Why

“Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends, For the hand of God has struck me! (Job 19:21)

Are you going through a rough time right now?  Do you know someone who is going through a rough time?  How do you respond when difficulty arises?

It seems to me that both Job and his friends were asking the same kind of difficult questions we tend to ask when going through a trial.  The questions are typically all about the “why”.  Job wonders why he is going through such pain.  Job wonders what he did to deserve such trouble.  Job’s friends were wondering what kind of sin Job must have done to bring such trouble.  They felt it was obvious that Job needed to repent of some secret sin.

There are certainly times in life when we need to face up to the consequences of our bad behavior.  Yet the lesson in the book of Job is not that sin leads to difficulty, but that righteous people will sometimes suffer.  Job was a righteous man.  God was proud of Job.

Be careful my friends of going down the rabbit hole labeled “why”.  If the answer is not readily apparent, it might be better to stop pursuing something that’s not there.  Job’s friends needed to learn compassion, not criticism.  Job needed to continue to trust God, even though he didn’t understand the “why”.