Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me. ‘Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb?— when I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed bounds for it, and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stopped’?” Job 38:1-11
In the book of Job, God allows the devil to test Job with one catastrophe after another to see if Job will remain faithful. His friends all blame Job for his troubles because of some unknown sin.
All too often we want to blame the victim: “If he hadn’t been out at night.” “If she had worn different clothes.” I remember hearing a popular Christian radio host ask an abused woman what she did to force her husband to abuse her. For some reason, we want God to be fair and just, at least from our own point-of–view. Thank God this is not the way God is. For if God was fair, I would have no chance. Instead, God is gracious and merciful.
In our reading today, Job finally has enough and demands that God explain God’s self. And out of the whirlwind God speaks, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me...” Wow! Where were you?
We often want to give an answer to why something happens. We want the world to balance out. But, sometimes there is no answer. Sometimes we need to just say, “I do not know.” Years ago, when our nephew Mikey was sick with leukemia, his other uncle, Mike, asked Bette and me, “How you can have faith when you look upon a six-year-old with leukemia?” Bette responded in the only way she could, “How can you not have faith when you look upon a six-year-old with leukemia?”
Sometimes, one must just say, “I don’t know.” Sometimes all we have is faith and hope. In the end, that is enough.