to our pain that goes beyond what we can understand but the silence and lack of understanding of the process is very difficult at times to take.
When He has tried me I will come out as Gold” (23:10)
Gods reasoning goes beyond our comprehension but can we thank Him in the midst of our pain? Job believed God knew His situation even though it seemed He could not find God and God was silent. Job knew that God was using this somehow in his life and Job would be better for it. Christians have hope in suffering because we know this world is not all there is and one day all our pain will be relieved. We have hope in our suffering because we have a God that is using all of this somehow for His Glory and because of that we can thank Him for our pain.
Read Job 23:11-14
Job did not get his questions answered but he continued to do what he knew he was supposed to do and he continued to follow God. When the days are dark and God seems to be silent the best thing you can do is the things you already know to do. He followed God even though His ways did not make sense to him because He trusted God had a plan. We trust God for what we are going through because we trust Him. When you cannot understand the reason you can trust Him because you know that God is love and that He loves you.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
In time everything will be made beautiful but the ways of God are to vast for us to understand. Like a doctor who does a painful procedure to heal cancer we can thank him for the pain knowing it is bringing us to an ultimate healing.
3) Why do you not judge evil right away?
Read Job 24:1-4
Job was frustrated because it seemed that God never held court on those who did evil. Here Job compares what God is doing with those who were moving land boundaries and stealing sheep. They were stealing and robbing from others and there seemed to be no punishment for them. In verse 12 Job says that “God charges no one with wrong doing”
Where is God when it seems the evil get away with wrongdoing while the innocent suffer? We have addressed this several times throughout the book of Job but it is safe to say that with all the evil things we see people getting away with in our culture we need to hear the truth again and again.
Romans 2:4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
God’s main concern for everyone on the earth is that they are back in a right relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. If God judged sin every time someone sinned, no one would be left on earth including us. No matter how good you think you are there are still many sins you commit every day and God allows you to keep going even while you are in sin. Romans 5:8 says While we were sinners Christ died. God is love and God is grace and for now He is allowing people to continue in their ways with a chance for them to repent and give their lives to Him.
Job gives key insight into God by saying that He is so big that we cannot understand how the universe works. He hangs the earth on nothing. (7) which was not what many people believed since they believed that the earth was supported by pillars. Job did not understand how clouds can hold water or how the moon worked so if we do not know how all of the things in the Universe work, how are we going to understand why God allows evil to continue.
Job responds to his friends again by saying how little we can truly know about God. The way we think God works gets crushed when He does not come through for the righteous or punish the wicked. There will always be our opinion on how God should work but the reality is that He works according to plans and knowledge we do not understand. Trusting God with our lives involves us dying to self.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
The part of following Christ we may have to die to is that we will never understand fully this side of Heaven the “Why’s of Life” Wanting to understand all the “Why’s” of life is part of us wanting to be in control. We follow God as long as it makes sense to us but if God has done some things we do not understand then the little god in us wants to not trust Him anymore.
When trying to figure out the answers to the questions of why, we have to be careful that we do not make God into something He has not revealed about Himself in His Word. Jobs friends were wrong in how they thought God worked and they discouraged Job by their constant badgering of him that he had sin in his life.Sometimes we just need to trust the creator that all of this makes sense to Him and that one day we will understand everything.
1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
This is why I believe when we get to Heaven we will not have any questions because we will just fully understand the things of God.
Have the questions in life kept you from trusting God?
Did God not come through for you like you thought He should?
Can you trust Him to take you through a painful process even though you do not fully understand what is happening?
You may have questions just like Job but make sure your questions are for you to find out more about God Himself and not a criticism of how He has worked in your life. Sometimes we do not get the answers to life because we would not understand them if God explained them to us. We are too finite of creatures to understand an infinite God.