Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations?
Speak if you have understanding.
Do you know who fixed its dimensions”
Or who measured it with a line?
Onto what were its bases sunk?
Who set its cornerstone
When the morning stars sang together
And all the divine beings shouted for joy?
Well, Job wanted a defense from God and he received one!
No one was spared. Job was wrong, God did not have it out for him (although it seemed like it), but at least Job confessed to that fact. His friends were wrong too, Job was indeed innocent. In the end who could understand the mysteries of God?
God has a potent response that in some ways is different than the playful, bragging, God of the first chapter. The God of the concluding chapters of Job is cosmic in scope. Creation, laws of he universe, the care of the earth, all owe their existence to God. Life’s difficult turns are part of the mystery of God’s creation.
In some ways the story leaves all of us hanging. We know that the friends were wrong but we can’t help but wonder why God still allows such horrible things to take place?
What brings me comfort is that God is with us through the things of life. It has been my experience that sometimes at the most difficult of times God seems nearer than ever, and even if God seems distant or non existent, the promise of God’s presence is still there.
I am thankful for this continuing narrative that touches all aspects of the human condition. I am thankful that our questions about the meaning of life are the questions that humanity has been struggling with from the very beginning.
Maybe we need to watch this story as a play. It surely would make excellent drama. It would speak to everyone because being human means that at some point we will suffer, life will take a turn, and we will wonder . . .