Where were you when I was depressed? Where were you when I was alone? Where were you when anxiety came? Where were you when I was bullied? Where were you when I __________?
These are questions I have asked God. I am sure we have all asked Him where He was during a certain time in our life. So did Job.
Job 7:17-21 says, “What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant? If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.” (NIV)
Why have you made me your target?
Phew. That’s a very loaded, serious question. Job is in a very low low low place. He is hurt and feels that God has been wrong to Him. But God’s response is quite amazing. When you first read it, it is like a gut punch; but then it becomes amazing.
In Job 38:1-3, God gives Job a warning before He continues on: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.” (NIV)
God is giving Job a very big warning about what He is about to say and is telling him to prepare for it.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?”
– Job 38:4 (NIV)
We started out with Job asking God, “Where were you when ____?” and now God has turned it around on Job saying, “Where were you when ____?”.
God is the creator of all the earth. He is sovereign and in control of everything. He can calm a storm with just one word. He can set something on fire with one word.
Job 38:24-35 says, “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water? Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?” (NIV)
After reading this verse, it hit home to me how little I am and how big God is. When I was little, the second I heard a thunderstorm in the distant, I got out of my bed, ran across my house to my mom, and curled up on her floor. I hated thunderstorms. I still do. The loudness of the thunder and the strike of the lighting are frightening. I used to pray that God would stop the storm and take it somewhere else. I wished that I could move the storm to another place where I couldn’t hear it. But I do not have the power to move a storm. I am not God. I am not the creator of the universe. I am not sovereign. I am not in charge. God is. God is the one in control. He is sovereign over every single thing.
Job 42:1-6 says, “Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’ My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (NIV)
Job is acknowledging what I just began to mention. We are so tiny compared to God. We do not have the knowledge and understanding of our sovereign Creator. Therefore, we have no right to ask, “Where were you when ___?”. Because He is the one in control of everything. not us.
I pray that this series on Job has challenged you, comforted you, and you have learned something new.