The Divine “Letting Loose”

I am reading through Job.  Job knew what it meant to suffer deeply.  He lost everything.  His theology was critical during his profound affliction.  Two specific points of his theology are noteworthy:

  • God is the first cause even though He used Satan to accomplish His will.  Job understood that God ultimately brought about this suffering.  Job says ” The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away” (Job 1:21).
  • God sustains life.  He also understood that life is in the hands of the Giver and Taker of life.  Job asserts ” . . . that he would let loose his hand and cut me off.”  This expression means that Job wished he were dead, which is the theme of Job 3.

That God is the first cause and that He sustains life funnel to the singular truth of God’s all-wise providence.  To be sure, Job’s suffering is profound; unlike anything I have known and frankly never care to experience.  Yet at the same time, something greater and something infinitely good came of it.  Even righteous Job had something to learn which he declares at the end of the book: “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you; [6] therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5-6).  Evidently, some self-righteousness had to be purged from his life.    

A satisfactory answer to the “why” of Job’s suffering in particular and to human suffering in general will very likely never come in this life. But when we suffer let us tenaciously cling to the all-wise providence of a good God.  Though our suffering may be so great that we wish God “would let loose his hand and cut us off,” there is a reason God desires for us to endure suffering.  Because God is all-wise, all possible avenues to accomplish His will have been considered, the path He has chosen is what He has determined will be for our highest good and for His greatest glory. 

Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.  [11] For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned?  My glory I will not give to another (Isaiah 48:10-11)  

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