When the Questioning Is Over
You asked why I talk so much when I know so little. I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding. You told me to listen and answer your questions. I heard about you from others; now I have seen you with my eyes. (Job 42:3-5, CEV)
If anyone could understandably question God about his ways, it was perhaps Job. Although Job had lived a godly life, everything had gone wrong for him; so he had a few things he wanted answers to! But when all the questioning was over, he was still no further forward. His friends had tried their best to give him answers, though often they were trite or stock answers that failed to ‘scratch where things itched’ for Job.
What really changed things for Job was not questioning God, but meeting God. He had said, ‘Let the Almighty answer me’ (Job 31:35), and God had answered – but not in the way Job expected. In chapters 38-41 God revealed himself to Job in a powerful way through a storm and started to ask Job some questions of his own: Do you know how creation came into being? Can you tell the morning to come? Do you know where light lives? Do you know where snow is kept? Do you understand the universe? Can you make it rain? Do you understand justice? Can you tame the monsters of the sea?
By the time God had finished, Job felt as small as it is possible to feel. Suddenly, his questioning of God and his ways didn’t seem so important any more. He didn’t have his answers; but he had met with God, and that had put a whole different perspective on things. And so, with renewed humility, Job prayed the words of our opening verses.
Let us ask our questions of God by all means. But let us also remember that the real answers are ultimately to be found, not in arguments and explanations, but in meeting with him.
If you have been asking lots of questions of God and getting no answers, perhaps it’s time to ask to meet him instead.
‘O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!’ (2 Kings 6:17, NLT)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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