“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.” Job 38:12-18.
God is now speaking and He is clearing the air. He deals with Job, first. He reminds Job who the creator is around here…and everywhere, actually. By putting Job in perspective, He is not telling Job he deserved his situation, but that it is not relevant in the long run. Job does not see the end from the beginning. And he does not know what is going on behind the scenes.
Our lives today, in America, can be quite insulated from the sort of suffering Job is going through. There is a safety net that actually catches most people, even if it does not make them as comfortable as they would like to be. And there is a host of sympathizers who would be quick to find someone to blame besides God.
I must confess that I have suffered very little from disease or deprivation in my life. Most of my suffering has come in the form of inconvenience and the trouble that comes with relationships. But I do know that that those “light afflictions” become your focus and demand someone’s pity if that is all the suffering you have. Let us learn to put these things in perspective ourselves, and save ourselves the rebuke of the Almighty!