God’s Attributes as Our Hope in Suffering

As you read through the book of Job you find a number of God’s attributes highlighted.  The attributes of God are not concepts for abstract theological discussion.  They are anchors for the soul in times of suffering.  God’s attributes, I think, became increasingly meaningful to Job.  In other words, He knew God better after profound suffering.    

 

God’s Omniscience (all-knowing)

But he knows the way that I take (Job 23:10a)

God’s Immanence (condescension or nearness).  Notice that God had a personal interest in Job: “when he has tried me.”

when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold (Job 23:10b) 

God’s Immutability (unchanging nature)

But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? (Job 23:13a)

 

God’s Sovereignty (God status and freedom of action as King of the universe)

What he desires, that he does (Job 23:13b)

 

God’s Omnisapience (all-wise).  God, having taken into account all possible paths, has carved out the paths for our lives that will bring Him the most glory and that will bring about our greatest good. 

For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind (Job 23:14)  

 

God’s Omnipotence (all-powerful).  Notice how Job uses metaphors that have to do with sound (whisper . . . thunder) to contrast how much of God’s power we see (whisper) versus how much power He actually possesses (thunder). 

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?  Job 26:14 (cf. 26:5-13)

Suffering ought to effect, among other things, a greater knowledge of God.  Not for the sake of knowledge, but for the sake of knowing our God and fulfilling our grand purpose in life: to know Him and to glorify Him forever.  Let’s search God out in the Book in which He has revealed Himself.

I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food (Job 23:12)

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