Day 21

7 Think! What innocent person has ever perished?

   When have those who do the right thing been destroyed?

8 As I’ve observed, those who plow sin

   and sow trouble will harvest it.

9 When God breathes deeply, they perish;

   by a breath of his nostril they are annihilated.

10 The roar of a lion and snarl of the king of beasts—

   yet the teeth of lions are shattered;

11        the lion perishes without prey,

           and its cubs are scattered. Job 4:7-11, CEB

 

How can you believe in God at a time like this?

 

People have dodged this question for centuries, it seems. In this passage, one of Job’s friends is talking. Remember, at the end of Job, God expresses displeasure with Job’s friends as they clearly don’t understand who God is.

 

That means we know the questions in these verses are the wrong kinds of questions. Plenty of innocent people have perished. Plenty, “…who do the right thing,” have been destroyed. It’s simple-minded to think that life, and God, are so easy to manipulate.

 

Because God admonishes Job’s friends, this means we do have permission to ask questions and to investigate. Perhaps that’s one way to believe “at a time like this.” To investigate, to question, to shout, to lament. It’s a lost art in the church where, today, you’re far more likely to hear a sermon that says, “True Christians never experience pain,” as you are to hear one that says, “Pain is part of life and, therefore, we need to wrestle with God.”

 

So, again, I encourage you to wrestle.

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