Lent Devotional: Job 3

by Jonathan Haefs

Job 3 (click here)
Why is light given to him who is in misery, and life to the bitter in soul, 21 who long for death, but it comes not, and dig for it more than for hidden treasures, 22 who rejoice exceedingly and are glad when they find the grave? 23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? 24 For my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water. 25 For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. 26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes. (Job 3:20-26)

Reflection
Why?

We all ask that question…even Job. Sometimes, when we read Job 1-2, we can mistakenly think that Job is “super-human” because he responds to his suffering in worship…but that doesn’t mean he is not confused and filled with questions. On the contrary, what makes his (and our) worship so awesome is that it takes place amidst questions!

Job is baffled by his unexplained suffering and is in such pain that he feels he would be better off dead. He doesn’t understand what God is doing and he expresses those questions that are stirring int he depths of his soul. It is ok to express our questions to God. It is ok to tell the Lord we are confused and we do not understand. We are never expected to bottle up our feelings and pretend like everything is ok as we suffer.

We can bring our questions and our hurt to the Lord…yet…we must be careful…there is a difference between questions and accusations. The book of Job teaches us that God is just and righteous…that he never sins or does wrong…even when our circumstances make things seem otherwise. So, as believers, we approach God with our questions from a starting point of trust.

We are confused…we don’t understand…but we trust.

Even Job will eventually fall prey to the temptation to accuse God of injustice (Job 27:2-6) and for this alone will he be rebuked by God himself (Job 38:1-3)…and Job will repent (Job 40:1-5). He will see that even when he cannot see…God can be trusted. Even when we don’t know the why…we can know the who…and the who is worthy of our trust.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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