Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Job 40:1-2 (ESV)
And the LORD said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

The word translated “faultfinder” means to complain or argue with another. The word translated “argues” means to judge or argue a case in court. The NIV reads, “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Job’s friends, including Elihu, insisted that some hidden sin was at the root of Job’s troubles. God never accuses Job of sin. He does accuse him of complaining against God and accusing God of wrongdoing.
Job 40:6-8 (NIV)
Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
“Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
“Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

There was no sin in Job’s life at the root of his troubles, but his response to his pain was less than stellar. What Job and his friends failed to consider was that the whole issue really had nothing to do with Job. It was really about God. The rest of Job 40-41 describes God’s power. God asks, “Who has a claim against me that I must pay?” He then goes on to say, “Everything under heaven belongs to me” (Job 41:11 NIV). In these chapters God uses the weather, and a description of two creatures, Behemoth and Leviathan, to demonstrate his power. Job 41:10 says "No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me?" Here are two creatures, a land animal and a sea creature, that are apparently impervious to man’s weapons and powerful enough to never be tamed. They are just creatures. Their power is greater than man, yet God created them. They yield to his will. Even the weather, something man has never been able to tame, yields to the will of God. In all creation, only man stands and argues with his creator.

The more I read Job, the more convinced I am that Job is not about Job. Job is about God. Is God sovereign, or is he not? Is God Lord, or is he not? Can we trust him, or not? We live as though life is about us. We challenge God as though life is about us. We even present the gospel as though life is about us. Maybe what we really need is to see behind the veil and realize that we are not the center of the universe. Life and death, pain and ease, wealth and poverty…it’s just life in a broken world. Despite how our parents treated us, life does not revolve around us or around them. It revolves around Almighty God.

When he is the center of our universe, our perspective changes. That is what Job was learning. It is what Elihu needed to learn. It is what Job’s friends desperately needed to understand. So much pain has been caused, and so much damage has been done because we have the wrong person at the center of our little world. We are like the wheel on a clown bicycle where the axle is off-center. Our world is filled with ups and downs that make riding the bike difficult at best. The ride smooths out when our lives are centered on Christ.

I don’t mean that everything becomes good. I don’t mean that nothing bad happens. I don’t mean that pain disappears. Just look at Job. But when life is not about us, those things take on a different look and a different experience. In the midst of our pain, we find the comforting peace of God. In the storms of life, we find his calming presence. When bad things happen, we look to a God who can be trusted even when things don’t go our way. When God is at the center, our perspective of everything changes. After all, it is no longer about us. Life is about something much higher and grander than we can imagine, and He is at the center of it all. Life is about Him. In all creation, only man stands and argues with his creator. Perhaps it is time to stop arguing, and trust him.

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