Job 13-15…God is sovereign over losses.
Sometimes even well-intentioned Christians can hold simplistic views of God. For example, we might hear a sports star claim after an upset victory that he had prayed and knew that the Lord would give him victory. Now it’s entirely right to give God the glory, but the implication here is that God’s answer could only have been victory. What if defeat had been part of the divine plan?
This is an important point to ponder. Job’s friends were no doubt well-intentioned, but they had a rather simplistic theology. For them, it wasn’t possible both to be in God’s will and experience suffering. Consequently, they ended up being judgmental of those who suffered.
Today’s passage is actually the middle section of a long speech by Job. In the first part (Job 12), he replies to Zophar, in essence, saying, “Tell me something that I don’t already know!” Job knew that God’s wisdom was beyond comprehension. And he knew that repentance was the answer to sin. But he also knew that life was much more complicated than his friends were willing to admit. Their heartless response to his suffering provokes some rather sharp accusations (Job 13:4–12). If they were experiencing what he was, how would they fare?
Despite his friends’ claims, Job knows that he is not sinless (v. 23), but he doesn’t believe that his sin merits his suffering. Job realizes that a truly godless man would have no confidence to come before God (v. 16). Yet, though God may slay him, Job realizes that he has nowhere else to turn.
So again, Job comes before the Lord and asks for a fair hearing (vv. 20–28). These verses reveal how isolated Job feels from God. Whereas he once enjoyed fellowship, he now feels as if God has become his enemy.
In his current state, Job once again laments the frailty of his humanity. But for the first time, we find a glimmer of hope (Job 14:15–17). Job is beginning to envision a time when he will be restored to God. This is his first glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.