Archive for August 24th, 2018

Job 40:1-5: Arguing with the Almighty

Friday, August 24, 2018


In today’s reading Job agrees to put his hand over his mouth so that he might finally listen to Yahweh . . . and he says this after having made a full and cogent argument to his maker.  I believe that we are meant to wrestle with God.  We are created to think, reflect and re-think.  We are created to be in relationship with God, and to do this well we must ask questions.  So many times we receive an enigmatic answer which requires not intelligence to understand but patience and fidelity.  This is how we acquire wisdom: through lengthy days of listening, reflecting and praying.

Ought we to argue with God?  Absolutely.  Will we receive unusual and even vague answers?  Precisely.  Is this the path to wisdom and eventual serenity?  Without a doubt.  And this brings us to the point of this reading:  when we assume a proper relationship with God, all else falls into place.  When we turn to God only, when we believe in God only, when we act through God only, then we find the peace which is promised to us.  In the scope of the universe we are quite small; but even in our smallness, each of us is important to God.  We never once hear the Maker say to Job, “I will get back to you in a minute after I finish dealing with a world war, genocide in a number of places, two hurricanes and an earthquake, along with an outbreak of a dread disease and thirteen governments gone bad with corruption”.  God does not put us aside or put us on hold.  God is attentive and present all through this story.  And what we see is God’s constancy, fidelity, and willingness to listen to Job’s complaint.  We can be assured that as with Job, when we send our petitions and our cry upward, God will hear, because God is always abiding, and God will answer from the whirlwind.  We must summon the courage and the openness to hear what God has to say. Then we must forbear, hope, and be faithful to the promise we and God hold together . . . the promise of rescue, healing and restoration.

Looking forward to the end of Job’s story we have the choice of thinking that Job’s happy ending is the result of fantasy, or we may choose to believe that God abides, and that his promises are kept.  This choice is entirely up to us . . . and I choose to believe that the story is not a fairy tale.  I choose to believe that God abides.

Adapted from a reflection written on January 27, 2008.

Image from: http://tracychurch.com/answers-club/ 

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