“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.”
Job 13:15 (NIV)
The man who uttered the words of our text for today was none other than Job, himself. For no stated reason, God had allowed dreadful suffering to come upon this man. Job knew that he was a man who lived in a morally upright manner. Even God said that Job was a good man (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). No one was able to convince him of any gross sin that might explain his sorrow.
Some suffering people are harshly judged by others whose lives are pain free. The accusers insist the person must have done evil to be in such a sad situation. Any effort by the one afflicted to justify themselves and say they are not guilty is swept aside by the accusers as arrogance and pride.
Such was Job’s predicament. His “friends” who did so much to verbally beat him up could not point to even one thing he had done to merit the tragedy in his life. However, the lack of evidence was no barrier to them in their verbal assaults against him.
It seems that at the time, no one rose to Job’s defence. He was perhaps one of the most lonely men in the Bible with the exception of Jesus when He was crucified. Even Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. (Job 2:9)
Dying was what Job sought with all his heart. He could not take his own life however, but begged God to let him die and so end his suffering. (Job 3:1-26) Yet he did not die, rather he lived to suffer another day.
Then after his lament about living to suffer (Job 3) Job utters the words of our text. How could he do this? What evidence did he have to support such a statement? How could he trust God after all the tragic things that had descended on him?
We are amazed that such words could be uttered by Job after he had cursed the day of his birth and questioned why he could not simply die and be done with this cruel world. Our hearts go out to Job in his affliction and we marvel at his stubborn faith that refused to die on the altar of suffering.
Why could Job hang on to his faith in such a situation? Was this blind faith? Or did he see something that we have missed? From what we see of Job’s life as described in Job 1 we see that he walked with God for many years prior to his difficulties.
Those who walk in the way of the Lord have reasonable expectations from God as indicated in Psalms 1, 23 and so on. God promises to care for His people through all the difficulties of life. It seems then that Job was not only aware of the promises of God to walk through life’s trials with His children, Job believed the promises always, not just in the good times.
We rarely have a problem trusting God and saying He is good when the sun shines on us. It is when everything goes wrong that our real faith comes through for us. In your times of sorrow can you say with Job, “Though he slay me yet will I hope in him.” God is worthy of our confidence and I pray that my readers find grace to endure because of Who God is.