Today I read Job 6-9, and I am mainly struck by the stuff Job gets away with saying to/about God! Yesterday (Job 1-5) he cursed the day of his birth, but he stayed pretty respectful to God. Today, however, Job
- wishes he could take God on in court to argue his own innocence.
- implies that God torments people for “no reason” (9:17).
- says that “when a land falls into the hands of the wicked, [God] blindfolds its judges” (9:24).
- asks God why he won’t leave Job alone “long enough for me to swallow my saliva” (7:19, literally).
Wow! That’s some pretty harsh stuff! If Daniel said anything like that to me in an argument, I would be pissed! Job is cranky, and he offers up some pretty stiff questioning to God — but he never curses God, just complains and wonders about God’s motives. And all this is apparently okay because he’s still righteous in God’s eyes at the end of the story, and he’s described as having great “perseverance” elsewhere in the Bible.
SO the moral of the story for today seems to be that it’s okay to get mad at God, to complain, to question, to speculate about God’s motives… as long as you don’t curse/reject God. And that sounds pretty easy to me right now. I’m like, “Sweet, I can do all those things? And I just have to avoid that one thing? Awesome!” …BUT (a) I’m not really in tough circumstances right now, and I bet it’s a lot harder then, and (b) as evidenced by Genesis 3, we humans don’t really have a great track record of obeying the one thing we’re forbidden.
All the same, I find it comforting to know that we can really let God have it — all our cranky non-understanding — and that’s totally okay.