After finishing Job and doing some basic background research on Job, after we get over the remarkable story of Job and the incredible dialogue the book has, one might be left with a pending question. Why?
God gave up Job for His own personal glorification. Now – we know this, I am wondering how this might change how we view God, how we view success and tribulations in our life. Job is not the first time God intervened to make his work known to man.
We first encounter God intervening when Moses is trying to get Pharaoh to allow them to leave and go to the Promised Land. God, however, set it up so God would harden Pharaoh’s heart, this was to be done so God through Moses could demonstrate the power and glory of God through is curses. I have read, God did not do it 10 times, but only six, the other four, Pharaoh did on his own free will.
Later in Exodus 33:18-19 ESV Moses asked for God to show him Glory, but God responded with “. . .I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” Again, here God shows himself as a merciful God, but he does not make it something you nor I can expect. He says, he will apply it when and to whom he wants, it sounds somewhat random doesn’t it?
18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
I am sure there are other examples, but we jump from Exodus to Job. Where Job was clearly used to glorify himself, not to others on earth as with Pharaoh, but to Satan. This would be the main difference between the two situations.
There are other instances in the Bible, which reveal again, God was willing to “use” people to set an example, to glorify Him. In John, Jesus twice verbalizes and event was created by God so God can be glorified; remember the blind man? His disciples asked him who sinned, the man or his parents, and Jesus answered neither, but he was blind so the “works of God might be displayed in him.”
1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
Just a few chapters later in the same Book of John, Jesus is told about his friend Lazarus, he was sick and surely would die. He casually wondered back two days later and found days after Lazarus died. And then Jesus states, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there . . .”
|John 11:5–12:9 (ESV)5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus than said a prayer, which reinforces his statement to his disciples:
|John 11:41-42 ESV
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”
We then jump to Romans where Paul helps understand God’s will:
16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
Here it is reinforced that his mercy and grace are not dependent on human will or exertion, it is simply up to God’s will – not what we do. Paul continues to investigate this:
20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
This makes logical sense, if I am the maker, can I not make good things and bad things, cannot I make things that will glorify the good things I make? If one thinks about it, the animals could complain, why am I the meal of the Lion or the Bear?
In addition, Paul himself, one might think that he would be a shining start to God, he has dedicated his life more than any other to the service to God, and yet, when Paul asked to remove the thorn in his side, God answered:
|2 Corinthians 12:7–97 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”|
The reason I bring this up is because so many people say, “God has a plan for your life.” and that maybe true, but I think when people say that, they are trying to motivate people, give them hope that their troubles are only temporary – and they maybe. However, Jesus also tells us to expect a weary life, that they, as disciples will be persecuted because of him. This life, the one we are living right now, one might go to the extreme, it is a useless life. What I mean by that, is almost nothing matters, other than Luke 10:27 (ESV)
27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” and for us to produce great fruit and have faith on our Father in heaven. And in the end, if you are doing great, thank God that you are not doing lousy, if you are in the trenches, thank God that he loves you enough to help you be even stronger. In the end, whether we were tested like Job, used like Pharaoh, the blind man, or allowed to dies and be returned like Lazarus, be thankful to God.