In our previous discussion of Job, we learned that God did not give Job into the hands of Satan but rather placed himself in his hands through living in fear (Job 3:25). Even though we can have a righteous heart as Job did, living in fear can wreak havoc on our lives.
One of the reasons Job lived in fear is because of his inaccurate beliefs about God. Job placed a judgment on God when calamity struck Job’s family, Job blamed God for it despite charging God with wrongdoing:
Job 1:20-21 (KJV): Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, (21)And said, naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed by the name of the Lord
Anytime a tragedy hits, one of the first reactions is for a person to justify why it happened, to try and understand what is not understandable. It is in the human nature to live in order, to understand cause and effect relationships through observational learning which gives life meaning and order. This understanding of consequential reactions to behavior becomes the foundation of our beliefs because they give order to how life works, a sense of predictability and understanding. Therefore, this reaction of Job to his calamity was his theology of God to justify why it had happened. Job analyzed his beliefs which resulted in him living in fear, and is the result of why he believed that what God has blessed him with, God took away.
God answered Job’s judgement of Him taking away, the main belief and theology of Job’s reasoning why death and destruction came to his family.
Job 38:2-3 (KJV): Who is this that darkeneth my counsel by words without knowledge? (3)Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
God answered Job by telling Him he has no clue what he is talking about, and to get ready like a man and take what He is going to say! God then spends three or four chapters asking Job questions that Job could not answer. Then God asks Job questions that put him in his place, the questions that Job is to take like a man:
Job 40:2, 8 (NIV): Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? Let him who accuses God answer Him! (8)Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
Job discredited God when he blamed God for doing what Satan did to his family. Job blamed God for what was his own fault in order to maintain self-righteousness. Job was saying he was more righteous than God when he blamed God for this injustice on his family through saying even though God did this, I will accept it and live with it because it is ‘God’s will’. When we blame God for sickness, disease or poverty and willingly live with it thinking it is God’s will, it is rooted in self-righteousness and we are saying we are more righteous than God. We are saying through ignorance, that even if God does not follow His own Word, we will still love Him. Even if God is full of injustice and decides to torment us or uses us to play a game with Satan, we will still love Him. Even if God is not perfect, we will be.
The problem with this is not our perseverance or desire to remain faithful to God no matter what, it is the mentality of blaming God for what we have done to ourselves through not believing in God’s Word. As God replied to Job, when we blame Him for things gone wrong in our life, it discredits God’s goodness and faithfulness, it discredits His Word, the Truth and the Life, all in order to justify ourselves in order to make sense of life. When life does not make sense, it can be easier to put the blame on God rather than taking responsibility for ourselves.
Gods Word says He will not test us with evil (James 1:13), which is using sickness, disease, poverty, death, etc, to get us to sin or to see if we will remain faithful to Him. God has plans to prosper us, not harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). Gods Word is in direct opposition of Job’s judgement of God, of believing that God takes away.
God is a sovereign God (Psalm 103:19,115:3; Isaiah 46:9-10; Proverbs 19:21, etc.) This means that despite Him being all powerful and full of all authority, He is limited by the rules or laws that He has created. This is His Word. If God went against His own Word, he would be a dictator, not a sovereign God.
God has also given dominion of the earth to man. This means that God cannot insert His will onto the earth. He has given man free-will. Despite God desiring to protect and help Job He was not able to do so because Job did not ask for it because he thought God was the culprit. Despite Jobs inaccurate beliefs of God, God honored Jobs free will.
Job is 42 chapters long. We do not know how many years the book of Job covered. What we do know, is that when Job was given the first report in Job 1:15, if Job would have fell to His knees and repented, God would have heard Him, forgiven Him, protected Him and restored Him. Job could have been a book that instead of being 42 chapters long, could have been 5 or 6 chapters long. As soon as Job repented for his false judgment and inaccurate belief of God, God restored him and blessed him more than he had before. That is the loving nature of God and His Word. That is the Truth and the Life. That is also how damaging inaccurate beliefs of God can be, because they will give fear a foothold in your life. Anything that is not of faith, is sin (Romans 14:23).