Scripture: Job 42:1-17
Key verses: (1-2) Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
Reflection: This chapter ends the story of Job. Job endured tremendous suffering and he grieved, lamented, questioned, and struggled. Three friends gathered around Job on his journey. His friends offered pitiful platitudes intended to make sense of his suffering. They pushed Job to admit that the suffering was truly his own fault and the result of his own sin. They made distorted claims about God and the way God works in the world. Job didn’t accept his friends’ explanations and he never succumbed to their endless demands.
Job was a tough character who challenged God repeatedly in an attempt to explain what was happening and to find strength to endure it. In the end, the story never reaches a satisfactory explanation of suffering. It happens (and you know what “it” is!). I wonder if the primary transformation in the story is in Job’s own understanding of God.
Job never doubts that God is with him. He never worries that challenging God will result in punishment. He is free to question and to struggle. And by the end of the story, Job comes to terms with the reality that God is God. God cannot be explained in human terms. God cannot be understood in human parameters. God cannot be thwarted from working out God’s will in the world. God is God, and you are not.
Prayer: When I struggle, dear Lord, remind me that you are always with me. Give me courage to question the assumptions that I’ve made about you. Give me strength to hang in there, even when I suffer, so that I can grow closer to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].