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Who Is Qualified to Judge God?

Job 38:1-4

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Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this who darkens counsel
with words without knowledge?
Get ready for a difficult task like a man;
I will question you
and you will inform me.
“Where were you
when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding.

Job 38:1-4 NET

For the previous 35 chapters of the Book of Job, Job and his friends have debated God’s justice and Job’s innocence or guilt. Three friends were adamant that Job must be guilty of something, and God was punishing him for it. Job insisted that he was innocent and righteous and pled for the opportunity to defend himself before God (Job 13:13-28), who was punishing him without cause (Job 27:2). And then, at the end of the debate, a fourth friend defended the wisdom, power, and justice of God.

Finally, in chapters 38-41, Job got his wish. God came to him in a whirlwind. But God’s response to Job’s protestations of innocence was not what Job, or the readers of Job, might have expected. Rather than God being on trial and defending his actions to Job, the tables were turned. And Job found himself on the hot seat.

What God did was challenge Job’s qualification to stand in judgment of God. “Where were you when I created the earth?” “Do you know about how I designed the earth’s processes?” “Did you give the animals their instincts and abilities?” “Can you tame Behemoth or Leviathan?” Implicit in God’s questioning of Job is this: “What makes you qualified to sit in judgment of what I do?” Job had no answer to God’s challenge and acknowledged his inability to judge God.

There are many lessons we might learn from the Book of Job. But one of the biggest is that God is beyond our ability to comprehend fully. In fact, we can barely begin to understand who he is, what he does, and why he does it. When we are tempted to question why God causes or allows some things, it is helpful to look back at Job. God’s reasons are often beyond our ability to understand. But we can trust that he is working for our good even when it might seem otherwise (Rom. 8:28).

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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