God’s Cosmic Control
Mighty God, You understand my needs and concerns. I bow in praise before You.
Read JOB 40:1-24
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“For our struggle is…against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Eph. 6:12).
Earlier, Job had gotten to the stage of accusing God (Yahweh also YHWH) and demanding justice (e.g. Job 27:2-6; 30:20-23). God has responded, asserting that he rules supreme over creation and cares for all of it. His message to Job is that he cares for him even more than for the wild animals. “All happenings occur within Yahweh’s wise counsel. That means Job’s suffering has taken place within, not outside, God’s wise governance. Just like the wild donkey which has to go hungry in exchange for its freedom, so Job has had to endure suffering in exchange for the integrity of his relationship with Yahweh” (John E. Hartley). Now God demands a reply from Job–but for once he is silent.
Job has accused God of injustice towards him. Now God suggests that Job himself should play God and bring justice on the wicked; if he can do this, God will admit that Job does not need him; he can save himself (6-14). Job is not God, however. He cannot do what only God can do. He is not even as strong as the “behemoth” (15-24). This creature may have been a hippopotamus or an elephant. Only God can control such forces. Job is very small.
There are times in our lives when we realize how very small and very weak we humans are–despite outward shows of power and wealth. Even the most powerful nation is helpless in the face of devastating floods, earthquakes or tornadoes. Even the best-known celebrities can develop terminal cancer. Even the most important business tycoon may eventually become old and frail, totally dependent on others. For those going through horrendous suffering, the only response of faith–having had our rant at God–is to curl up small and put ourselves under his loving control.
What new insights does this passage give you into the place of suffering in your own life? How can the events of your life be used by God for reasons you might not be aware of?
Father, at times I do not understand Your ways, but I will always trust You.