Posted by: Louise | September 1, 2010

Lessons from Job VIII

This is a series and the first post is here.

Lessons from Job for when we go through trial

8. It seems OK to ask why

Oh, why give light to those in misery, and life to those who are bitter? Job 3.20

Why is life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties? Job 3.23

After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has. Job 42.7

I deliberated about whether or not to put this point in because it can be taken out of context and taken too far. I am not saying here that it is OK to shake our fists at God, scream why, and leave our faith. But it does seem to be OK to ask the why questions. Job never seemed to be corrected by God for asking why – although at the end of the book he was given the answer from God that who was he to question God as He is in control of everything.

So this is a sticky one, but, I have put it in here as I think it is right. God has not created us as robotic yes men who just see things happen and unemotionally acknowledge God as God and attempt to move on without a thought. God has created us with minds that work, minds that we are to take care of and not let wonder. Minds, that we are to use to be ready to answer questions from others about the faith that we have. How can we care for our minds if we don’t use them? How can we be ready to answer questions for others if we have not answered them for ourselves?

When we go through trials it is a good thing, and I would suggest an essential thing, to get before God and ask why these things are happening. In asking this question we should of course not bring into question God’s godness. We should not suggest He doesn’t know what he is doing. But we can reverentially ask why.

However, as we do this we should be prepared to receive no answer. Job did not get an explanation as to why he was suffering but he ended the book praising God. The answer that Job received was a re-emphasis of the majesty, wonder and awesomeness of God – and Job was happy with that. Perhaps that is what we will get when we ask. Perhaps God will just bring something into our lives to reassure us that He is in control and we just need to trust Him. Or at other times He may show us an answer as to why these things are happening. One thing I am sure of is that if we come to Him he will not ignore us.

This asking of why serves in our lives to further lead us into a dependance and trust in God. By asking God why we acknowledge that He is the one that knows why. He is the place to seek answers. Also, by seeking Him for answers we are more likely to stay grounded in Him that if we ask the world. As we walk through this life and come across times where we suffer lets turn to God with those big questions and trust in Him so that we can say with Job:

Though he slay me I will hope in Him Job 13.15a



  1. Job was a righteous man to begin with and stayed that way. God himself declared that though Job questioned Him he did not sin.

    I believe that Job did not just ‘reverently’ ask God about what was happening. I suspect he probably did some screaming. It’s no sin to question God provided it is done within the context of God alone having the answer. We need God’s answers today more than ever!

    The way I see it, anyway …

    • I agree completely. By reverently I don’t think we need to hide our emotions before God. By reverently we just have to remember that God is God and we are not to doubt Him or curse Him or blaspheme Him. He is the Father who told us to cry with those who cry and laugh with those who laugh so to hide our emotions when we talk to Him and ask Him why would not seem appropriate.

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