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JOB 24:1-12
1 “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?
Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?
There are those who move boundary stones;
they pasture flocks they have stolen.
They drive away the orphan’s donkey
and take the widow’s ox in pledge.
They thrust the needy from the path
and force all the poor of the land into hiding.
Like wild donkeys in the desert,
the poor go about their labour of foraging food;
the wasteland provides food for their children.
They gather fodder in the fields
and glean in the vineyards of the wicked.
Lacking clothes, they spend the night naked;
they have nothing to cover themselves in the cold.
They are drenched by mountain rains
and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
The fatherless child is snatched from the breast;
the infant of the poor is seized for a debt.
10 Lacking clothes, they go about naked;
they carry the sheaves, but still go hungry.
11 They crush olives among the terraces;
they tread the winepresses, yet suffer thirst.
12 The groans of the dying rise from the city,
and the souls of the wounded cry out for help.
But God charges no one with wrongdoing.

The world’s full of injustice. It’s an awful fact to face but it’s simply true. I listen to the news on the radio most days on the way to work and I gotta say, it can be crushing. Story after story of people suffering terrible injustice, without restitution. The wicked get ahead and get away with it. No one fixes it. No one can make it right. Where is justice? Where is God?

In the midst of his suffering Job looks around and sees that the entire world is full of darkness and evil. The powerful oppress the weak and no one seems to do anything.

As you read the book of Job, Job’s boldness in speaking to God can be disconcerting. He’s angry. He stops short of telling God that he’s in the wrong, but he seems to get pretty close.

But in a surprise twist at the end of the book God is pleased with Job for speaking the truth about him but angry at Job’s friends for not speaking the truth. And yet it was his friends who defended God’s goodness in the face of suffering. What’s going on?

I think the key is the first word in 24:1… why? Job was wrong to demand that God answer him, but he was right in acknowledging that God and God alone had the answers to this problem. Job didn’t like what he saw, but he didn’t have to. What he had to do was turn to God and that’s what he did. What he had to learn was to not only trust God to give him the answers, but also to trust him in the absence of the answers.

His friends on the other hand thought they had the answers. They presumed to understand what God was doing and to speak for him. And they were wrong. They thought they were defending God. But God doesn’t need us to defend him. Instead he asks us to trust him.

At the cross Jesus doesn’t answer us ‘why’. But he shows us that God too is angry about the injustice in the world. And that he has done something about it.

Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from this passage? What have you learnt about yourself?

Heart: How do you feel about the world when you hear of injustice? How do you feel about God when you hear about injustice? How do you feel about the cross?

Hands: How do you respond to injustice and suffering? If you encounter someone who is suffering, instead of giving them a theological answer or avoiding them, simply be with them. How can you help them turn to God in trust even without answers?

Prayer: Heavenly Father it’s really hard to understand the injustice and evil in this world. Please forgive me for times I’ve either blamed you or presumed to speak answers for you. Instead enable me to honestly turn to you in faith and to be there for others in your Name. In Jesus Name Amen.

A song to listen to: Cornerstone

Ryan Dehnert

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