Job 12: The Sovereignty of God in Suffering
November 13, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Job’s reply to these false comforters is only growing in strength and—indeed—sarcasm. “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2). What a great reply to someone who is lecturing, who is assuming they are right and that you don’t know what you are talking about. But, Job says he has a “mind” too. He can think it out for himself.
When he does so, what does he conclude? Through stunning metaphor and poetic balance, Job argues that God does it all—he is sovereign over everything. Even suffering. “The hand of the Lord has done this” (12:9).
“If he holds back the waters, there is drought; if he lets them loose, they devastate the land” (12:15).
All is according to his wisdom, according to his plan. Therefore, Job’s comforters, who accuse Job of diminishing God, are really the ones who have a small view of God. They cannot understand how God can use even suffering for his purpose: Job understands that. God is sovereign even over natural disasters. Hard as that is to believe, it is also deeply comforting when you are suffering.
Why? Because it means that the same God who is good is the God who can take this suffering and turn it to good. There is a purpose in your suffering, a plan behind it; and in that suffering and pain, not even death can separate you from the love of God—the God who is truly God, even in suffering.
When you are suffering, then, let the first thing you do be to remember who is in charge. Even of this pain. God, who is good, therefore has a plan, because he is also God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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