For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me. (Job 6:4 ESV)
Our studies in the Book of Job have taken us into the thick of his cycles of debates with his friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. As we saw in our last exposition, his friends basically charged Job with sin and concluded that his suffering was because of a sin that Job must repent of so he can find relief.
Job, on the other hand, believes he is innocent – not sinless, but not deserving of this particular plight. Job agrees with his friends on much of their theology: God is just, God is sovereign, and God will vindicate. Throughout his responses to his friends, we find Job hoping that he could speak to God and find that vindication.
Yet, we also find that Job thinks it’s hopeless to speak with God.
Yet, we also find Job holding out some hope.
This can be all confusing – does Job believe in God, or not? Does Job hope to speak with God, or not? Does Job believe a Redeemer lives, or not?
When we consider our own struggles with faith and doubt, it’s likely not too confusing. In fact, it’s probably all too real. And that’s a good thing.
It’s good that the Lord has given us a book of inspired scripture with which we can relate. Job is very human. Though it is written in poetic form, the Book resonates with all of us who have struggled with questions. With concerns. With doubts. With an inability to perfectly fit all the pieces together, and get frustrated with that inability.
Job seems to have faith. Job seems to have doubts.
Can doubt dwell with faith? Do they cancel each other out? Is all doubt apostasy? What does God think of our doubts? How much faith must we have to please God?
The trials of life bring these questions to the surface. And it doesn’t help that there are entire segments of Christianity that place a misguided emphasis on “great faith,” adding guilt to those who are weak or doubting.
The Book of Job raises the question about the interplay of faith and doubt, and while, like all the other questions we’ve considered, it doesn’t answer it fully, it helps us to wrestle through these questions and find that all, along, the most important aspect of our faith is the One in Whom we place it. Where are you placing your faith?