Pray | Lord, you are good and trustworthy; by your Holy Spirit, help me to believe that when I’m confused by the difficult and tragic things of this world.
BUT IS HE REALLY RIGHTEOUS?
In the book of Job, in a counsel meeting of sorts, Satan tells God that Job, a man the Lord Himself called blameless and upright, is only that way because God has blessed him over and over, of course Job is a good man because he’s rewarded for it. And so begins the loss, suffering and responses of this man of integrity, this man who fears God and shuns evil.
Read | Job 1 – 2
In the Bible Project Podcast’s on Job they submit that the question of Job is “If God is just shouldn’t the world always be run by the principle of just compensation?” They surmise that what Satan might be saying to God is that if righteous people are always rewarded doesn’t that have potential to corrupt their righteousness? Will we maintain a posture of righteousness if, or really when, we suffer?
This question has had my mind busy this week; suddenly the book of Job wasn’t just about this man who was experiencing unexpected tragedy, but about me and my beliefs, which I now realize might sometimes fall under the just compensation theory. How many times has my heart whispered up to God, But they’re such good people, please, please fix this. Is it possible some of us accidentally, maybe sometimes believe that because God is good and just that he would, or even should, make sure that good begets good?
When situations don’t seem fair, that is a critical time to lean into God, to ask ourselves if we really believe and trust God. Could we pause to acknowledge I’m feeling like this seems not okay from my vantage point, but then also consider and trust that it has passed through the hands of God, taking in that his complexity and perspective is so much wider and deeper than ours – much more than our brains can even conceive. And that sometimes things and people grieve even his heart too.
In the podcast when speaking of our own limitations, they mention that dogs can’t learn algebra. In talking this through with my daughter Erin, she added, “And dogs don’t need to know algebra. We’re like that too, we don’t need to know everything; that to know everything is actually beyond our brains and capacity.” This is wisdom, to know we can’t know it all . . . but we can know the One who does.
Can you think of a situation where you maybe believed that good begets good? When was the last time you were confused by a suffering that hit you or someone you love? How did you, or do you, manage your confusion when that happens?
Feel free to comment, we can all learn from each other.
Written originally for Five Oaks Church Daily Life Devotional