Oswald Chambers writes, “Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is.”
— My Utmost for His Highest (Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour & Company, Inc., 1963), Jan. 2.
What do you think Chambers means by this idea?
As we know, the book of Job begins with great personal tragedy for Job. He loses everything, except his life and his wife, and she suggests that he “curse God and die!”
, NIV). What follows is a discussion in which his friends try to work out why it has all happened. Throughout all of these discussions, God remains silent.
Then suddenly in Job 38
God appears and speaks: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?”
, NIV). Without pausing, God asks Job some 60 jaw-dropping questions. Open your Bible and scan through these in Job 38
After the last question, Job replies, “I am unworthy — how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer — twice, but I will say no more”
(Job 40:4, 5
, NIV). But God is not finished. He then begins again and asks another set of “big”
questions in succession.
Read Job’s final response in Job 42:1-6
. What was God trying to tell Job, and what was the effect on him?
God never answers any of the “why”
questions of Job’s friends. But God does paint a picture of His unparalleled greatness as revealed through the astonishing works of creation. After this, Job certainly does not need any answers. The need for explanations has been eclipsed by an overwhelming picture of the magnificence of God.
This story reveals a fascinating paradox. Hope and encouragement can spring from the realization that we know so little. Instinctively, we try to find comfort by knowing everything, and so we become discouraged when we cannot know. But sometimes God highlights our ignorance so that we may realize that human hope can find security only in a Being much greater than ourselves.