Job 26-31…Yearning for God.
The story of Martin Luther is one of the most inspiring in history. After nearly being struck by lightning, Luther entered a monastery in 1508, hoping to find a deeper relationship with God. But over the next few years, despite all Luther’s efforts, he felt that God was not only distant, but that His wrath burned against Luther. Unable to meet the demands of the Mosaic law, Luther finally came to the realization that salvation was possible only through faith in Jesus Christ.
In today’s passage, we find a similar yearning for God. Job laments that he can’t find God, and his complaint remains bitter. Despite all the words that have passed between Job and his friends, Job has not given up his conviction that his only hope is to be heard before God. Although Job has said some harsh things about God and although he now believes that God is difficult to find, Job retains his steadfast belief that a righteous man can ultimately find justice with God.
More importantly, Job recognizes that God knows the truth about his life, and that He is purifying Job by using this trial. Here Job articulates one possible divine purpose for suffering, namely, the testing of our faith and our sanctification. Still, Job is unafraid to admit that in the meantime, God seems to have His hand against Job, which makes him faint of heart. Job implies that if God can be found, it must be a gift.
Job’s bold declaration about the path that he has followed is a powerful example for all believers. Despite his trials, Job has maintained three practices that are vital for the life of a believer. First, he has continued to follow God’s ways: he has not forsaken the Lord as Satan had predicted, and he has not sought the counsel of unbelievers. Instead, he has continued to walk steadfastly with the Lord. Second, Job has kept God’s commands. Third, Job has continued to treasure God’s Word in his heart.