“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
“Then Job answered and said: ‘Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning. Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments’.” Job 23:1-4
In Job chapters 40 and 41 God, in the midst of answering Job who is bitter over his suffering, describes two powerful creatures that he had created, Behemoth and Leviathan. Behemoth is described as a large, land-dwelling creature with immense strength and power. Leviathan, on the other hand, is described as a fearsome sea monster with impenetrable scales and the ability to breathe fire. Many scholars believe these animals actually existed during the time of Job as dinosaurs and dragons due to much circumstantial evidence in ancient drawings and writings that mention these creations. The description of these creatures with their immense power and strength and the fact that God only can control them serves to remind Job and the reader of the sovereignty and power of God over all things and the fact that he is beyond questioning by his creation.
God never chooses to answer the question about why the righteous suffer because he does not have to – He is God, sovereign over all. Henry Morris in the introduction to his book on Job stated it this way – “The pervasive theme of Job’s book… is the mystery of the suffering of the righteous in a world created by a righteous and omnipotent God. However, though this may be the theme of the book, that is not its purpose, for the book never answers that question. Even God, in His remarkable four-chapter monologue at the end of the book, never mentions the question at all. Rather, God emphasizes the vital importance of the doctrine of special creation and the sovereign right of the Creator to use and test His creatures as He wills. He is never unjust and never capricious, and we must simply rest in that fact by faith.”
In the end, Job acquiesced to God’s sovereignty and remained steadfast until he saw God’s plans fulfilled, being restored to all he had before and more. The word for “steadfastness” attributed to Job in the James quote above does not mean patience but rather endurance/perseverance. Though initially impatient with God, Job endured and was steadfast until he realized the compassion and mercy of God.
One thought on “The Unquestionable God”
Well said. Regarding his Sovereignty over all reminded me of Rom. 8 which is a list of God’s blessings and assurances, then this seemingly incompatible statement, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” (Rom. 8:35-36)