I was struck by this passage this morning in my devotions:
Job 7:17–21 (NIV)
17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
that you give them so much attention,
18 that you examine them every morning
and test them every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me,
or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
you who sees everything we do?
Why have you made me your target?
Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
and forgive my sins?
For I will soon lie down in the dust;
you will search for me, but I will be no more.”
It’s not that this is such an inspiring passage, it’s the implication of this passage. Job doesn’t agree with what’s happening in his life. He doesn’t like being a pawn. He doesn’t understand the great controversy, really. Job is whining a bit, complaining, asking some very pointed questions about his understanding of God and why God is making all this happen. One way of reading Job 1 is that God is behind this. I don’t believe that. I believe Job’s trials was an attack of the devil.
Here Job is complaining to God and asking Him to stop testing him so much. I suppose what intrigues me most about this passage is that Job first doesn’t blame God for what is happening to him. Second, Job isn’t demanding changes, he’s simply asking why. Finally, Job is troubled by some things and he’s comfortable asking God about them. In other words, he’s got the kind of relationship with God that he can ask seeming different views on it and still come out trusting in God’s sovereignty.
That’s pretty cool. To be able to trust God, listen to Him, disagree with God and still put God on top. To be able to say, I don’t like this God, but I still trust you, is a big, big step. Most of us generally say, “I don’t like this, I disagree so stop it!” Job complains, to be sure. He questions, for sure. However, He will not curse God. He does not turn his back on God. He is still willing to follow.
I think this is a good example for us: Trust. Follow. Obey. Do it regardless. Anyway.