You’ve heard the phrase, “Mom knows best.” And, in a lot of cases, it’s true. We are a source of knowledge, encouragement, and advice for our children as they grow and learn from helpless babes all the way into adulthood.
The truth is though, even us moms need help, and the statement truly should be, “God knows best.”
This blog is a condensed version of a sermon that my husband preached last month on the life of Job. My hope is that as mothers, we will realize that we are not the greatest source of wisdom, we are not the final authority in our kid’s lives, and we certainly cannot be the protector and keeper of their bodies or souls. And, in this fact, we will take great comfort that some one bigger than us knows best and is in control.
Job Teaches Us: God Knows Best
Job 1:1 ESV says ,”There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. “
Job is blameless, upright, fears God, and turns away from evil. He is respected in the community and would even get up early each morning to pray on behalf of his children just in case they had sinned against God.
Our story continues…
Job 1:6-8 ESV: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. The LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.”
I mean here we see God seemingly offer Job up on a platter to Satan. He says, there is no one like him on the earth…What an incredible thing to be said about an individual by God!
And boy oh boy does Satan take God up on His offer. The enemy attacks Job and as a result…
- Job lost all his property.
- ALL of his children die.
- He suffers incredible physical pain and agony.
- His wife says, “Just curse God and die already!”
- His friends accuse him of sin.
Regardless of how much we try to control situations or circumstances, we can’t protect ourselves or our families from everything. Job learned this the hard way. In just one day, he loses all but his life.
Ultimately, as he endures this suffering Job wishes he had never been born at all. Job 3:11: “Why did I not die at birth, Come forth from the womb and expire?
1. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT GOD KNOWS
Have you ever met somebody who went on and on and on about how great the “good old days” were? They usually start with…
- Man, when I was in High School you should’ve saw how great of an athlete I was…those were the days.
- “When I was a kid things were so much simpler….those were the days.”
We see Job lamenting about the “good old days” in chapter 29.
Job 29:1-4 ESV: And Job again took up his discourse and said,
“Oh that I were as in months gone by,
As in the days when God watched over me;
When His lamp shone over my head,
And by His light I walked through darkness;
As I was in the prime of my days,
When the friendship of God was over my tent;
Job is saying, “Man, I remember before the open sores, the nagging wife, the harsh/false rebukes from my supposed friends, and the DEEP physical and emotional pain.” I walked with God and He walked with me. We were FRIENDS. He watched over me. He was for me NOT against me.
Job 30:27-28 ESV:
“I am seething within and cannot relax;
Days of affliction confront me.
I go about mourning without comfort;
I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.”
Job essentially cries out, “God I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take this anymore!” And Job does what we far too often do during trials and circumstances that we do not understand, we begin to question the knowledge of God.
Job 31:5 ESV:
Oh that I had one to hear me!
Behold, here is my signature;
Let the Almighty answer me!
Job makes a grave error. He is doing something that none of us have the right to do when it comes to our relationship with God. He is making a…demand on God. He is asking God…..listen to me….FOR AN EXPLANATION.
- God, if you really love and are for us…why are you doing this to me, my kids, my family. Explain yourself!
- God, if your Word is really true….why does it seem to not be coming to fruition in my life. Explain yourself!
I used to get into a lot of trouble when I was a little boy. My biggest problem was my smart mouth. Always talking back. My grandmother when I talked back to her would say to me, “Boy, have you lost your mind?! I’m about to help you find it.”
God is about to help Job find his mind! (Job 38 ESV)
Job 38:4: “Where were you when I Iaid the foundations of the earth?”
Job 38:12: “Have you ever in your days commanded the morning light?”
Job 38:19: “Where does light live, or where does darkness reside?”
John 38:32: “Can you lead out a constellation in its season?”
Commentator, Tim Mackie, writes:
“God asks Job if he’s ever provided food for lions, or seen an isolated mountain goat give birth? No? Well, perhaps Job understands the feeding patterns of wild donkeys that roam the hills, or ostriches and their strange ways of caring for their young. Maybe Job and God can have a stimulating conversation about Job’s knowledge of war horses, and the aerodynamics of an eagle soaring on thermal air currents. As it turns out, Job doesn’t know as much as he thought, even about the world he lives in and should be familiar with.”
I find solitude in the fact that I DO NOT understand all of the incredible facets of life and knowledge that God does. Why would I want to worship a God that is like us?
