“And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:
‘Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much! Who decided on its size? Certainly you’ll know that! Who came up with the blueprints and measurements? How was its foundation poured, and who set the cornerstone, While the morning stars sang in chorus and all the angels shouted praise? And who took charge of the ocean when it gushed forth like a baby from the womb? That was me! I wrapped it in soft clouds, and tucked it in safely at night. Then I made a playpen for it, a strong playpen so it couldn’t run loose, And said, ‘Stay here, this is your place. Your wild tantrums are confined to this place.’ And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’ told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’ so you could seize Earth like a blanket and shake out the wicked like cockroaches?
As the sun brings everything to light, brings out all the colors and shapes, the cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—they’re caught in the very act! Have you ever gotten to the true bottom of things, explored the labyrinthine caves of deep ocean? Do you know the first thing about death? Do you have one clue regarding death’s dark mysteries? And do you have any idea how large this earth is? Speak up if you have even the beginning of an answer.” Job 38:1-18 (MSG)
Have you ever taught your child how to ride their bike, trained a co-worker on the job, or taught someone something new? When a child is learning to ride a bike, they want to do it themselves. But your perspective is so much greater. You see the curves in the road and bumps in the sidewalk. They think they know how to do it. Or, maybe you have taught someone something new, and they thought they knew all of the answers. Based on your experience and expertise, you realize that your knowledge and understanding of the topic is much greater than they will admit. It can even be frustrating, because your plane of reasoning far exceeds their limited knowledge about the topic. They might act like they know it all, but you realize that they only understand a small sliver. And when we look at life through the lens of days, months, and years, we can act like we know it all. But God realizes that we only understand a small portion in light of His knowledge and perspective of eternity.
God shows us the contrast of His knowledge and perspective through the story of Job. Job’s story of pain and anguish told in the book of Job can be puzzling. Why would God have included the book of Job in the Bible? Within the pages of Job, trying to figure out the identity of God and get answers, God reveals to us something significant about His identity. When we are looking at life in terms of months and years, God is looking at it with all of eternity in mind. Job wanted to take his case before God. He had lost everything, and his health was even on the line. The events of his life did not make sense to him. Job had some questions for God, and many of them boiled down to the question “why.” And when God finally shows up on the scene, God is the one asking the questions, not Job. God starts at the heart of creation. Had Job ever made the sun rise in the morning? In Job’s desire to have answers, God gives him perspective. And as God continually asks questions in the following chapters, Job realizes that he cannot even fathom the greatness of God.
We might wonder how Job could ask all the questions, but too often, we are asking similar questions ourselves. We want to know why God is not working on our time table. We look at the weeks and months and can’t understand why God would not heal our bodies, give us the job we want, or bring our future spouse into our lives. When we are asking the questions, God is looking at it all with an eternal perspective. There simply will be some things that we will not be able to wrap our minds around this side of eternity. So, sometimes instead of having answers, we need God to give us perspective. As He listed in the final chapters of Job, He sees and cares for all of creation. And because He is a good God, we can be confident that He is caring for us.
In Job 42:1-6 (MSG), it says ,”Job answered God: ‘I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor’.” Through Job’s encounter with God, his heart was humbled and his perspective changed. God did bring about a greater blessing in Job’s life in due time. There are many lessons that we can learn through the life of Job. Through the story and struggle of Job, one lesson we can see is that one of God’s great gifts to us is not through answered questions, but through a changed perspective.
Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.