After Job lost everything, he fell down and worshiped God. But soon after, his friends arrived, and Job began to chronicle his sorrows for the next, oh… thirty-five chapters or so. And Job had three major problems with God. Knowing himself to be righteous, the very last certainty Job had, he came to believe that God was not good. “Know then that God has wronged me,” he tells his friends (Job 19:6), insisting over and over if he could get ahold of God, present his case, that God would be forced to reverse His judgment.
Which brings us to Job’s second problem. Surely God does not see. He lets the wicked prosper left and right while poor Job can’t catch his attention to save his life. “If I sin, then You would take note of me!” he says (Job 10:14).
Which implies Job’s third problem with God. It’s been ingrained in him, in his friends, the power of God. The sovereignty of God. The absolute incredible overwhelming control God exerts over everything, but when Job gets really down, we see what he really thinks, and it is that God, unseeing and uncaring, has taken His hands off completely and left Job alone in his sorrows. “God hands me over to ruffians and tosses me into the hands of the wicked,” he says (Job 16:11). “Oh, that I knew where I might find Him. I would present my case before Him. Surely He would pay attention to me, and there would I be delivered” (Job23:3, 6-7).
Somewhere along the line, God must’ve stopped caring, stopped paying attention, and taken His hands off of Job’s life.
Job’s problems were not with his circumstances. He had peace when the Sabeans wiped out his livestock, peace when his wife was yelling at him to just end it all, peace when his children died. His response? To fall down and worship (Job 1:20), to accept every gracious thing from the hand of a gracious God regardless of how painful (Job 2:10). That is peace like I’ve never felt. No, Job’s problem wasn’t with his circumstances. His problem was with God. Peace didn’t flee until Job forgot who God was.
Excerpt from “Peace and How to Keep It.” Coming fall 2020.