Today we’re reading Exodus 6, Job 23, and Psalm 54.
This devotional is about Job 23.
Sometimes it seems like God’s presence is real and tangible. You can’t see him or touch him, but his conviction is so powerful, or his work in your life is so undeniable, or the power of his word is so strong that you can sense his presence.
Most of the time, though, we don’t sense the presence of God, at least not that strongly. In the most discouraging moments of life, actually, it feels like God is a million miles away. That’s how Job was feeling in Job 23. He was willing to travel anywhere to have an audience with God (v. 3). His purpose in seeking that audience was to explain to God why his problems were unjust (v. 4) and then to hear God’s response (v. 5). He was confident that God would respond in his favor and reverse all the troubles he had experienced in the opening chapters of this book (vv. 6-7).
Alas, though, he couldn’t find God (vv. 8-9). There was no location on earth Job could travel to and have a direct, personal, tangible give-and-take with the Lord God.
Instead, Job realized that he had to wait for God to summon him. He couldn’t go and find God but he believed that God would find him (v. 10a). And, when God did find him, Job was confident that he would be vindicated (vv. 11-12).
But what if God didn’t vindicate Job? That was the question he considered in verses 13-17. God exists on another level from us, one that we can never approach.
- God is creator; we are the created.
- God is infinite; we are finite.
- God is perfect; we are... not.
- God has absolute power; we have very limited powers and whatever power we have was delegated from God anyway.
- God is all-wise; we are foolish.
- God knows all-things; compared to him, we know nothing.
We desire to know why--why bad things happen to good people, why innocent children suffer painful birth defects, why our hopes and dreams often don’t come true and why those that do come true don’t seem to be as sweet as we thought they would be.
These are common human questions and struggles and they are not necessarily sinful or disrespectful to God.
It is sinful, however, when we challenge God instead of fearing God. To challenge God, one must believe that he knows better than God does and has better moral judgment than God does.
Questions are inevitable. But can you consider them and ask them while still remembering to fear God? The fear of God is to remember that he exists on another level from us, a level we cannot even imagine much less understand. Ask your questions but remember who God is and who you are. Ask your questions in submission, fearing God for who he is. Someday, he may honor you with the answer.