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Devotion - July 6, 2012
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
WHERE WERE YOU?
Job was a believer in the LORD; he lived long before Jesus was born. Job faced severe hardship. His ten children died in a storm. He was financially devastated in one day, and soon after disease ridden. Job’s friends counseled him that perhaps he had this coming from God. For a long time, Job held to his faith in God. Finally, Job challenged God to give him a reason for all the terrible things that had happened to him. Job demanded an answer from God. Job was essentially asking, “God, where were you when all this bad stuff happened to me?”
People today get hung up on the same question. Hardship, tragedies and failed dreams have hit 21st century people. Have you ever found yourself asking: “Where were you, God, when all this bad stuff happened? Are you really in control? Do you really love me?”
Job wandered into sin when he started questioning God’s wisdom and love, and when he demanded that God give him an answer for what had happened to him. Like Job, we sin when we go beyond the hurt and confusion of loss and hardship. We step over the line into disrespect and doubt when we accuse God of being less than perfectly loving, infinitely wise and completely in control. We sin when we point an accusing finger at God and demand that God show us why he’s done or allowed what he has.
God graciously and powerfully answered Job’s doubts and accusations. God responds with a “Where Were You?” of his own. God asked Job where he was when God created the world. What could Job say? It was as if Job needed to admit: “I wasn’t there because I’m not eternal like you. I couldn’t have done what you did because I’m not even close to as powerful, wise and loving as you are. You are God and I am not.”
When we are struggling through hardship, it’s essential to hear God’s answer from his Word to “Where Were You?” Where was God when you needed him most? In a manger to be your Savior and brother. Walking this earth as your perfect substitute. On the cross as the sacrifice for all your sins. Out of the tomb as your Victor over sin and death. At your Father’s right hand to rule all things for your good. Right by your side – now and always.
LORD God, for the sake of Jesus, forgive me for doubting or accusing you of less than perfect love and wisdom in the way you care for me. When hardship comes into my life, keep me far from pointing an accusing finger at you. Instead, take me firmly in your hand and care for me. Give me comfort and peace in your Word and in you. You are my Rock and Redeemer. Amen.
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