And Job continued his discourse: “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
There is something so relatable about what Job is saying here and the story that he finds himself in. Job, a man with riches and power, finds himself stripped down to nothing, and he has to decide how he is going to respond to God in that situation.
As he’s struggling trying to work out what has happened and what it means, his “friends” come along and give him a bunch of terrible advice, ranging from blaming him for what’s happened, to encouraging him to turn away from God, to just being self-righteous. This is a part of Job’s response, and though it at first seem harsh, when we stop to think about it there is real beauty and promise in these words. Job is saying that even if God has given him the hard situation and suffering that he is in, he will not turn his back on God.
You see, Job understands something that we would all be better for understanding. God’s power is great, and if God can put us in a difficult situation, then God can also pour out amazing blessings to rescue us. Either way, God deserves our praise! Charles Spurgeon summed it up when he said, “If it be the Almighty who has troubled us, surely he can also comfort us. He that is strong to sink is also strong to save. If he be almighty to embitter, he must also be almighty to sweeten. Oh, yes, that word ‘Almighty’ cuts both ways! It makes us tremble, and so it kills our pride; but it also makes us hope, and so it slays our despair.”
Each of us really needs to consider whether we will trust in God, even when we cannot see the reason.
1: What are some times in your life that you have suffered loss or hardship, and how have you responded to God in those times?
2: Do you believe that God is almighty? If not, why not? What would need to happen in order for you to believe that? If yes, how does that inform your response to the events of life, both good and bad?
Take some time and pray together that God would give you real hope in all situations, and pray for others, near and far, who you know to be in dire situations, who need God’s hope more than ever.