You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?’
We are living in a day and age where God is questioned, ridiculed, minimised, pluralised and criticised on an open and regular basis. It is easy to judge the people who question God so overtly and seek to diminish Him in any way possible. Yet, on reading the book of Job we see that, as Believers, we too can be critical of God and His ways; diminishing Him in our lives and becoming self-focussed.
Job was a blameless man who feared God. He had all of his earthly possessions stripped away from him and was left in a bitter and complaining state; ‘I must express my anguish. I must complain in my bitterness’ (Job 7:11); ‘I hate my life and don’t want to go on living. Oh, leave me alone for my few remaining days’ (Job 7:16).
Whilst we can empathise with Job in his state of extreme loss, his reaction to his situation prompted a response from God that was not one of sympathy. God’s response is actually quite startling: ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them’ (Job 38:2-3).
The ensuing chapters rank highly in my favourite passages of Scripture where God barrages Job with questions and challenges. After this torrent of confrontation, God simply asks the question, ‘Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?’ (Job 40:2).
How often do we find ourselves complaining and embittered by our situations? We search for a God who will sympathise and pander to our self-pity but God, whilst a caring God, will not allow Himself to be minimised by our selfishness and pride. Job responded to God in repentance and humility having been sucked into the pride of self-focus and self-pity. From there God was able to bring full and abundant restoration.
We must be careful in our pain and anguish not to blame God or criticise Him for His works. He is the Sovereign God whose thoughts and ways are far beyond our understanding. It is not for us to know everything, just trust Him in all His ways and to seek His face and path for our lives. That is the road to healing and restoration.
Prayer: Thank You, God, that you are Sovereign. I come to You in humility and repentance for all the times I have become self-focussed and self-pitying. I know that this is pride and destructive to our relationship and to me. Help me to trust You in all things and know You only have what is best for me, even when it is hard. Amen.
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