Why, God, Why?

“Why, God? Why did you do this to me?” Job wondered aloud. The sores that covered him from head to toe were like tiny pricks of fire. He felt like a pin cushion. The aching man picked up a broken piece of pottery, one small remnant of his shattered life. He used the dull edge to pick at a sore but found zero relief.

“Why, God, why?”

His flesh had withered away. He looked like skin and bones. His breath stunk so badly, his wife wouldn’t come near him. To top it all off, he suffered from a terrible case of post-traumatic stress disorder.

To his credit, Job didn’t curse God for his sufferings. However, he did blame God for them. Apparently, he didn’t recognize Satan as the source of his sickness. After all, he didn’t know Revelation 12:9-10, which describes Satan as the “accuser of the brethren.”

The fact is, the devil does more than accuse believers before God. He also accuses God before believers. For instance, in Genesis chapter 3 he worked through the serpent to call God a liar. He accused Him of withholding good from Adam and Eve by trying to keep deadly fruit from them. I believe he also accused God before Job, blaming Him for tragedies and sicknesses he himself had caused.

“Why, God? Why? I don’t deserve this. Why, God? Why?” echoes Satan’s proud cry.

Satan’s lies really got to Job – so much so that he cursed his day of birth. His conversation sounds rather suicidal, in fact. Then he looked to his friends for comfort, but they let him down big time. I can picture them holding their noses as they tried to cheer him up. Their words made him feel worse, though. In fact, they said some pretty mean things, implying that Job must have committed some horrible sin.

“The reason you itch and stink and have bad breath is because God’s punishing you,” they basically told him.

But Job insisted he had done nothing to deserve punishment. In fact, in chapter 29, he boasted about all the good things he had done:

delivering the poor, the fatherless, and those who had no helper (verse 12);

making the widow’s heart “sing for joy” (verse 13);

being “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame” (verse 15);

being a father to the poor (verse 16);

breaking the jaws of the wicked, and plucking the spoil out of his teeth (verse 17).

Job boasted of his good works and saw no reason he should suffer. He seemed to feel that God had judged him unfairly. What he failed to recognize was that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Hearing Job justify himself while the others condemned him really bugged a young man named Elihu. “Stop asking ‘Why, God, why?'” he told Job. “Stop boasting about yourself and consider God for a change. Think of all the great things He has done.”

“Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God’s behalf,” he tells them in Job chapter 36, verse 2. “I will fetch my knowledge from afar and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.” (verse 3).

When Elihu is finished with his speech, God speaks to Job through a whirlwind. The encounter brings Job to his knees. “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee,” he tells the LORD. After Job prays for his friends who have not spoken well of God, God restores everything the enemy stole from him. He ends up with twice as much as he had to begin with. The latter end of Job’s life is more blessed than the beginning. Presumably, he is healed, for, after all, healing is a blessing.

So, what can we take away from this story? I believe that one thing can learn from it is this: It’s one thing to experience God’s healing power. It’s another thing to get to know the Healer, to see Him as He really is instead of basing your knowledge on hearsay. The best way to get to know God is by reading His Word, in a way that lets it to sink deep into your heart. If we want Him in our hearts, we must invite Him in.

To quote Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”