Do we ever question God? Do we ever argue with God? Do we ever accuse God? Are we ever mad at God?
Is there a scriptural basis for questioning God like that? Consider Job, a man who was blameless and upright, who feared God and shunned evil. (Job 1:1, NIV) He questioned God after God allowed Satan to take from him his entire family and all of his wealth to prove that no matter what happened to him, Job would remain faithful.
We know enough about the book of Job to know that Job argued with his friends and God. He was so miserable that he cursed the day he was born. Probably, none of us has experienced the kind of losses Job did. But we have experienced loss. We may have experienced a kind of loss that was devastating to us. Even then, I think that we are reluctant to take God on, so to speak. Yet having it out with God may be a key to our ultimate healing. We know the story of Job, but have we ever considered exactly what Job said to God. If not, it might shock us, but it might ultimately help us make it through enormous grief, pain, and hardship.
So let’s consider some of Job’s exact words. They just may give us the courage to have a serious conversation with God during a time of deep loss.
“Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant? If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who sees everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.” (7:19-21)
“Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?” (10:2-3)
“Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy before I go to the place of no return…” (10:20)
“Only grant me these two things, God, and then I will not hide from you: Withdraw your hand far from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors. Then summon me and I will answer, or let me speak, and you reply to me.” (13:20-22)
“Surely, God, you have worn me out; you have devastated my entire household.” (16:7)
“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” (30:20-21)
Once God spoke to Job, he convinced him that he couldn’t comprehend God’s wisdom. God and Job were reconciled.
But I wonder if this ending would have occurred without Job’s bold, heart wrenching encounter with God. Because Job was honest with God about his feelings, he was better able to accept God’s judgment and remain the man of faith he had been from the beginning.