Job 24:1  “Why does the Almighty not set times for judgment?  Why must those who know him look in vain for such days?”

We can be very thankful to our heavenly Father for Job, and for the fact that his sad and devastating experience has been included in the inspired record for our instruction and benefit.  Job gives us permission to ask the difficult questions which he asks of God in this chapter.  He longed for answers, not only because of his own personal struggle with pain in the light of his understanding of the goodness of God, but in order to defend his faith and integrity against the unfair remonstrating by his ‘(self-)righteous’ critics.

We, too, long for answers in the face of injustices we both observe and experience in our broken world.  As one reads through just this chapter it is possible to identify many similar situations in our world today.  The influence and impact of human sin has remained devastatingly the same ever since Adam’s ‘Fall’, and will continue in this way until Jesus comes again to restore all things and to usher in the New Heaven and the New Earth.  In the meantime, it remains for all who have been made into ‘new creations’ in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) by being ‘born again’, to be ‘ambassadors’ for this New Order as ‘strangers’ in the world (1 Peter 2:9-12).

As we wrestle with all these things, the important lesson we learn from the whole story of Job is that we DO have a loving, caring heavenly Father who is in complete control over every little detail of the world in general, and therefore of our little lives and circumstances in particular; that he is working out his sovereign purposes in history and that these are for our good (Romans 8:28); and that, because he is God, he has the right to require our faith, trust and patience even when he chooses, for reasons known only to him, to withhold and conceal answers to all our questions that start with ‘Why … ?’.

This is what he required of Abraham as he took Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him (Genesis 22).  It is what he required of Moses when his first step to rescue the Hebrew slaves resulted in a redoubling of their burden, and then for the 40 years he spent in the desert with a disbelieving, ungrateful, complaining multitude (Exodus).  It is what he required of King David when his son Absalom tried to steal the throne (2 Samuel 15-18; Psalm 3).  It is what he required of his own Son, the Lord Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane and the day that followed (Mark 14-15).

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and CERTAIN OF WHAT WE DO NOT SEE.  This is what the ancients were commended for.” (Hebrews 11:1-2).  Does this describe our faith?