My Bible reading plan currently has me going through Job.
I feel like reading through Job is my Job Experience.
The first two chapters of Job are great because they’re filled with councils in heaven, Satan being shady and all the calamities that befall Job. After that action-packed beginning, though, Job becomes a poetry book of complaints, like the journal of an emo kid.
For 35 chapters Job goes back and forth with his three friends. Job complains to God and says that it would have been better had he never been born. Job’s friends confront Job and tell him to confess the sin for which he is being punished. Job stubbornly responds to his friends and assures them that he’s sinless.
Thirty. Five. Chapters.
I wrote that beginning a Bible reading plan in Genesis is a bad idea but Job would be much worse.
I’ve attempted to focus, though, while reading through Job and it has helped a little. There’s still a lot of complaining but, in the midst of that complaining, I have been learning about God’s goodness.
Even though Job’s life completely fell apart, God was still good.
Even though Job’s friends thought he had sinned, God was still good.
Even though Job wished that he had never been born, God was still good.
If nothing else, Job’s story teaches us that we don’t know and can’t know everything that God is doing. A lot of Job’s complaints center on not knowing why God is punishing him. Through it all, though, Job continues to worship God and place his trust in him.
After 35 chapters of complaining, arguing and responding, God does eventually show up. And, instead of telling Job exactly why he did what he did, God simply reminds Job that God is God and Job is not. God can do whatever he wants and, because he is good, whatever he does is good.
It’s easier to accept that reality when looking at the story of Job. It’s more difficult to accept that reality when looking at our own lives. As I wrote about, though, when facing gray seasons it’s important to trust in God’s goodness. Even if we can’t see the light, even if we’ve forgotten what light looks like, we need to trust that it will eventually shine through.
Like Job, we can complain and express our feelings, but ultimately we need to believe in God’s goodness. We may not always know what God is doing but we can trust that he is good.
Even when reading 35 chapters in the middle of Job.
What have you learned from the book of Job?