This was not, of course, a question – it was at most a rhetorical question. A reminder of who we are and Who the Almighty God is. A call to sanity, if you like.
We know the trials Job went through – and they were huge. Almost more than any human being should be asked to bear. The loss of everything – wife, family, possessions, home, business. Ill health, reduced to dust and ashes. And if that wasn’t enough, three of his friends who came along to ‘commiserate’ and, as can be the way with friends and enemies alike, ended up dumping their own prejudices and making the whole thing so much worse.
But, reduced as he was to nothing, Job stood strong on what really is the most important thing in this short earthly life – faith in his God. Throughout all the many trials, physical and mental, his faith did not waver.
And one would think that having proved his faith in these ultimate tests, he would have been entitled to an answer to the one question so many ask, so often:
He didn’t get his answer. That answer is not available to us in this earthly life. And there is no reason why it should be. Instead, Job got reminded of his place in the scheme of things vis-a-vis the One he was questioning:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?” (Job 38: 4-7)
With all our intellectual achievements, we forget that our knowledge and understanding are not those of The Creator. A good look at the sky on a clear, starry night, and a very small appreciation of the intricacies of balance that set the universe in motion and keep it moving in its age-old pattern are enough to remind us of far greater forces than we have at our disposal.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) …
The Father, like human fathers at times, does not answer all questions. And while that can be hard on His children, life is not intended to be a bed of roses. We cannot be forever fed on milk. If we respond correctly to those trials that come across our path, we will come to realise that the hard knocks bring us closer to the true heart of the Father – which is LOVE.
And while the hard knocks of this life are but for a season, the Father’s love is for eternity