A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Job 34:29-33.
But when God is silent, who can declare him guilty? When he hides his face, who can see him? Yet he watches over both individuals and nations, so that godless men should not rule or ensnare the people. Suppose someone says to God, “I have endured my punishment; I will no longer act wickedly. Teach me what I cannot see; if I have done wrong, I won’t do it again.” Should God repay you on your terms when you have rejected his? You must choose, not I! So declare what you know.Job 34:29-33 CSB
The book of Job is rooted in concepts of suffering and righteousness. The book contains a dialogue with a mixture of lament, wisdom, and poetry. Job is depicted as an upright person, he feared God and turned away from evil. God permits satan to strip Job of everything, children, wealth, and health, as a test. Despite all of these circumstances, Job refuses to curse God. The book goes on with dialogue from Job’s friends. Then the Lord speaks and displays His power and wisdom. By the end of Job, we see Job’s redemption and restoration.
Chapter 34 is part of Elihu’s response. Elihu does three things in this chapter; he shows Job the error of his laments and arguments, he defends God’s justice, and he encourages Job to repent. Nothing like a godly friend to show you when you’re allowing situations to cloud your vision.
There are times where we believe that unethical or ungodly people appear to have God’s provision, but Elihu states this is purely an illusion. It may appear the wickedness prevails, but God will balance everything out. It may be slow or quick, but it happens in accordance with God’s divine wisdom and timing.
Elihu highlights that Job had been focusing on the wrong aspects of his circumstances. Job was so focused on being innocent and not offending anyone and dictating how God should be responding. In this situation, Elihu called for Job to repent. If Job seeks forgiveness from God, he has to accept God’s discipline, not what Job thinks he deserves.
Elihu’s response prepared the way for God to speak. He called Job to remember the sovereignty of God. He raised Job’s awareness that he needed to humble himself. He challenged Job with questions about his misled thoughts. When God begins to speak, God continued to question Job and put the situation into perspective. At the end of Job, we see God display His matchless power for full restoration.
Job’s story reminds us of the beauty of God’s plan. He permits things to happen to call us higher. The frustration of current circumstances is an invitation to repent and release things to God. The Lord still cares and wants to do good things for us, even if it takes a bit longer than we think it should. God is still merciful and just.
When situations seem unfair, will you trust that God has a bigger plan that is calling you to full restoration?