Unknowns: We Want Answers, God Gives Himself

Unknowns: We Want Answers, God Gives Himself

by Dan Neighbors

Unknowns. They’re awful. I don’t know about you, but I like to know things. I like when things go according to the plan or, at least, by my expectation. I like people to react to what I say, do, think, and post on social media in the way I find pleasing. I like when life goes in the direction I imagined it would. I like when nothing throws a wrench in my day and I’m able to accomplish my goals. But, unknowns? They can throw doubt into the mix. Not just doubt that my life will be ok or go according to how I think it ought to go, but also doubt that God is good and over all things.

On Sunday, we discussed the life of Job and the unknowns that came his way. If you remember, Job was a man who loved God. He worshipped God and encouraged all around him to worship God too. This love for God was so evident in Job’s life and heart that the Almighty, Himself, acknowledged Job amongst other heavenly beings as being one who valued God and lifted Him high. Satan questioned this by saying that the only reason Job loved God was because God gave him things. God then allowed something that has had many scratching their heads—He allowed Satan to harm Job’s life. First by taking Job’s belongings, servants, and children and then by taking his health. After his health was affected, while sitting in ashes, scraping himself with a broken piece of pottery to get some sort of relief from the discomfort of his illness, Job’s wife came to him. Her words ring in my ears as I think about the book of Job today, “Do you still hold to your integrity? Curse God and die.” She was hurt too. She had lost too. She didn’t understand the unknowns either but wanted what we all want when suffering comes our way, relief. But Job answered her only by saying, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” But still the unknowns sat.

As time went on, Job was questioned as to what he may have done wrong to cause judgment from the Almighty, and over and over again Job would reply that he had done nothing. This was all simply an unknown to him. Chapter after chapter friends plead with him and he resisted them, Job spoke of not understanding why these things are happening, and the cycle continued.

But, as things usually do, the situation came to a head. Job wanted answers. And in chapter 38-39 of Job, he got a response from the Almighty One.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began?”
“Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you?”
“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?”

And after, being reminded of who God is by the Creator Himself, in chapter 40, Job puts his hand over his mouth. And still, the unknowns sat.

See, in our unknowns, like Job, we want answers. We want to know the why behind it all, and we want a clear reason to endure. We want a clear reason to be able to tell our family, friends, co-workers, and ourselves as to why we are suffering. But God doesn’t always give us that. God does give us is what He gave Job, Himself. Knowing the answers we seek, the “why’s" and the "how come’s", is nice. But knowing God is better.

Through the life of Job, we see that God is immanent. 
He is a personal God who created people in His image to be in a personal relationship with Him. He’s not an impersonal dispensary of rewards or discipline depending on our behaviors. God wanted Job to understand that his first response to the suffering he experienced was the correct response—bow and worship. Yes, grieve. Pain and suffering is real and it hurts. But as you grieve, worship the King because you know He is the One who holds the stars in the sky. Knowledge of who He is affects our grief not by taking it away but by giving us such an awe of the personal God wanting a personal relationship with us that we can’t help but lean on Him. Trusting God in the middle of our unknowns because of acknowledging who He is leads us to dependency on the One who made us.

As you consider the thoughts above, here are a few resources to help you better worship God this week. As always, you can see our updated resources for each week on our Resource Page. We also sell (at cost) family resources to take home and accompany our studies through the gospel project like family devotionals and worship music. If you are interested in any of these, visit our Family Resource Center on Sunday in the EKIDZ Wing.

Is There Purpose In My Suffering [David Powlison Biblical Counseling Video]

The Suffering of Job [Gospel Project Kids Video]

The Story of Job [Bible Project Video]

I Am Here [Scripture Lullabies Kids Worship]

Hold Me Fast [Shane & Shane Worship Song]

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