God speaks to Job and asks him, "who can stand against me? Who has a claim that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me!" Job crumples in the dust. He who has lived righteously confesses his sin. It is not a sin as we think of breaking one of the commandments, it is a sin of questioning God's motives in the events of his life. We are guilty of the same sin when we ask questions like, "How could a just God allow this to happen?" Maybe we have done that when an innocent child is abused or neglected. Perhaps someone has asked that question in the midst of a great natural disaster like the tornado in Joplin. We seen events through a limited perspective or, as the scriptures say, through a glass dimly. God sees the end from the beginning. He has an eternal perspective. He is the creator of the master plan. Our sin is in questioning God's motive and his purpose. One day when we stand before him in heaven, all of our questions will be answered.
Job, which is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible, points to the New Testament if you have paid attention to the questions that Job has asked. Let me remind you. 1. 9th chapter, who will help us approach God with our questions and concerns? 2. 14th chapter, is there life after death? 3. 16th chapter, who will intercede for us with God in heaven? 4. 19th chapter, who can save us from the judgment that is to come? 5. 21st chapter, what is the most important thing for us in this life? 6. 23rd chapter, where can we find God? The answer to all of Job's questions are found in the person of Jesus Christ. How fortunate we are that God answered those questions for Job and for us.
Still there is the very human question of why is there suffering? We may never know all of the answers. Is Satan testing us? Is God testing us? Is our suffering the result of the brokenness in the world? Is my testing to prepare me for future work or witness? All we can do is claim the promise of Romans 8:28 and walk in faith, "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Nothing can separate us from God's love.
I hope you have learned something from our reading of Job. I know that some of it has felt repetitious. I pray that you are being blessed for your faithful work in reading the scriptures. All of it is God breathed and provided for our edification. I am looking forward to some time in the Psalms. God bless you on this Memorial Day Weekend. I am hearing that many of you will be traveling. Be safe! We are still receiving items to build flood buckets for use in the disasters that have occurred here in Missouri. Patty and I will be delivering them next week while we are at Annual Conference in Springfield. Unless you tell us otherwise, this week's offering will be sent to provide relief to those who have been devastated in Joplin. I think that is what God is calling us to this week. Later we may try to send a mission work team, perhaps in the fall. God bless you and keep you from the tempter.