Where Were You?

Duane T. Loynes Sr.

Read: Job 38:1-7

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? (v. 4)

Recently, a local public school had an incident where one student bullied another. The school, wanting to avoid a controversy, appealed to a board policy that, they felt, justified their decision to ignore the incident in question. However, the person who had written the policy was the mother of the victim! She, rightfully, challenged the school on their interpretation of a policy that she herself had crafted.

The book of Job presents Job as a righteous man. However, a major theme of the book is that tragedy can befall the wicked and the righteous. In a series of unfortunate events, Job’s family, finances, and health are devastated. Job’s friends don’t help matters; they inundate Job with bad advice and worse theology. In chapter 38, however, God takes center stage and poses a series of questions to Job, challenging his capacity to evaluate God’s plan. If, God says, you were not here when I created the heavens and the earth, then surely you are not fit to question my ways.

God does not mind our honest attempts to understand his plans. He knows that, from a human vantage point, the long arc of history can appear baffling. Sometimes, it seems as if the enemies of God are winning, while faithful servants face one trial after the next. In these moments of despair, it would help us to remember, as Isaiah reminds us (Isa. 55:8-9), that God’s ways are not our ways. —Duane Loynes

Prayer: Our Creator, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.