I was in this position recently and I have decided to write about it. I know that not many other followers of Christ have found themselves chastised by the Most High God, but for the few that have been, I have felt your pain. Of course I am being facetious. If you have never felt the way Job feels in the above passage; if you have never been chastised by God – then there is every chance that you are, in fact, not a follower of God. You see, we learn that Job is a righteous man, doing all that God commands and teaching his children to do the same. In fact, Job, through all of his pain and suffering, never condemns God as unjust or wicked (even though his own wife tells him to do so). But Job does question God. He wonders “why;” he asks for reasons because he, in fact, knows himself to be a righteous man. This seems perfectly reasonable to us, doesn’t it? But it is not reasonable in any conceivable measure – for God is NOT us; and as God reminds our brother Job, we are NOT God.
Two statements really stick out for me as they relate to my ongoing relationship with Christ. The first is verse 14, after discussing several actions that Job himself could never accomplish, God says, “Then even I would praise you, for your own strength would save you.” The message of the cross is that WE cannot save ourselves and that is why the Christ became incarnate; yet nearly every day, instead of picking up the cross of Christ, his followers pick up their own cross of self-righteousness and press into the world to fight with it. The simple, powerful truth is that we cannot save ourselves, nor can we save this world – but Christ can – and has!
The second statement from this passage rings so powerfully in my own personal experience and it comes from verses 5 and 6 of Chapter 42. It is really Job’s final realization and lesson. Job says, “I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” This IS the TRUTH of the CROSS! For it is by the power of Jesus’s life, crucifixion and death, resurrection and ascension that we not only know ABOUT Him – but KNOW HIM! I want every person on earth to one day be able to say, “There was a time that I only knew about God, but now I KNOW HIM!” HE IS ALIVE!!!!!!!