Have you ever said something about someone out of anger or hurt that really wasn't true? I know someone who did just that. His name is Job. It's week eight of our study and we're lingering in chapter nine. Last week we saw how Scripture affirmed Job's statement about the greatness of God and His many wonders. This week we are going 360 degrees in the opposite direction.
After Job spoke about the wonders of God, he moved toward thoughts of not being able to defend himself against an unfair God. He lays the blame for his suffering solely on God. He says God has no cause for what He does. And that leads us to our statement for this week.
"When catastrophe brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent." Job 9:23 CSB
In Bildad's speech he indicated that God doesn't support evildoers and will not cast away the blameless (Job 8:20). In context with verses 22 and 24, Job says when catastrophes happen, God acts the same whether we be evil or blameless. He indicates that God mocks the innocent. And Job would include himself among the innocent, therefore he must have thought God was mocking him. Oh Job, how wrong you are! If I could answer Job from the present, I would quote him the following verse:
"The LORD is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 CSB
The God I know is not mean, mocking or indifferent to our suffering. By no means. When we are brokenhearted or suffering, God draws near to comfort and care for us. The key is to let Him. When we fully embrace our hurt and despair, we leave no room for God. We close off our hearts, minds and ears to the comfort and relief God is trying to offer us. As I read Job's words, I think that's what he has done. He is so full of bitterness, despair and confusion, he has left no space for God to provide His balm. But I do not judge Job. I've been right where he was. But more often, I've left that space and God was able to draw near and change my whole perspective and eventually my circumstances.
How about you? If you are in the same mindset like Job is in verse 23, please know this: That's not who God is. Read Psalm 16, Psalm 18 and Psalm 23 for starters. And if you need help creating space for God to come close and save you in your despair, contact me and I'll suggest more.