“Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him” (
“Why?” Young children ask that—a lot. You share with them some information and they want to know why it is so. You tell your little son or daughter to do something and they ask, “Why?” The reality is that as an adult we may know far more than they do—but it is not always easy to explain to their little minds. Since we are the parents, we may try to, but we are not obligated to do so. Numbers of times I answered, “Because I said so.” Where did I learn that? My father told me the same thing.
Job found himself in horrible misery. He was vexed by the suffering he went through, and perplexed by the silence he encountered from God. Job wondered why all this had happened. Of course, his three friends were convinced they knew—this was a punishment for Job’s sins. They freely shared such “comforting” words—repeatedly—which not only failed to correctly answer the perplexity, it compounded the vexation.
Have you ever felt that way? There are inexplicable events that happen to the children of God, and we instinctively ask our Father in Heaven, “Why?” He may answer. Since He knows far more than we know, even when He answers we may not grasp it. God’s mind is so superior to our thoughts and His ways beyond ours that it would be akin to a nuclear physicist trying to explain complex chemical processes to a gnat. The Lord graciously at times gives us some truths to help us, but He is not obligated to do so—He is God.
Job was vexed and perplexed about his UNANSWERED PRAYER (
23:1-7). Job had been
pleading for a response from God, and had received no answer to his
prayer. He knew God could answer prayer,
believed God did answer prayer, but had not a clue why God was not hearing
him. There have been times we have all
felt that way.
Job was vexed and perplexed about God’s UNAVAILABLE PRESENCE (
23:8-12). He searched
desperately for God, and did not find Him—even though he believed God knew he was
looking. Job is convinced the Lord
understood the whole story, but just wouldn’t let him in on the secret. He had faith in the character of God—that the
result of this fiery trial will be that his faith would be revealed as pure
gold. Where God was in the midst of this
mess at the moment was another matter. He
was not sure.
Job is vexed and perplexed despite God’s UNALTERABLE PROVIDENCE (
23:13-17). God never
changes. His purposes are fixed. Job submitted to the sovereignty of God in
His providential dealings. He has truth
in his head, but terror in his heart.
Should we feel that way about God?
We may feel worse by feeling guilty about the feelings we have rather
than venting our vexation. Express
it! God knows what you are thinking anyway. Expressing your frustration can give some
relief from the pressure.
In your heartache cling to this, “We will understand it better by and by.” Then earth’s question mark will be replaced by eternity’s exclamation point!