Pondering Job in a Pandemic – Chapter 10

Job 10 is the second half of Job’s response to Bildad. If we hadn’t been told in chapter 1, Job did not charge God with wrong, we might think he is doing just that in this chapter.

Chapter 10 echoes much of what Job said in chapter 3.

In the middle of the chapter, 8-13, Job poetically describes the wonder of creation – his creation. Like the Psalmist in Psalm 139, Job acknowledges God as the One Who formed Him in every way. Yet for Job, this truth is not expressed as a basis for praise but more an expression of his perplexity.

Job is crying out for an answer… He is asking, “why?”

He begins his complaint in this chapter by asking – why would God do all of this to him when He knows he is not guilty?

After describing the truth of God’s hand in Job’s creation, Job wonders why God would do these things to one He has made.

Job then begins to almost think out-loud, acknowledging that if his friends are right and he is guilty of some sin, all of this is deserved.

Yet, he concludes in perplexity and confusion simply saying (as he did in chapter 3) it would have been far better to have never been born, and asking to have some relief from all of this and then just let him die.

Job is weary. Weary of his suffering. Weary of his friends lack of help and further contribution to his suffering. Weary of not knowing or understanding what God is doing and why He is doing it.

That last point is vital for us… God doesn’t minimise the reality of suffering in this Fallen world. In His Word He describes the suffering we experience in a variety of ways, depending on the circumstances – evil, trial, a weight, burden, heavy, etc.

Yet we can often add to the weight of our suffering by adding to it a demand that God reveal more to us that He has promised to reveal. We like Job begin to demand God to give us specific understanding as to what He is doing and why He is doing it.

Sometimes we do this out loud in prayer, or even in anger, bitterness and impatience. Sometimes we do his silently in our hearts. Sometimes we express this attitude by going to the Scriptures and forcibly pressing our (or someone else who we’ve read online) interpretation onto some passage of Scripture.

Many are doing this at the moment with these world events related to Covid-19. Claims of authority where current events become the interpretive grid for understanding Scripture are often more a sign of a lack of trust in God’s promises and character than a rightful handling of God’s Word.

We may ask why. Yet God has not promise to always answer this question. One might even say that in the biggest trials of our life, He rarely does. When He doesn’t we can either make up an answer, even quoting Scripture, which in the end is no answer at all but a misrepresentation of God. We can in our weariness for an answer grow bitter towards God and essentially demand that He either answer, change our circumstances or remove us from this world.

Or we can live by faith.

Hebrews 11:1-3 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”

Here is where we discover that Christian faith, Biblical faith isn’t a guess, it isn’t blind…

It is an assurance, a confident conviction based upon the evidence of God’s trustworthy word.

If we look at our current circumstances, all evidence may seem to be shouting – God is against you!

Yet when we look into God’s word we receive Truth. Truth that shouts – God is for us, His promises are sure. His Word gives us all we need to trust Him with our unanswered questions.

One practice which will help us in this is to go to God’s Word desiring to know Him more. To know His character. To know His promises. To know His work. To grow to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.

Rather than our primary driver being to answer our questions, our primary motive is to know God.

Soli Deo Gloria

Items to focus your faith: