God Knows Why?

As Spring has sprung, so also the gnats, mosquitos and other flying vermin. Yet, looking around at the budding trees and flowers, many believe it to be one of the most beautiful times of the year. We must take the good with the bad, so they say; but, are all those swarms of critters “bad”?

It is an interesting study to understand the place of each creature in God’s magnificent work of creation and to grasp the balance of an ecosystem. The tides of seasonal change always bring with them a foam of diversity that fits perfectly in its purpose. It is often the case that humanity is the weak link in understanding the “why” of what we perceive and experience.

In the middle of Job’s torment, in his moment of doubt, there was never any question about the fact that God was in control, just a confusion as to why his life had taken such a turn for the “worse.” How could he possibly have known that the record of his personal suffering would contribute to eons of generations throughout the remainder of humanity’s existence.

There is much in the book of Job that causes the Bible student to scratch the head but there are a couple of things we can understand:

  • God is in control. Looking at the today’s world, America and even the church of our Lord, it is easy to think that the proverbial trip to the Netherworld in a handbasket is inevitable. Confusion, chaos and misguided mayhem may look like the (dis)order of the day but God has not forsaken His people. Because we do not understand the details is no excuse to lose our faith in the fact that “the Lord upholds the righteous” (Psalm 37:17).
  • I’m not the center of the universe. My suffering is not the hinge upon which humanity pivots. An incredibly egocentric society too often translates events through the myopic lens of self. What is happening to “me” is the foundation for judgments of what is good or bad, instead of relying upon God’s wisdom and grace, and being patient. “Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” (Deuteronomy 32:29).

What Job learned was to respectfully accept God’s providential working in the lives of His creatures (Job 42:2). This may not answer specific questions for those searching souls, weighed down by pressing burdens, looking for purpose and reason in every inconvenience, sorrow or struggle of the moment but God knows. The epiphany of Job is well stated by Paul: “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33, 36). Our consolation is best founded, not in the revelation of every particular to our satisfaction, but in knowing this: God knows why!

Jeff Sweeten