Is God Good?

Job continues to speak and through his words answers a question that most of us have asked or been asked; is God good?

“Let me have silence, and I will speak,
and let come on me what may.
Why should I take my flesh in my teeth
and put my life in my hand?
Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.

Job 13.13-15

Even though he didn’t understand what was going on, he trusts God (I will hope in Him). Have you ever been in a situation like that? Circumstances that you don’t understand, a situation that you cannot make sense of, when the only thing left to do is trust wholeheartedly in God. Job knew that even though he slay me, even though the terrible things happening to him were not outside of God’s permission or declaration, that trusting and hoping in Him were still the right things to do. 

Even though blameless and upright (1.1, 8) Job was going through a set of circumstances that would break us all. 

Even though he was without blame and suffering, he still did not curse God (1.22, 2.10).

Even though he was on the precipice of death (3.20-26), he hoped in and trusted God.

Even though he slay me, I will hope in him

Reading this, it is hard to look past the Christ-centred type that Job is. The truer, better Job, think about Jesus;

A blameless and upright man charged and punished as if He had sinned – Isaiah 53.6, 2 Corinthians 5.21

A man who throughout His ordeal, did not curse God. On the contrary, He sought forgiveness for those involved – Luke 23.34

A man who, on the precipice of death, trusted God – Luke 23.46

A man who, even though slain, brings eternal hope – 1 Thessalonians 1.3, John 4.13-14

Is God good? Job knew that He is. For you and me, despite what is going on around us, le us forever say yes, yes He is.

Can I Know God?

Today Zophar the Naamathite answers Job and asks, 

“Can you find out the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?
It is higher than heaven—what can you do?
Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?

Job 11.7-8

There is little compassion coming Job’s way from Zophar, and he even thinks Job deserves worse (11.6). He basically tells Job that he is totally deserving of everything that is happening to him (vv.2-6), and then rebukes Job for boasting in his claim to be innocent. Rather than comforting Job in his affliction, Zophar seems to think that God is so unknowable that there must be some unknown – but real – way that Job has sinned. 

At the core of Zohar’s argument is the idea that we cannot really know God, we cannot find out the deep things of God, we cannot find the limit of the Almighty, that we cannot ever really know God.

So, can we know God?

There are two ways we can know God – His general revelation and His specific revelation. 

General revelation is what can be known of God to each and every human being from simply being observant about the world we live in. Created beauty, the fine tuning of the universe, the cycle of life, and the order of life, for example (Psalm 19.1-4, Romans 1.20). 

Specific, or special, revelation is how God has revealed Himself, His plans, His purposes in specific ways. This is things like dreams, visions, His Word, and through the person and work of Jesus. 

Of these, the Word and the person of Jesus are by far the most revealing, the most thorough, and the most special (2 Timothy 3.16-17, Hebrews 1.1-3). 

Can we know God? Absolutely. We can observe the world He has made, we can read the Word He communicated, and we can be in relationship through faith with His Son, His very likeness in human form, Jesus. 

Is God Any Different?

There are certain things that we all want. Love, respect, comfort, security, the pursuit of happiness, hope for the future, to know that there is something or someone greater, to belong to something bigger than ourselves, to know that God is different to us. 

Here, Job seems to be asking the same kind of question,

Have you eyes of flesh?
Do you see as man sees?

Job 10.4

When things are crumbling around him, Job is asking ‘God, are you any different? Is there any point in me trusting you? Are you just like everyone and everything else? Are you any different?

He answers his own question in vv.8-13 but things around him lead him to ask the question. It’s so easy, and very human, to ask these big questions of God when things are going wrong. Given the current state of the pandemic-ridden world, we would be forgiven for asking the same questions, ‘Really God, why is this happening? I thought you loved everyone? Are you any different?

Ask those questions. Ask and then turn to the Word to find the answers in places like this,

“Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55.6-9

Yes, our great God is different.

He is real, He is near, He delights in compassion, forgiveness, and grace. He knows what is truly best for His creation (Job 10.12-13in ways that we simply cannot understand. He is different. 

Whilst it looks like the world is falling apart, could it be that things are falling into place in the eyes of Him who sees the bigger picture? I would encourage you today to trust in His unfailing love, grace, wisdom, and His ability to ensure that His will is always done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

What a question. It’s deep, it’s emotional, it’s raw, and it’s something that we have all asked at some point in our lives.

I hope that when you asked this, the answer you got was ‘yes‘. If directly or indirectly you got a ‘no‘, if you feel like you will never be good enough, you find yourself in good company here. 

Job replies to Bildad (ch.8) and says,

Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be in the right before God?

Job 9.2

This is a process that we all work through, isn’t it? 

