Day #24 – Who’s in Charge Here Anyways?

Today’s Reading: Job 38-40; Matthew 15:21-30

Within the last couple of years my father told me a story that I have no recollection of occurring. It seems that when I was around five years old, I was with my dad visiting my grandmother at her home. I enjoyed being with grandma. So understandably when it was time to pack up and go home, I decided to prolong the stay. I’m not sure why but at five years old screaming and crying seems to be the best plan of attack for everything. When that appears to get attention you have to retreat to unattainable ground before the big folks can make you stop. I did great on both accounts. The waterworks were going and I managed to get myself sandwiched between grandma’s stove and cabinets. My dad had no hope of fitting in the tight space and his powerful arms couldn’t reach the length of the gap. Victory was mine!
A scream that bellowed throughout the kitchen for at least ten seconds. Then… silence.
“Okay, we’ve both had our scream and we’ve both had our fun. Now it’s time to go.”
Defeat set in as I was reminded that dad was in control and out trumped my puny little voice.

Big guy - Little guy

Sometimes like a child we think we are "big" and "bad." We forget there is a bigger and more powerful God over all things.

Jump over to Job. Throughout the book you have to feel sorry for this guy. He loses everything and then is taunted by his friends, who claim that all his calamity is a result of his sin. Not exactly the glamorous lifestyle of the saint that we would envision. Job sits around in the dust and wants God to answer for His actions. I’m with Job. God what were you thinking? I also have the benefit of looking at this story from an outsider’s viewpoint. I got to see that Satan and God were challenging each other on whether Job would cave-in and curse God after all the unfortunate events. Seriously. There need to be some answers here from the source.

Well, God shows up to speak with our downtrodden friend. I’ll admit I was pretty excited. Even last week I remember Job declaring that his situation was unfair. I just can’t help but feel that God will show up and give Job good reason for all the suffering. At the very least God is going to vindicate Job’s emotions and give the plague to the taunters…. er, friends, right? NOT! Instead God throws rhetorical question after question at Job to remind Job that He (God) is sovereign not only over Job but EVERYTHING.

“God then confronted Job directly: ‘Now what do you have to say for yourself? Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press  charges?’ Job Answers God I’m Ready to Shut Up and Listen Job answered: ‘I’m speechless, in awe – words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I’ve talked too much, way too much. I’m ready to shut up and listen.'”

I can see the whole situation play out like my childhood situation. Here is a kid thinking that he is going to control a situation that is unfair in his eyes. The whining and tears begin. While dad has watched and been present for the whole situation, he finally speaks up. God’s questions are like throwing cold water on a panic-stricken person. It snaps Job out of his emotional state and starts to put things into perspective. I would like to see my situation as unfair and give my input on how my life should play out. However, there is one that is of more infinite wisdom and power than I that is in control.

Okay. Fine. God is in control. He has seen my days play out before I was ever thought of being in existence. He controls the universe and all its intricate parts. Each day – each breath that I’m given is a gift and I should be grateful for my life.
However, here are my questions coming from these chapters:
-It was okay for Job to feel sorrow. Was it okay for him to feel cheated?
– Where in my life am I pretending to be the authority figure apart from God?
– Why do I have to feel in charge?


About darren_fink

Dynamic Social Media Manager and Graphic Artist for @MyFanplicity - Adoptive Father of four - Avid fan of the Harry Potter book series Co-creator of Transfiguring Adoption: Twitter: @darren_fink LinkedIn: View all posts by darren_fink

7 responses to “Day #24 – Who’s in Charge Here Anyways?

