Dust and Ashes

JOB FINALRecently I preached a sermon about the burning bush in Exodus, and during that message I made a reference to Job and his conversation with God. Job was in a situation where he had lost everything and was beginning to question God for why so much pain, suffering, and trial had been allowed. Reading the story of Job I thought “it’s so very easy to accuse God when things get hard”. It’s so easy for us in our broken humanity to raise our eyes and shake our fist at the Lord when we don’t understand our trials and sufferings. Job’s questions, however, do not go unanswered. The Lord speaks to Job and through chapters 38-40 the Lord gives Job a proper perspective of his place in the world.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined his measurements- surely you know!” Job 38:4-5 ESV

Then the Lord, after two entire chapters of explaining the greatness of His majesty and power, gives Job the question that I believe we who question God today need to hear.

“Shall a fault finder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Job 40:2 ESV

The microphone has been dropped and Job now finds himself to be very small in the grand scheme of things. Do we see the Lord’s greatness in the world? Do we see His sovereign power over EVERYTHING? Job did and he was speechless. It is not bad to come before the Lord with questions, but when we ask we must brace ourselves for Him to answer. The beauty of this whole story is how Job responds to the Lord. He says in chapter 40, “Behold I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”(Job 40:3-5 ESV)

Today can we humbly fall at the feet of the Lord when our world is falling apart, trust in HIS plan not our own, and respond in the way Job does? Job is humble. Job relinquishes control over his life that he never really had. Job is silent. And Job has an attitude of worship and repentance. May we, in times of struggle and pain, remember the Lord’s perfect plan; maybe even at the expense of our own understanding. May we fall on our face and, amidst the dust and ashes, worship our great creator and risen Lord and repent (turn to God). May we see the cross and the spilled blood of Jesus as proof that God is good, that He cares for us, and has made a way to rescue us from fear and dread, and give us a future and a hope in Him. May Job’s final comments in chapter 42 be our prayer.

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in ashes and dust.” Job 42:1-6


  • karen smith says:

    Would you go so far as to say the God causes all the things that happen in our lives? I am wondering what your church teaches before we come there.

    • Will Turner says:

      Thanks Karen for your question. We wouldn’t claim that God causes evil to happen, but we see in scripture (especially Job) that He does allow evil things to happen. Even when it’s hard to understand why He allows these things to happen, we have to trust His perfect plan. Jesus says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He also says in John 16 that there will be suffering in the world. The point of the post was that sometimes when we are frustrated with our position or circumstances, it is best to look to God who is sovereign and who’s’ plan is without flaw. I hope you found this helpful. We would love to have you come worship with us!

  • karen smith says:

    Thank you for your quick response. Our perspective is that the Lord is so kind and loving He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28)so that it seems as if it must have been part of a plan. Like you though, we see the true answer in John 10:10. It explains clearly what the source is.

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