Part Two: the error of Job
doubting God’s character and intentions
Lord, deliver me from the error of Job. The “error of Job” is believing that “I am right and You are wrong”; that I am faithful while You are unjust; that I honor Your promises while You break or forget them. It is angrily doubting the flawless character (holiness) of God my Creator. The error of Job is believing that the suffering You allow is just too hard for me to endure: therefore I am justified in giving up. In fact, my failure, even my sins, are now Your fault! You are actually forcing me to take matters into my own hands. I’ve truly tried my very best, but You just don’t want to help me enough. Since You won’t do what’s right, I’ve got to step in and “fix” things for You.
The error of Job means giving up. It means taking matters into my own hands and unrighteously removing myself from the suffering or circumstances that You have chosen for me. It means throwing sin tantrums to show You just how truly evil I can really be if I want to! (And why not? You certainly have no regard for any of my attempts at being good!) It means taking what I need when I need it because You won’t let me have it the right way. And if You don’t care about what’s right or wrong, then why should I?
Finally, the error of Job means that I can make my plans to “give up” one last time, by taking my own life, since You won’t release me from this unbearable suffering. Then I will truly show both the world of the living and the world of the dead just how faithful I was and how faithless You were; how terribly hard I tried but how flatly impossible You made the road.
shame God hate God serve God?
Indeed, the error of Job is trying to shame You into blessing me. It’s an attempt to use my own faithfulness as a cunning excuse to accuse You of unfaithfulness–in the hope that this will force You to “prove Your character” by helping me. Lord, how can anyone escape this terrible error? It seems absolutely certain to me that I am in the right and You are in the wrong. How can I worship You when I hate You so much for denying me things I really need to live? How can I serve You without Your blessings or provision or help?
true character revealed
In my suffering, I have come to understand an important truth: Anyone who stops worshipping You when You remove Your blessings reveals their true nature...as an idolater. Why? Because they worship gifts, not the Giver. They worship life, not the Source of life. They seek happiness, not God. Lord, forgive me for the error of Job. It is my character that is flawed, not Yours. A true servant would obey You whether they got anything out of it or not, knowing that You are just and that You will eventually bless and provide for all needs, forever, when Your Kingdom comes. They would never doubt Your good character or intentions.
a new Job, a certain fact
This requires thought: What do I have now that Job didn’t have then? Where can I find the faith, the certainty, needed to keep trusting You through horrible suffering as a “better” Job?
Endurance requires certainty. And certainty requires fact. Have You ever established ONE SUPREME FACT above all others that I can anchor my life to? Then I could fully believe everything else about Your word and Your character, and never give up.
Let me begin my prayer again: a bitter prayer of anguish and complaint, but this time with the proper ending....
Part Three: the new Job