Journal Entry // January 8, 2023
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: (ESV)Job 38:1
As I sat down to read this next section of Job this morning, I was contemplating my internal comparison to Job over the past month. Job is a difficult book in that it often portrays the true thoughts and misunderstandings of both Job and his friends as they work through this process of grief. As I have read through these different questions, answers, and rebukes it has called to mind all the many times that I have questioned the goodness and justice of God in my own life as well. These past few weeks have been a strenuous exercise to evaluate and understand the conclusions that Job and his friends have come to and then examine my heart for these same false narratives. Now I come to the reading this morning and I am drawn to this first verse and its simple statement that the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind. Where Job challenged God to answer the questions he had, God honored his request and visited Job with the answers he was seeking.
I have been taking several breaks during this writing to contemplate why I was really drawn to this description of God’s arrival, seeing that God came with a rebuke to Job and questioned him thoroughly. I think I appreciate this verse because it is a beautiful example of the goodness and gentleness of God. Was the Lord required to answer Job’s questions? No. Was the Lord within his rights to just ignore Job’s questions? Yes. Could the Lord have sent a messenger to speak to Job and present his rebuke? Yes. The Lord God of the universe chose to come and answer Job himself. This is not what Job’s friends had anticipated. They had no place in their theology for the Lord himself to actually answer this man. There was no room for the presence of the Lord to come and visit Job and answer his questions.
I know that I often leave no room for the Lord to come and visit with me. My faith is so small and weak in this area. I see the magnitude of my depravity and it causes me to shrink back. The more I come to understand the weakness of my flesh and the depth of my propensity to wander away from the goodness of God, the more I tend to spiritually withdraw and isolate from the Lord. I see the darkness of my heart and mind compared to the radiance of his glory and it causes me to despair at times. I am fearful that the Lord will visit and answer me!
I forget that the Lord has already visited as he took on flesh and walked among us. I forget that my Savior has already walked this path of adversity and temptation and did not compromise. My Savior was perfect just as my heavenly Father is perfect. In his perfection, he took upon himself all of my sins on the cross. He took each and every one of my transgressions. So much so that he became sin and received the wrath of God as punishment. He received my punishment. What did I receive in its place? The holy righteousness of Christ. When the Father looks at me, he sees Jesus.
With this in mind, I should not be surprised when the Lord visits and answers me. The Spirit resides within my heart. Jesus is in heaven praying for me even now. The Father loves me perfectly. With all of this, I can simply humble myself and rest secure in the loving embrace of my good Father. This resting in God means for me to remember the goodness of Christ in my life. To think back over the years and consider with wonder and amazement the perfect hand of Christ guiding and leading me on this journey. He often takes me not where I may intend to go, but always to the place where he is residing. Always to the place that is designed to draw me ever closer to him.