FOCUS on God’s CHARACTER – not on our CIRCUMSTANCES
May 26 Bible Reading: Job Chapters 7-9
Then Job answered and said: "Truly I know it is so, but how can a man be righteous before God? If one wished to contend with Him, he could not answer Him one time out of a thousand. God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?" (Job 9:1-4)
When Job addresses the arguments of Bildad, it starts with a discourse on God’s power and wisdom (9:1–13), but later on shifts to questioning his justice (9:14–35). Actually, Job starts his reply with a magnificent confession of the sovereignty of God. God is absolute and the very best in both His arguments (9:1–3, 14) and His power (9:4–13). Due to this fact, God cannot be questioned for His actions on earth (9:4–6) and in the heavens (9:7–9).
In the midst of his troubles, Job focuses on God’s character and not on his circumstances. He acknowledges the absolute righteousness of God in His action, and is convinced that sinful humans cannot be righteous before God just as the prophet Isaiah has stated: "we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). Next, Job focuses on the absolute wisdom of God in His thinking, and is resigned to the fact that there is no way that any human being can answer one question among a thousand questions from God, let alone win an argument against God. This became a reality later for Job when God started asking questions in rapid succession, and neither Job nor his friends could answer a single question of God. No one on this earth could ever be so perfect that God could not bring charges against him! (9: 2)
When Job asks, “How can a man be righteous before God?” he is expressing the hopelessness of ever proving his innocence before God who is so great. God is sovereign, all-wise, and all-powerful, as seen in His control of mountains, earth, sun, stars, sea, yes, wonders without number. Verses 4 through 12 constitute a beautiful poetic tribute to the majesty and power of God. God confounds the ablest debater by His wisdom and the mightiest human by His power. So when humans contend with God by wisdom or by strength, God will be the ultimate winner!
When we focus on the character of God, it will help us to take our eyes off our circumstances! Our love for God must not be based solely on His blessings, but because of who He is. In the case of Job, his affection for God did not depend on getting solutions to his problems. Rather, Job loved and trusted God because of who He was, and this is what Job acknowledged: “God is wise in heart and mighty in strength.” (9:4) God is so much greater and stronger than we are, so let us rely on His strength than dare to declare war on Him. God is so much more wise and all-knowing than us, so let us trust in His wisdom and be confident that He is working out everything for our good only (Rom. 8:28).
Thus, knowing that God has sovereign control as Creator and Sustainer of both the physical and spiritual universe must govern the way we think, especially when we are passing through intense troubles like Job. God is intimately involved with our lives in a way that is beyond our understanding. Let us be convinced that God’s works are often unfathomable by the human mind. A clear understanding of God’s true nature will lead us to an assurance that God will take care of every trouble that we are facing today.