Exvangelical Devotions: The End of Job
by MW Cook
God shows up and is all, Who’s darkening counsel without knowledge? Then, in four chapters, God tells Job all the things he’ll never understand or accomplish. Job listens, puts his hand over his mouth, and withdraws his complaint.
From the pulpit I’ve heard that the answer to Job is kind of an expansion of Isaiah 55:8; “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.” Basically, God knows what’s up and we ought to trust that everything will work out and Job got his money back and new kids so, over all, there is a justice to the world.
My interpretation is a bit different. See, God keeps coming back to the same kinds of questions. Where does light live? Does rain have a father? Can you bind the constellations? Will the unicorn serve thee, doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and all that? The end of that matter is that the question falls fully apart. Why do the innocent suffer? Where is snow is stored for winter? It isn’t. It just doesn’t make sense.
The three friends are moved by this revelation to bring food and throw down some money for Job to get back on his feet. They stop blaming. They stop trying to figure out the Story. They just help.
Matt, yes, in my own journey I’ve noticed that Evangelicals need answers and need to have answers, so they search through scripture, create systematic theologies with the answers, create apologetics with the answers. So they can have neat and tidy explanations-for themselves and their own peace of mind and to package up and hand to others, also for their own peace of mind. I also heard the same messages from the pulpit and came to the same conclusions in my own studies and devotions but over the last year and a half it’s all fallen apart. Mercifully. And what you wrote resonated with me. The questions God asks aren’t comforting answers. The way of the world involves a lot of beauty but also a lot of craziness, suffering is part of the way of the world. It’s dangerous for anyone to try to make sense out of it. Just take care of people who are suffering.