This is probably one of the most significant questions we need to be able to find an answer to: How big is your God?
As you can see, we haven’t gone through the whole book of Job, nor have we taken time to look at the individual discourses by Job and his friends; time and space do not permit us. However, I want us to consider something that all of those men had to face. The question was – is God bigger than your theology?
I have found that for most of the people I have spoken to their concept of God is governed by one of two major issues. Their experience of God or their theology of God. In other words, they ‘understand’ God through either their experiences of God or who they think He is.
As far as they are concerned, from the subjective evaluation of their circumstances, God has been ‘good’ to them; been ‘hard’ on them; ‘neutral’; ‘bad/unkind’ or even ‘absent’.
As they consider God from the reference point of the ‘information’ they have, their view of God is coloured by what they have gleaned from the media, from their friends, from the members of their family, from teachers, from the ‘church’, from other Christians or from the Bible.
In one sense, Job and his friends were coming from the same starting point. They started from the point that God is righteous and man unrighteous God wants man to be righteous so He has given him rules and regulations to achieve that.
God punishes wrong, so if we suffer punishment – illness, accident or harm – it is because we have done something wrong.
It is impossible to please God because we can’t do anything good, and even if we could, He wouldn’t notice it, as it would be just what He would expect anyway.
You can’t argue with God, and any frustration at God is sinful.
Just ‘grin and bear’ whatever life brings along because God is righteous and can do what He likes. However, as He is righteous, whatever He does must be in retribution for wrong-doing.
As you read their arguments, a lot of what they say is true. The only problem is with their reasoned corollary.
I love what we read in Job and I want to highlight just two things:
Job found that he could ‘let rip at God’ and survive.
I am so grateful that we are ‘allowed’ to ask God the question – “Why?” I’m confident that all of us will sooner or later experience something in our lives, which will cause us to cry out with all our beings: “Why?” “Why God?” “Why did You allow that to happen to me?” “Why now?” “Why him/her?” “Why not me?” “Why this/that?”
Did you notice Jesus did on the Cross? I’m so glad He did. It gives me permission to do so as well. However, did you also notice He didn’t get an answer? Neither did I. But it isn’t a sin to ask.
God gave Job a glimpse of His majesty and power.
Wow, did you read what God said? One of the most fascinating descriptions of ‘creation’ I’ve ever read – and by the Creator, too. When we read it again, we begin to understand why Job repented and went very quiet.
God is not an aloof Judge, or impersonal benign Being. He is Our Loving Heavenly Father, and He longs for us to love Him in return. We get a glimpse of Him in creation. We get a better picture of Him in Jesus – Jesus opens our eyes and opens the way for us to have that sort of relationship with God. Have you got it?