August 3, 2012
“… what does He receive from your hand?” (Job 35:7)
Not many devout people are disillusioned when they see wicked people suffer; however, the people of God are often faith-challenged when the godly suffer. For thousands of years devout souls have been asking God, “Why do the righteous suffer?”
The book of Job is the longest, most profound and comprehensive answer to that question in the Bible. If this is the oldest book in the Bible, then the very first truth God wanted to teach us is His answer to this primary ‘why question’ of His hurting people.
The way this ancient “Saga of Suffering” answers that question turns on a question Job asked his wife. God had given Satan permission to take every possession he had, including his ten children (Job 2:3). Then God permitted Satan to take Job’s health. When he lost his health and was suffering from a dreadful disease, his wife told him he should curse God and die. He responded to her cheerful counsel by asking, “Shall we accept good from the hand of God, and not trouble?” (Job 2:10 NIV)
The essence of Job’s question was, “What should a righteous man expect God to put in his hand because he is living a righteous life?” The answer to Job’s question is found in a discourse of a young man named, Elihu. He told Job he was asking the wrong question. He should be asking, “What is He receiving from your hand?” (Job 35: 7 NIV)
If you are hurting, or when you do, ask God the right question. What have you done for Him lately? What are you putting in His hand?
July 26, 2012
“The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that He has revealed to us that we may obey…” (Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT)
According to Moses, there are secrets God has determined to keep secret. (Perhaps these secrets are on a need to know basis.) However, the things God wants us to do, He has made very plain through His Word, especially the Living Word, His beloved Son. But, if God has willed to remain silent about His secrets, it would be pompous arrogance for us to say we can answer all the “why” questions regarding our suffering.
Where did we ever get the idea that we should expect to understand everything that happens to us? Where did we ever get the absurd notion that God owes us an explanation for everything He has done and is doing in our world and in our lives? If God gave us an explanation for everything and the answers to all of our “why” questions, the very essence of faith and the need for faith would be eliminated.
Almighty God has willed that without faith we cannot please Him, or come to Him (Hebrews 11:6). God is pleased when we echo these words of Job: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15 NKJV). In my own words, God is pleased when we come to Him in our crucibles of suffering and cry, “If you heal me, that’s all right. But, if you don’t heal me, that’s all right, too, because You are all right!”
Can you say you are all right because He is all right? Can you leave the secret things with Him?