Outside the Box

Job was convinced of his righteousness. He’d crossed all his “T’s” and dotted all his “I’s.” He’d done everything right and was convinced he had a case before God. All he wanted was his day in court to attest to his righteousness and convince God that his trials were unnecessary and unwarranted. Then God began to speak and Job’s case fell apart.

In challenging Job, God did not even enter into the deeper concepts of Himself and His majesty. He stuck to the “simple stuff” and asked Job about creation and what he knew of it. He could not even answer the simplest of God’s questions:

Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.  (Job 38:18)

The size of the earth is something we have a pretty good idea of today because we have gone off-planet and we have been able to take measurements of the earth’s dimensions. But in Job’s day, the most people had were rough estimates and even this was not common knowledge – Job didn’t know it – and while we might be able to answer questions about the diameter and the circumference of the earth today, we can see from the other questions that God asked Job that there are still plenty of things we don’t even know about creation, let alone God Himself.

Until this confrontation, Job had a high view of himself and a very limited view of God. We tend to think we have God figured out and we try to put Him in a box with clear dimensions. We don’t declare this in so many words, but it is how we deal with God every day. Why else do our circumstances so often shatter our faith or make us angry with God? It’s because God doesn’t fit in our boxes and we cannot begin to fully comprehend Him. Job thought he could argue his case before God like he could argue a case with a human being. God showed him that the only reason Job even fit into His schedule was because He let him.

What should cause us awe and reverence is that God chooses to concern Himself with us.

Did God have to answer Job? No. We can see from the Lord’s questions that everything about Him is greater than anything about us – and that’s just from the perspective of God’s hand in creation, let alone the things of God Himself! But God did answer Job, not because He had to prove Himself to him, but for Job to understand who His God is.

Yes God leans into our lives for our blessing and our benefit, but the whole purpose behind that is so that we can glory in His presence and praise Him for His greatness. Job went into this argument seeking to justify himself. He came out giving glory to God. Why? Because he came in thinking God fit in his box: “I can argue with God like I can anyone else.” He came out understanding that God lived outside his box: “My God is greater than anything I could imagine! Who am I to take issue with the Almighty? Glory be to God in all things and all circumstances!”

Did God lean into Job’s life? Yes. Did God set things right for Job? Yes. Did God restore Job’s blessings? No. He doubled them. But only after Job understood that his God lived outside the box.

[Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash]

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