In God We Trust
November 4, 2018
Scripture: Job 34
I.You need to trust when you suffer that God is fair.
A. Elihu in verse 4 says, let’s settle this matter once and for all. He says to the gathering of wise people, “Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.” Elihu says we’ve got one item and one item only on our discussion agenda for today: Is God right in the way He rules the world? Is He just? Is He fair? Is He good? Elihu says in vs. 5 that in listening to Job, Job has answered no to this question of “is God fair?” If justice is on Job’s side, then by implication God is not just. God has not been fair in the way He has treated Job.
B. Elihu asks in vs. 7, “What man is like Job, who drinks up scoffing like water?” Job has scoffed at the justice of God saying that God has not been fair to him. And by such scoffing at the fairness of God, Job’s words and attitude have said according to vs. 9: “It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.” Elihu gives an answer to the question, “Is God fair?” in vs. 10 and 11. There Elihu says, “Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.”
C. Satan’s response when Eve told him that she would surely die if she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is found in Genesis 3:4-5: “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” What is the argument Satan is making? “God is lying to you. God is not good. He is holding out on you in not letting you be like Him in knowing good and evil. That’s not fair!” Satan says these things to us when we are suffering.
II. You need to trust when you suffer that God is good.
A.Beginning in verse 16 Elihu turns away from speaking to the wise people and speaks directly to Job. His first question for Job in verse 17 is “Shall one who hates justice govern?” If God is ruling the world, which Job does not argue, then Elihu says that God must be the source and embodiment of justice. God is an omnipotent ruler (vs. 20). He is also omniscient. “For his eyes (God’s eyes) are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps” (vs. 21). God’s judgment is just because he knows all the facts. He is good in what He does to all people.
B. If God is good and just, why did it not appear that way to Job? It appeared to Job that God was simply silent about Job’s suffering. Elihu addresses the silence of God in vs. 29: “When he is quiet, who can condemn? When he hides his face, who can behold him, whether it be a nation or a man?” Just because God is quiet and hiding when we are suffering, that does not mean that He is not doing something behind the scenes. Again, we don’t have all the facts. What do you need to do in those times when there is a delay between your prayer to be relieved of suffering and seeing God work on your behalf? You need to trust and obey.
C. What do you do if like Job you have been saying to others or in your own heart, “God is not fair. God is not good”? Do what Elihu told Job to do: repent (vs. 31-32, 37). What you say about God matters. It matters a lot. Job needed to stop saying that God was not fair and that God was not good. The fact is that God was still good – even when Job suffered.
Thank God every day for the good things you see Him doing in your life.
The book of Job
Commentaries on Job by Francis Andersen and Christopher Ash