  • Laura

    Awesome story! I read it twice to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I am not in control. I never was in control and I will never be in control. It took me many years to understand this and I guess I will be working on it till Jesus comes back. I think many times in life bad things happen to us. people let us down, we go through a church split, maybe it is a sickness. The first thing that we ask is why? we begain to take control of each situation as if we can stop bad things from happening to us again, but this is not possible. life is gonna happen. I remember going through a tarrible thing about eight years ago it shook me to the core! The first thing that came out of my mouth was, God, give me a sound mind and don’t let me harden my heart. I had to walk through the pain daily saying oh God you are gonna have to help me or I can’t do this. the devils plan was to destroy, but God came in in such a powerful way that it caused me to love and trust Him even more then ever before. I am learning more and more to be honest with how I feel about what I am going through and then lay it at the feet of the cross. Weather you are on the mountain top or in the vally, trust and believe that God has a good plan for your life and give Him complete control.

    • darrenfink

      I think one thing that hit me from your comment was “… learning more and more to be honest…” I think more often than not I find that I’m can’t be in control because I just don’t measure up to the challenge. Like we are seeing from Job though, it’s okay to let God have the control.

  • Bob Heren

    Great story. Yes, I totally agree. I’m amazed that at the end of the book it’s not God justifying why He did what He did (although, yeah, it seems like that’s what we would’ve expected the book to end with). It’s more like the book ends with God declaring that He doesn’t have to justify Himself to us at all, as if we have some sort of authority to hold Him to account. Atheists (and even Christians) who consider that they have the right to challenge Him are ignorant of who He really is, and how much we are nothing.
    To answer your first question, I think Job is vindicated at the end of the book, so I think that while God’s harsh answer was corrective, overall God declared that Job handled the situation right. Maybe it was that Job’s heart stayed teachable to the end, so his accusations made in the heat of the moment were forgiven when he repents in chapter 39.

    • darrenfink

      I have found it really interesting that Job is very demanding in wanting to speak with God. However, he backs off every time he gets fired up. He has an understanding about the sovereignty of God.

      I really had the thought – “What would my non-Christian friends think about this whole situation (namely God allowing all the calamities)?” However, whether you want to accept it or not, Job responded with God’s rhetorical questions in a VERY reverent fear. If I’m arguing with a buddy about something and he shoots me a sarcastic comment, I’ll fire back at him. Job doesn’t do this with God. His audience with God makes him apologize and shut up.

  • Bob Heren

    I wanted to add something of my own, if I may, from Matthew (incidentally I don’t like this reading plan that has us bouncing back and forth between unrelated sections of the Bible):
    Matthew 15:22-24 “Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came…Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.” He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” – Okay, hold on. Jesus totally ignored their suggestion. His statement has nothing to do with what the disciples said to Him. Sequence: 1) woman is crying for help, 2) Jesus ignores her, 3) the disciples, taking a cue from Jesus’ actions, decide to prod Him to get rid of her (or authorize them to get rid of her), 4) Jesus answers, but His answer has nothing to do with getting rid of her, as if that wasn’t the purpose of His actions at all. I interpret Jesus’ answer as making sense only in three ways:
    1.Jesus was giving a gentle rebuke to the disciples by answering the statement they SHOULD’VE made, which was “Jesus, aren’t you going to help this woman?”. They failed the test.
    2.Jesus was talking to Himself when He said this, convincing Himself that He wasn’t supposed to be helping her, even though He longed to do so.
    3.Jesus was totally ignoring the disciples’ prodding, and this statement was directed not at them, but at the woman, who then throws herself at His feet to appeal His decision (successfully, as it turns out).

  • mikj45

    I think deep down Job already knew that God is in charge and nothing we do can change that. We always want our way and expect God to fall in line. Yes, He said ask and I will hear you, but we cannot make demands on God or blame Him when when things don’t go our way. God’s plan far out weighs our plan for He knows the outcome. We get focused on our own desires and expect God to fall in line. He tells Jobs who is in control and challenges Job to do any of the things that He has done. This puts Job in his place. Then in Mathew we see the deciples try to tell Jesus what to do. He shows them He is in control and that their wishes are not His wishes. Have you ever asked God for something and there is no answer? He knows our heart and what is best for us, because He can see far into the future and knows what the outcome will be . Our desire should line up with God’s word and not our own wants.

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