When Job critiqued God’s knowledge and ability, it was based on the limited horizons of his life experience. His brain has only a finite capacity to understand cause and effect from his point of view. God’s perspective is infinitely broader, which means he may allow or orchestrate events that from one perspective look morally suspicious, or just plain wrong. However, from a wider perspective, those same events look entirely different.
It’s similar to a child observing their parent throw a chair at a window to shatter it. From a six-year-old’s point of view, this is precisely the kind of behavior that would earn a time-out, grounding, or worse. But if the parent knows there’s smoke coming from the adjacent room and that this window was the only way out, all of a sudden the broken window becomes a life-saving escape route. The parent has a wider range of available information that makes the same action (throwing a chair out the window) become the morally necessary thing to do.
Mommas, be ENCOURAGED today not DISCOURAGED that God knows what you and I do not know. God knows best!
2. WE DON’T KNOW BETTER THAN GOD
Firstly, Job attacks God for seemingly not paying attention to his life. In doing so, he places himself on the same level as God. God puts Job in his place. But Job’s sin is not just in thinking somehow that he has the same knowledge of God but also thinking that somehow, he knows better than God.
In what way does Job demonstrate this sin? Let’s look at Job 31.
Job 31:3-6 ESV:
Is it not calamity to the unjust
And disaster to those who work iniquity?
Does He not see my ways
And number all my steps?
“If I have walked with falsehood,
And my foot has hastened after deceit,
Let Him weigh me with accurate scales,
And let God know my integrity.”
Job is directly challenging God’s ways. He is saying, bad things should happen to bad people and good things should happen to good people. Job is reminding God, “Hey, remember God I AM A GOOD GUY!”
What are Job’s ways? Well, he gives us his “I’m a good guy resume.” In Chapter 29.
Job 29:12b-17 ESV: I delivered the poor who cried for help,
And the orphan who had no helper.
The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me,
And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
My justice was like a robe and a turban.
I was eyes to the blind
And feet to the lame.
I was a father to the needy,
And I investigated the case which I did not know.
I broke the jaws of the wicked
And snatched the prey from his teeth.
Here’s what I want you to see the great sin of Job is. He’s putting himself in the place of God as judge and ruler. And this is what we do, “God, because I do this…you must do that.”
- Because I go to church. You must bless me.
- Because I read my Bible. You must bless me.
- Because I lead my family well. You must bless me.
God responds and says, “Oh, I see you know better than me, you understand who deserves to go through trials and who doesn’t.
Job 40:10-12 ESV: “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity,
And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.
Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And tread down the wicked where they stand.
God says, “You be in charge than Job if you think you know better than me.” You see, Job is thinking wrongly about the knowledge of God. And what he is actually doing is ACCUSING GOD OF NEGLECT. He is telling God, “You aren’t really paying attention to my life.” If you were actually paying attention you would see that righteous people (i.e. myself) should not be going through such difficulty.
- Job questioned God’s design, and God responded that Job had insufficient knowledge to do so.
- Job questioned God’s justice, and God responded that Job needs to trust him, and that he should not arrogantly think that God can be domesticated to conform to Job’s or any other human’s thinking.
Here’s the point. God is asking Job to TRUST HIS WAYS not TO UNDERSTAND HIS WAYS.
- God, my life was supposed to go this way but it sort of feels like a disaster right now. I just don’t understand. God says, “That’s okay. You don’t need to understand. Just trust.”
- God, my loved one is sick when it seems like they have so much life to live. I just don’t understand. God says, “That’s okay. You don’t need to understand. Just trust.”
You see, THIS is where we get into trouble in our walk with Christ! Instead of trusting that God is working ALL things out together for good to those are in Christ Jesus we begin to meddle in His business. We begin to try and change our circumstances instead of trusting in His omniscience.
What does Job do when he is confronted by God about his lack of knowledge of the Most High God?
Job 40:3-5 ESV
Then Job answered the Lord and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;
Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”
Job is silent and listens to God.
What does Job do when he is confronted by God about the fact that He cannot possible understand why God does the things He does in our lives?
Job 42:1- 6 ESV: Then Job answered the LORD and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no plan is impossible for You. ‘Who is this who conceals advice without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I do not know. ‘Please listen, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent, sitting on dust and ashes.”
Job repents and refocuses on God’s sovereignty.
In the end, Job admits that God knows best. He trusts God and God restores him ten fold. Trials and tribulations can grow us if we allow them. When we decide to surrender and learn instead of argue against God, He can truly do an amazing work in our hearts and lives.