Wait Out the Storm
Jesus, You are the God of tender mercy. You who bring justice felt the sting of wrath that we might be saved.
Read: Job 40:1-24
 The LORD said to Job:  “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!”  Then Job answered the LORD:  “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.”  Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:  “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.  “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?  Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?  Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.  Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low,  look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand.  Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you.  “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!  Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.  Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron.  It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword. The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby.  Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh.  The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it.  A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.  Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?
Reflect: Did Job’s suffering cause him to question God’s justice?
Once again, God speaks to Job through a storm (6; 38:1). I’ve no doubt there was a real storm, but I also suspect there was an emotional, psychological and intellectual storm; the kind that C.S. Lewis hinted at when he wrote: “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” If I’m right, I’m not surprised that Job tries to stop the encounter with God (3-5) that he’s been pleading for throughout the book.
But his attempt is in vain. While in chapter 38 God reminds Job that he is the source of wisdom, here God reminds Job that he is the source of justice (8). In the Hebrew language, justice is about how things work properly, but it also includes the sense of working to make things right. This means that God not only has a prescription for how the world should work, but he’s actively engaged in that project. He’s working things out for the best (Romans 8:28) even when the task seems impossible and beyond human capacity (13-24).
Imagine you are holding what pains or grieves you in clenched hands. Open your fists and release it to Jesus.
Father, You are altogether trustworthy. Your heart is always toward Your children. Remind me in the midst of the storm.
Syndicated via Scripture Union, scriptureunion.org