One Ancient Would-Be Attorney

His was an open-and-shut case. There was not a shred of evidence to convict him. Nothing would prove he had done anything wrong to warrant what happened: losing his social standing, his wealth, his health, and his children. Yes, he still had his wife. But like his friends, she, too, had turned against him . . . and worse. She yelled at him to curse God and die.

Instead, convinced his heart was pure, Job determined to stand on his oath of innocence and defend himself in the highest court. He was confident that his record would withstand God’s examination. The all-knowing Judge would acquit him, and his accusers would hear the just verdict. But when? Way too long for his thinning patience, he had been pleading for a day in court:

But I desire to speak to the Almighty  and to argue my case with God. . . . Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. . . . Then summon me and I will answer,  or let me speak, and you reply to me (Job 13:3, 15, 22 NIV).

If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!  I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me (Job 23:3-5 NIV).

Job did get his day in court, but he did not get the first word. The Almighty claimed that:  “And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm. He said:  ‘Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth? Tell me, since you know so much!’”(Job 38:1-4 MSG).

With that as His opening statement, Yahweh God presented the unfathomable wonders of His Sovereignty. He exhibited His authority and power as Designer, Creator, and Sustainer. Then He examined Job:  “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” (Job 40:2 NIV).

The would-be attorney was slack-jawed when faced with God’s indisputable facts. Knowing he was clearly out of his league, he said:  “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). Job admitted he is not God’s equal:

I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head (Job 42:2-4 MSG).

When, like Job, we acknowledge that God is sovereign, we rest in God’s prerogative to do whatever He wants with His creation. We trust God that He knows what He’s up to.

Who are we to question the Almighty? He has reasons embraced in His pure wisdom that may never be known to us in our finite understanding. The basic premise is:  “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 NIV).


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