I’ve been reading through the book of Job in the Bible, and I’ve been focusing on learning more about what it means to fear God. I’d read Job all the way through in high school, but never with a “theme” in my head. If you’ve never read Job straight through before, I would encourage you to do it, because you start seeing patterns and themes, and it’s way more than just a back-and-forth between some disgruntled friends and a suffering pity party.
Job reminds them again that plenty of wicked people prosper. He notes that that’s the terrifying part: God works far beyond the simple cause and effect system they’re trying to pen Him into.
“Is my complain directed to man? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be astonished; clap your hand over your mouth. When I think about this, I am terrified; trembling seizes my body. Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?” Job 21:4-7
The biggest thing that struck me about this chapter, though, was Job’s fear of God. Job trembled when he thought about how far beyond human reason God is. It terrified him. We can’t explain God away. Sometimes He does things that don’t make sense to us at all – that don’t fit into what we think should happen or be deserved, and when I think about it, it is frightening! I don’t like not being able to explain things. I don’t like sitting there, mouth agape, knowing that God is good but wondering what just happened.
That magnitude 7 earthquake in Haiti the other day was devastating. As one of my friends put it, “Why did tragedy come to those who had nothing? Now they have less than nothing.” It doesn’t make sense that they should be “punished.” But oh, the earthquake happened anyway. This isn’t a reminder to myself that crap happens to “good people” and “bad people” alike. This is a gripping reminder that God isn’t bound by me.
We need not live in terror, because even though God can (and does) do things that don’t make sense to us at all, we can know that He loves us. Our response to anything should be worship, though, because no matter what, He is great!