I wanted to talk about impatience because I too feel impatient but that is not where this is taking me. Like Job, I am astonished by what he saw and tells us so, before we ever approach the book of Job today, I thought it best to visit some other texts that repeat the same message. All scripture comes from the 1984/1987 NIV unless otherwise noted.
- Proverbs 16:3 (AMP) “Commit your works to the Lord [submit and trust them to Him], And your plans will succeed [if you respond to His will and guidance].”
- Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans of a man’s mind but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails, my paraphrase.
- Psalm 139:16: All the days ordained for me were written before ever one of them came to be, my paraphrase.
- Jeremiah 10:23 (AMP) “O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself;
It is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life].“
- Act 17:27 (AMP) “And He [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.”
- Romans 6:17-18: Though we were slaves of sin if we “obey Christ from our heart” we are slaves of righteousness, my paraphrase.
- Romans 8:28: God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose, my paraphrase.
- Philippians 2:13: It is God who moves in you to inspire and energize/ to will and to act according to His good purpose, my paraphrase & combination of the NIV & AMP.
NOTE: Modern man has apparently – meaning it appears that way, seems to be so but I could be wrong – decided that God’s word is not to be taken literally which logically leads to discounting God’s sovereignty over our lives. I do take it literally as over and over again God declares our position and His. It also seems that we can make plans apart from God but they will not come to fruition.
Job’s take begins in chapter 21:5 as he describes the successful carefree lives of the wicked. In verse 16 Job joins the above refrain, “But their prosperity is not in their own hands, so I stand aloof from the counsel of the wicked…. One man dies in full vigor…his bones rich with marrow. Another man dies in bitterness of soul, never having enjoyed anything good.”
Even knowing all this it was Job who said that he would trust God, even if God killed him, my paraphrase of Job 13:15.
Where do I find hope in this?! Let’s go back to Psalm 23, all of it. If I need extra reinforcement that God cares for me I remember Jesus came and died for me while I was a sinner/His enemy, my paraphrase of Romans 5:8-10. Psalm 23 reminds me that shepherds take their flocks to fields of bitter, yet medicinal, herbs and that God’s rod and staff are there for my guidance and my protection even or maybe, especially, when I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death.
It may not be “fun” or all smiles but it is for the good of my soul and so I join Job in saying, “I will yet trust Him”.