13–19 September 2015.
When people seriously hurt us or damage our lives, we know what to do. We may call the police and have that person arrested. Or we may find a lawyer to sue that person in court. In these ways we try to find justice, and make things right.
But what do we do if the person who hurts us is God? If God acts unjustly and hurts us, can we call the police? Can we sue God? This is what Job dreams of doing, of taking God to court so he can prove to the world that God is unjust and acting badly!
But this is impossible. What court could possibly force God to come? What judge could stand above God and criticise his actions? In vv. 4–10, Job speaks of God’s immense power. He is the creator of the universe, so how could Job force God to do what is right? In vv. 17–18 Job knows that if he tried, God would simply crush him. In his meanness, God would make Job suffer even more.
For Job, this is deeply unfair. In vv. 11 and 12 Job complains that God’s incredible power allows God to do whatever he likes without having to worry about consequences. God is invisible, so no one would see him committing crimes. And even if people saw God stealing, who would dare say anything to him?
When we look at the many problems in the world, we may feel that God is not doing his job. We heard this complaint in many of the psalms of lament, and we even hear it in the Lord’s Prayer: God, let your kingdom finally to come so we can finally see justice in this world.
In times of suffering we, like Job, feel that God is either lazy or unjust, and we get angry that there is nothing we can do about this. But faith encourages us to hold on, not to give up on God, but to keep praying that God will finally show us that he really is a just and caring God.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis