Ask the animals - 24 October 2018

Xanthe Hancox

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know  that the hand of the Lord has done this?  Job 12:7-10

Most of the book of Job is comprised of poetic speeches. By the time you get to chapter 12, all three of Job’s friends—Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar—have spoken once. They try to tell him that he must have done something to deserve all his hardship but Job isn’t having any of it.

He bluntly tells his friends that their neat theology does not square with what happens in the real world. The wicked are not always be punished and the righteous are not always rewarded. And he’s right. The world around us is full of corrupt, violent and cruel people who live the high life.

Job doesn’t understand why he’s going through what he’s going though, but still he knows that God is in control.

He knows it because all of God’s creation testifies to it. Animals and birds and fish know that they did not create themselves and they do not sustain themselves. The wonder of creation reminds Job that nothing happens without God.

Job may be confused about how God could be in control of his situation, but he is quick to remind himself that, no matter how confusing, it is a hopeful thing that all is in the hand of the Lord. The events of our lives may often seem confusing in light of God being in control, but that same truth is what brings comfort amidst the confusion for we know that God is good and can be trusted.

Prayer: Give us the humility, Lord, not to act like Job’s friends who accused him of sin because of his trials. Show us how to help those who are struggling so that we might give the kind of encouragement you have given us. Amen

 

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