We accept that the world was made. We accept that the world was made by an all-powerful creator God. We accept that this all-powerful creator God is uniquely holy and pure. We accept that, by nature, we are not. We question, will I ever be good enough for this all-powerful, creator God who is uniquely holy and pure?

The answer is that alone, left to your own devices, no, you won’t be. You never will be. This is bad news.

We many look at others and appear humanly righteous, as people like Noah (Genesis 7.1) and Job himself (1.1) were. But, bigger picture, compared to the uniquely holy and pure righteousness of God, are we? Can we ever be good enough?

There will only ever be one way that God looks at you and declares you righteous – faith in Jesus.

As by nature we are all broken and sinful, by faith we are declared righteous (Romans 5.19).

There will always be others around us to whom we can point and say look, see, I am more righteous than him/her. Does this make us good enough? 

With faith in Jesus, you have the only thing you ever need to be good enough for our all-powerful creator God who is uniquely and totally holy and pure. This is the Good News!

Is God Always Right?

Today we have a change in speaker. Bildad the Shuhite comes to the table, so to speak, bringing with him a straight-talking, black and white approach that borders on insensitive. He seems to hear the words of Job, but certainly not the pain of the words (v.2). He clearly thinks Job and his family have sinned (v.4), and asks if God is always right.

Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert the right?

Job 8.3

So, is God always right? What do we do when we think that God may have perverted justice? What do we do when we feel like God is against us?

The first thing to do is take our thoughts and feelings captive to the revealed truth of the Word and of Jesus (2 Corinthians 10.5). We know we are fallible and fallen, and our thoughts and feelings betray us based on what is going on around us. We begin to justify our own poor behaviour, begin to employ moral relativism, and begin to see ourselves as the victim in all situations. So we take these thoughts captive and turn to revealed truth.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good – Luke 18.19.

God loves you – 1 John 4.19.

God wants what is best for you – Romans 8.28.

God has demonstrated this in the most spectacular way possible – John 3.16.

God knows far more than we do – Isaiah 55.8-9.

God is all knowing, all loving, all wise, therefore will always make the right choice, therefore is always right – Psalm 147.5.

Is God always right? Our thoughts and feelings may try to convince us otherwise, but the revealed truth of His Word and Jesus Christ tell us that yes, He is.

Take comfort from this today!

What Am I?

Today, Job asks why he is getting so much attention from God.

What is man, that you make so much of him,
and that you set your heart on him,
visit him every morning
and test him every moment?
How long will you not look away from me,
nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?

Job 7.17-19

Job is questioning why God is so intent on pursuing him, why God is constantly concerned over him, why God is even bothered that Job exists (vv.17-18). He wants to know why he hasn’t even a second to himself (v.19). 

There is comfort to be taken from knowing that God is intently and intensely interested in you, that there is nowhere you can go or no situation you can be in that escapes His sight and attention. Here, Job seems to be coming from a negative place (…nor leave me alone…), but the very presence which Job is lamenting here will later be seen for the wonderful, loving, enveloping, protecting, reassuring, providential presence it truly is (42.1-6).

Today, if you feel that you are forgotten, if you are wondering why God would be interested in you, think on the truths of God’s Word.

You are known, you are loved, you are intently and intensely pursued by a God who wants what is best for you, and who gave everything He could to prove this to you.

If you are asking yourself ‘what am I?“, you are the object of God’s tremendous love and there is nothing He won’t do to show you that. 

 

Is This All There Is?

In answering our last big question, we came to the conclusion that we cannot fix our own problems, but that there is One who can. Now, Job continues in despair and seems to ask, ‘Is this all there is?’.

“Has not man a hard service on earth,
and are not his days like the days of a hired hand?”

Job 7.1

Job is feeling like he has been conscripted to fight in a battle that is not his (a hard service), and feels trapped in this position (the days of a hired hand). This is certainly a difficult place to be in. 

Have you ever felt like that? That you have been sucked into a situation and battle that is not your own, or that you are so totally trapped in something you cannot envisage a way out?

At times like this we should look to the most repeated command in the Word and the most repeated promise in the Word, both of which can be found in Isaiah 41,

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Fear not, don’t worry, don’t stress, don’t let anxiety get the better of you, because I am with you.

David Guzik writes on this,

“Years ago, J.B. Phillips wrote a wonderful book titled, Your God is too Small. In it, he showed how when people forget the greatness of God, they easily become dismayed. But God says, be not dismayed, for I am your God.

Job was in a situation that seemed to be world-ending. His circumstances were getting on top of him, he was dismayed, and his thoughts were leading him to conclude that this was all there was ever going to be. This is so easy to do.

But, the command and promise of God tell us something different. There is more. There is One who promises to walk the difficult road with us, to carry us if need be, to join us in the battle, to fight the battle for us.

There was more for Job, and there is more for you.