When I read the story of Job, part of me always is very sympathetic. Oh, poor Job, I say to myself. He lost all his stuff and his children and his health. Mean old Satan was after him. But then we find that it wasn’t Satan who brought up Job when he and God were conversing. And, we read, it was God himself, who gives permission for the tragedies that Satan is about to unleash in Job’s life. Our understanding deepens with this knowledge. As Jobs friends try to convince Job he finds himself in such a miserable condition because of his sin, Job maintains that he has been upright. Job, meanwhile, demands a hearing with God. “Why am I suffering so?” he wants to ask of the Lord.
Well, God answers Job, but not like Job expects. Rather than listening to Job’s complaints, God has one question to ask of Job which he poses over and over in dozens of ways – “Job, just who do you think you are to ask this of me?” The last few chapter of Job always break me as God goes on and on – “Where were you when I formed the world? How many stars did I put in the sky? What are all their names? Tell me, Job, surely you know…”
But this is not the arrogance of the despot God. It is instead love unbounded.
You see, we all are have the natural propensity to put other things before God and worship them. In the story of Job, Job is reduced to nothing, with nothing but God himself left for him (indeed, that is why it so cruel when Job’s wife says to curse God and die). For Job, through good and unspeakable evil, God is Job’s treasure.
Indeed, God is the greatest treasure, our purest joy, the one whom we were made for. So ironically, it is when Job is reduced so low that God is able to come and speak to him and remind him that He is everything Job needs!
That is why it is loving for God to humble him… and to humble us. When we are broken, it is then we find that God is everything, God is our all in all.
Or as the Apostle Paul says, “When I am weak, it is then that I am strong. Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness.”
Lord, teach us to worship none of the things of this world before you. Guard our hearts from making idols of self. Let our greatest satisfaction be found in you for you alone fully satisfy. Remind us that our brokenness is never meant to crush us, but to draw us ever closer to you, the great comforter and fountain of joy. Amen.