Verse of the Day Devotion: Job 42:2
“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.” – Job 42:2
Job was a man that endured more than I could ever imagine. In chapter one, he loses everything that He owned. He lost all his property and all his children. This is an amazing story of a man who withstood the greatest test imaginable. And after all that happened to Job in chapter one, it says “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” Job 1:22.
In Job up through chapter 37, Job is tested by Satan. Then in chapters 38 through 41, God goes to Job and asks a series of questions, showing Job that he has no understanding of Him at all. “Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Job 38:2. God is informing Job that He does not truly speak what he knows. The theologian Adam Clarke puts it this way. “As if he had said, who art thou who pretends to speak on the deep things of God, and the administration of his justice and providence, which thou canst not comprehend; and leaves my counsels and designs the darker for thy explanation?” In other words, speaking without understanding what he is speaking about. How often do we see this happening today?
Then God tells Job to get ready for He is going to ask him some questions. “Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!” Job 38:3. Notice the words “and you instruct me. Here are a few of the questions God asked him. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding,” Job 38:4. “Who set its measurements, since you know? Or who stretched the line on it?” Job 38:5. And then finally, “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place?” Job 38:12.
Then after all the questions were asked, Job fully understood that he really did not understand. Then in an act of repentance we read in our focus verse, “I know that Thou canst do all things, And that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.” Job 42:2. Now. remember the question asked by God in chapter thirty-eight where God started asking His series of questions, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? well, Job now answers God. “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore, I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” Job 42:3. Then he says to God, “Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me. Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask Thee, and do Thou instruct me. Therefore, I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:4-6. The meaning of repenting in ‘dust and ashes’ has the idea of repenting in humility before the Lord and His greatness.
We must be careful how we view our knowledge of God and His ways. Things we can know is that God loves us, cares for us, and desires a strong relationship with us. This is clear. But do we know why God does one thing rather than another? Not always, but we can trust that what He allows in good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. We do not have to know everything, for God does and He will protect us and make good come from bad. And finally, the prophet Isaiah puts it well when he declared, “Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.” Isaiah 46:8-10.
In closing, we cannot always know why things happen or why they do not. For only God knows all things. But what we can know is that God is in control, and because He loves us, we can know that everything that happens is for our good. Let us be careful that we do not assume what we deem as bad is bad, for God may mean it for our good. And alternately, let us be careful that we do not assume what we deem as good is necessarily good, we can pray that God will remove our trials and tribulations from us. However, we should remember the prayer Jesus prayed just prior to His arrest. “And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” Luke 22:41-42.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.