“We prefer that God speak to us in the sunshine, but sometimes He must speak out of the storm.” ~ Warren Wiersbe
Every time I read through the book of Job, I look forward to the last few chapters– where God “answered Job out of the whirlwind” (Job 38:1). I love how He issued the challenge to “prepare yourself like a man” (38:3; 40:7).
Stand up and fight like a man. You wanted to plead your cause before Me, face to face. Okay, here I am. The Great I AM.
And every time I read through the book of Job, I find myself agreeing with so much of what Job said. And then, in chapters 38-42, I stand before the Great I AM, alongside Job, with humility and a corrected attitude. For really, who am I to question the LORD God Almighty?
“God’s address to Job centered on His works in nature and consisted of seventy-seven questions interspersed with divine commentary relating to the questions. The whole purpose of this interrogation was to make Job realize his own inadequacy and inability to meet God as an equal and defend his cause.” ~ Wiersbe
Seventy-seven questions. And guess what? God even used a sarcastic tone at times!
” ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!’ ” ~ Job 38:4-5a
If you have never read through the book of Job, you really should! But at least take the time to read through the last several chapters, where God answered Job out of that whirlwind. The descriptions of nature and His power over it are incredible!
Job desperately wanted to go before God to present his case– like a defendant before the judge– that he was a righteous man and had done nothing wrong to deserve the suffering he was enduring. Don’t we all desire that when we feel unjustly wounded and pained? When things go terribly awry, we ask “Why?”
“For He is not a man, as I am, that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both.” ~ Job 9:32-33
Job lamented how he, as a mere man, could not physically come before God to present his case. The mediator–Jesus– had not yet come. Oh how happy am I that I have a Mediator today!
“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,” ~ 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Jesus gave Himself as a ransom for every single one of us when He died on the cross for our sins (John 3:16)! We need only believe in Him and accept His free gift of salvation, and by God’s grace– unearned, undeserved mercy and love and forgiveness and kindness– we are washed clean and clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Himself.
Once we are believers in Christ, our lives are not our own. We are called to pick up our cross and follow Him, even unto death. Suffering is part of the package. Jesus Himself told us this.
“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.’ ” ~ Luke 9:23-24
” ‘If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.’ ” ~ John 15:18-19
” ‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’ ” ~ John 16:33
“Genuine readiness to suffer thins out the number of true Christians from the ranks of professing believers; it eliminates those whose walk goes no further than a cheap profession.” ~ William Gurnall
Did you know that Jesus is praying for us, right now and always? He is not only our Mediator, but He is also our High Priest before the throne of God. Take courage! When Jesus prays, the demons tremble.
“But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” ~ Hebrews 7:24-25
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~ Romans 8:31
“If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” ~ Robert Murray McCheyne