For He crushes me with a tempest,
And multiplies my wounds without cause.
He will not allow me to catch my breath,
But fills me with bitterness. (
Have you ever had a concussion? I have—playing football in High School. I was knocked out making a tackle. I tried to tell the coaches something was wrong, but they didn’t believe me. Finally, they put me on the sideline. I was dazed and confused.
Job was that way. He had been blindsided. Blow after blow had driven him to the ground, so that he didn’t know which way was up. His friends who came to comfort him, did anything but that—indeed, they condemned him! They offered religious clichés and pious phrases—simplistic soliloquies that were nothing but so much hot air. We hear a lot of that today. Their basic premise was, “Job, you are suffering because you are a sinner, and if you would get right with God, then your problems would go away.”
We want life wrapped up in a nice little box of propositions and tied together with a ribbon of reason into a neat bow of certainty. More often, life looks like the aftermath of Christmas morning carnage—the wrapping paper torn and scattered, the box ripped apart and the contents gone. Meanwhile, we sit in the corner—shell-shocked.
Job had more questions than answers. He goes through a series of them in the ninth chapter. His “friends” have accused him of being a sinner, so he says, “But how can a man be righteous before God?” (
Job 9:2b). They have told Job to turn to God and he
says, “If He goes by me, I do not see
Him; If He moves past, I do not perceive Him; If He takes away, who can hinder
Him? Who can say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’”
(v.11-12). Job’s comforters
have challenged him to understand God’s ways—as they certainly claim to do—and
the sufferer responds, “How then can I
answer Him, And choose my words to reason with Him?” (v.14)
The three men, who function like prosecuting attorneys as they indict
Job, tell him to come before the Judge and plead for mercy. Job is dismayed and says, “If it is a matter of strength, indeed He is
strong; And if of justice, who will appoint my day in court?” What Job wants in the day he stands
before the Judge of the Universe is a defense attorney, but he doesn’t know
where to find one, and in despair cries, “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.”
Thankfully, the New Testament responds to these questions with one word—Jesus! We can be just before God by faith in Christ; though we cannot find Him, He seeks us; though we may not understand why we suffer, Christ knows what we suffer for He has also; He is the Mediator who has come to take God’s hand and our hand and reconcile us! In our confusion, let us look to Him. We may not have all the answers to our heartaches in this life, but we will have every tear wiped from our eyes then! Jesus is all we need!