Scripture to meditate on:
Then Job replied:
“Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
and wisdom will die with you!
But I have a mind as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know all these things?
“I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
though I called on God and he answered—
a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
and those who provoke God are secure—
those God has in his hand.
“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
“To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth around their waist.
He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards. – Job 12
After listening to the pronouncements of Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, it is once again Job’s turn to speak. His words make clear he is not grateful for the judgment of his friends. He strongly challenges their ongoing insistence that his sin has led to this suffering.
In this chapter, Job affirms God’s power and his wisdom, and yet, he is not willing to trust God. Remember that Job is on a journey with God, just as we are. Where he is now, is not where he will ultimately end up.
In the meantime, while it good for us to empathize with Job’s dilemma, we must never lose sight of where we are going with God.
In the short term, sometimes good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. God does not promise perfect justice in a fallen world. But in the end, He has promised to work out all things in conformity with His justice and goodness.
“With him are wisdom and power; He has advice and understanding. What he tears down will not be built up; The person he shuts in will not be let out.” – Job 12:13-14
Questions to ponder:
- Where are you in your journey with God today?
- Is it helpful to know that where you are is not where you will end up?
- How do you deal with the knowledge that sometimes good things happen to bad people, and sometimes the innocent suffer?