This chapter is absolutely priceless. It is the culmination of the exact lessons many of us long to receive – freedom from judgment and confidence in our foundations. Just look what Job does, but pay very, very close attention, PUH-LEEEEZE. Job’s revelation is life-changing, but the way he arrived at his conclusion is what’s important here. We are in Chapter 21. This is Job’s seventh speech and his second reply to Zophar. In other words, Job did not just arrive at this conclusion on a whim. Job has had to think and ask questions and dig to the very core – the Holy Spirit, if you will – of his being to arrive at where we are reading today. He’s had to basically insult his friends and tell them they were nuts. He’s had to endure days and days and days – weeks – of pain and solitude and confusion. He’s HAD to think things through to arrive at the very words we are reading and hopefully learning from today.
And Job says none of these things lightly today. He has wholeheartedly and fully gone through every scenario and searched his own heart a thousand times to say these words, and even then, he starts cautiously and tremendously humbled: “When I think about what I am saying, I shudder. My body trembles (v. 6).” That is the fear of the Lord, y’all. But even though Job feared, he still approached because he was confident God was listening.
Then look what he says to his friends in verse 19. Basically, he says, “You guys told me that God punishes evil people, but you and I both know that’s not true, not in a sense that we know it anyway. And even I believe that God should punish sinners, but it doesn’t matter what I think, does it? It doesn’t matter what you think, either, because we’re not God! And we have no idea why He does the things He does.”
And finally, skip down to verse 34, where Job stands firmly on his confidence. He doesn’t need to hear anything else from his friends. Through his own confidence in God, he has answered his own questions! “How can your empty cliches comfort me? All your explanations are lies!”
Folks, this … Job’s critical thinking approach to problem solving … could save the world from a million heartaches, and I think that is one of the biggest lessons we can garner from our dear Job’s sufferings.
Writing prompt: critical thinking
Have you ever jumped into something without thinking it through? Write about what you would do differently if you could go back in time?