This is the question God asked Job. For thirty-five chapters Job seeks answers to why tremendous calamity has overcome him.

Star studded cluster in the constellation Sagittarius

“God doesn’t give Job an explanation. He just shows Job who He is. … and then says,

I ask the questions and you give the answers. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Job 38:4

We know why calamity overtook Job, God allowed Satan to bring it upon him. To most of us, this seems unjust, even offensive. Even though we know that God restored Job’s fortunes, twice as much as he had before, it is only when we read Job’s final response that we get to understand what God had achieved. Moreover, it is obvious who is in control of all that occurred.

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

As Francis Chan said in a recent sermon, “For any of us who think that we can come into the presence of God and say, ‘God, why did you make me this way? Why did I go through this? This is my body, my choice.’ God says: ‘No, wait a second. No. Nothing is yours. I spoke this world into existence.’ The world is the Lord’s and everything in it. It’s all made by Him. And He doesn’t owe us an explanation for what He does in it. 

Chan also referenced Isaiah 66:2, where God says: “This is the one to whom I will look, he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at My Word.” 

“Do you tremble at the Word of God? Do you tremble? Because if you want God to choose you and see you, you need to tremble at His Word. Do you tremble at James 4:6, where it says, ‘God opposes the proud? If there’s ever a verse to tremble at, that might be it,” Chan said. 

Chan warned the audience against becoming like those who say they are Christians, but “they are not close to God, not the God of the Bible.” He added that they “can sing … [and] cry, they can talk about their quiet time, but if they are proud, then they’re not very close to that throne.” 

“Those who are closest to God are those who are most humble. … Do you understand this God that we pray to? When people were close to God, they were not proud. Chan said, ‘whenever I see pride in my life, the answer to that is not OK, let me try to be more humble.’ No. ‘Let me try to get closer to God.’ Because when I’m in the presence of God, there is not going to be pride there.”

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.James 5:10-11

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