Week 3: If God is all-powerful, why does He not prevent suffering? Continued… [Part 2 on the suffering of Job]
By Yolandé Korkie
Job was righteous, but lost everything, and suffered a direct attack on his health. Up until that moment, Job had chosen to accept that God had given and had taken away. But then suffering takes its toll, and one of the darkest chapters in the Bible follows. Job ends up cursing the day he was born and poses some of those why questions to God. Finally, after Job’s friends exhaust themselves – unable to explain God’s ways, while insinuating that Job’s suffering was a result of unconfessed sin – God responds to Job’s questions with humbling questions of His own, without ever explaining the reason for the suffering.
He starts by asking Job where he was when He laid the foundation of the earth, or defined the boundaries of the sea? Could Job command the dawn to rise; did he know where the gazelle lay down to give birth, or had he given strength to the horse? God never gave Job an explanation for his suffering, but through His questions to Job, He confirmed His sovereignty and goodness and His questions successfully created a contrast between God and man. God’s questions exalt His majesty, while providing Job with the proper perspective and reveals just how much Job needs to know before he could even attempt to understand the concept of suffering. The majesty of God helps Job understand how small he is as a creature and confirms that God is in control. In fact, God is basically asking Job [your name]: “Can you trust me, even if you don’t know the answer to your question/s?”
From Job’s story, we learn that God is not the author of evil, but He is in control, and we can place our trust in our powerful and sovereign God who is able to turn what was planned for evil, into good (Gen 50: 20 and Rom 8: 28).
Reflection: How would you console someone who is going through a time of suffering by using the truth of God’s sovereignty?
Image: Pexels/Tyler Lastovich