Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sometimes There Are No Answers

Oh, that I had one to hear me!  Behold, here is my signature; Let the Almighty answer me!  And the indictment which my adversary has written… Job 31:35
Sometimes there are no answers.  My brother has cancer.  Many people have loved ones that get cancer but when it pushes its ugly way into your own life it is even more devastating.  And there are no answers to the question Why?  There are no words that can comfort. 
As we saw yesterday, Job knew what it meant to suffer.  He had some great friends that told him it was all his fault that all these bad things were happening to him.  No one needs friends like that!  For some of us, it is our first instinct to think that we are at fault when bad things happen.  The truth is that there are many random tragedies that strike lots of random people.  The people that have had their lives devastated by Harvey, Irma, and the fires that are raging had nothing to do with the ravaging of these storms and fires.  This was all beyond their control.  And the only thing Job did to bring all this on himself was to be a righteous and God-fearing man.  Because of that, he was chosen by Satan to be made an example. 
That’s right, the suffering in Job’s life was not because of his unrighteousness, but actually his righteousness.   However, in the midst of his suffering, which was very real and poignant and terrifying, Job did say two things that were wrong.
Job accuses God of two things:
                You don't really care for me.
                Even if you do, you are not able to protect me.
Job was wrong when he said that God must be an uncaring God and that what had happened to him was evidence that God was not in control of his universe…that He must not understand and must not really be kind or care for people because He let these things happen.
Those are the two charges that I think every one of us, in the midst of our suffering, raises against God.  We may not do it loudly, but we whisper it in our subconscious in order to find comfort, "God, do you really understand my sorrow? Do you really know? Do you really care?" Then, as the temperature gets hotter, we often say to God, "Are you really in control at all?"
Job goes on to say that he wishes he had never been conceived.  Furthermore, he wishes, since he had been conceived, that he had died in childbirth.  But God has granted neither wish, so he wishes that God would at least take his life in his present circumstance.  Job cries: "Oh, that I had one to hear me…let the Almighty answer me!" Job 31:35
In the midst of his suffering Job cries out to God. He raises the question that you and I have raised repeatedly in the tragedies of our experience. It is the question that makes us shudder when our children ask it: the question, "Why?" Three times in this book Job says to God, "Answer me! Tell me! I want to know why."
It’s because of Job’s wrong answers that God finally speaks to him beginning in Job chapter 38.  Job 38-42 is the longest discourse in the Bible in which God speaks. Finally, God says he will offer some answers to Job's questions.
Job said to God, "Because I sit here in these ashes, because my children are only a fond memory, because I have lost everything I possessed, you must not care for me. But if you do care for me you are incompetent to provide for me."  I think most of us would feel abandoned by God in this situation.  God speaks to Job out of a whirlwind like that which destroyed his family, but his time, God brings not ruin but revelation, not tragedy but disclosure.  Tomorrow we will see what God’s answers to Job were.
Scripture to Claim:

I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me.  Job 30:28

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