Have you ever had a moment in your life where you were put in your place? You are not alone. One of the best examples of someone being put in their place is found in the trenches of the book of Job.
In 2009, John Piper spoke to his congregation on the purpose of the recession. In his teaching, Piper features Job’s story.
“The book of Job in the Old Testament begins, “There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). But in the last chapter of the book, Job says, “I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6). He was “blameless,” but later he repented. What does that mean?
It means that the most godly people in the world are like a clear glass of water with a sediment of sin hidden at the bottom of the glass. And when the glass is struck—with Job’s suffering, or with our recession—the sediment of sin is stirred up and exposed, and the water becomes cloudy.
Our human minds are broken. In Thinking. Loving. Doing., R. Albert Mohler Jr. walks his readers through fourteen Noetic (relating to intellect) effects of the fall.
- Faulty Perspective
- Intellectual Fatigue
- Failure to Draw to the Right Conclusion
- Intellectual Apathy
- Dogmatism & Close-Mindedness
- Intellectual Pride
- Vain Imagination
- Partial Knowledge
It is a poisonous, natural habit to try and make sense of who God is. Because of sin, our minds are now bent to oppose Him. It is not a matter of what we can do, how faithful we are, or what we have to offer. It has EVERYTHING to do with His grace, His holiness, His love, and His justice. Our minds cannot comprehend God and this is where Job has made the ultimate mistake.
Job contends with His Almighty Maker and, in turn, he receives the Lord’s answer. Notice that Job’s “sin sediment” settled. He was bumped, and with God’s permission Satan’s tortuous hands went to work. Job’s sin escaped from the confines on the bottom of the glass, swirling into a whirlwind of chaos.
Job didn’t understand that the storm he was experiencing was not the real storm. In a whirlwind, the Lord answers Job’s uncertainty, his questioning, and his doubt. This folks is the real storm.
The Lord’s line of questioning in chapters 38-41 puts Job in his place. We are not capable of comprehending God. I want to highlight important aspects of these passages. Job doubts God. He tries to understand and comprehend God, to which the Lord answers that he cannot.
But in chapter 42, Job responds to the Lord. Not with questions, not with excuses, and not with pride. No, he admits his sin. He admits that he doesn’t understand. He recognizes that he utters what he doesn’t know.
“’Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3)
Who do we think we are? Remember, our minds are broken. We need to come before the Lord in humble dependence of him. Like Job, we need to cry out that we do not understand and that we do not know. We need God.