Sermon Summary and Discussion Questions | "When God Doesn't Answer Your Why Question"
CJ begins by recapping how far we have come in Job. In short:
- Job’s suffering
- Job’s “why question”
- Job’s friends’ accusatory (wrong) explanation for his suffering and Job’s disagreement
Chapter 28 interrupts the arguments between Job and his friends. It effectively ends the ongoing debate between them and allows the author to address Job’s (and our) “why question”. The author accomplishes this by focusing on the rumor referenced in verse 22, the sweet reality of God’s gracious provision for His suffering people.
Human ingenuity cannot discover wisdom (Job 28: 1-11)
- The author references mining as an example of mankind’s intelligence.
- The falcon’s vision and the lion’s courage haven’t accomplished what man has by mining. However, man cannot attain heavenly wisdom. The poet celebrates mankind’s superiority over the animals, but then humbles us in our inability to know the answer to the “why question”.
Human wealth cannot purchase wisdom (Job 28: 13-19)
- Heavenly wisdom is not for sale (verse 15). Mankind is humbled once again. Humans may be smart and wealthy, but that does not make them wise.
God alone has wisdom and divine wisdom is a gift (Job 28: 23-27)
- God alone knows where wisdom is found because He is omniscient. God used wisdom to bring order and form to the earth.
The poem comes to an end and God speaks directly to the reader of Job for the first time. He provides the answer to the agonizing “why question”: Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. At first glance it appears to be a diverting answer, but it is in fact God’s gracious answer! The answer gives immeasurable peace to the sufferer. We must respond to this answer by being determined to glorify God in our suffering rather than waste our suffering. Turn your gaze from the answer you want and fix it on God.
There will never be one “why question” more perplexing than this, that the innocent Son of God suffered in our place! Unlike Job, Jesus was forsaken by God so that we could be reconciled to Him. The appropriate response to this truth is to bow and worship at this display of the wisdom of God.
- In what ways have you observed mankind attempt to attain wisdom?
- This chapter ended a heated discussion between Job and his friends. It provided an interlude from the agonizing suffering Job was trying to understand. Have there been fellow brothers or sisters in Christ who have interrupted your “why question” in an attempt to point your gaze towards God? What did he or she do or say to redirect your questioning?
- Proverbs 2:6 reads, “For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding”. In what ways have you seen the Lord give you heavenly wisdom in the past week? This could be from scripture, from prayer, or any other means that God leads you to knowledge and understanding.
- How did verse 28 comfort your soul? If it didn’t, what might be getting in the way of you finding peace in this truth?
- Read Mark 15:34. Let that unforgettable “why question” sit with you for a bit. Then read John 3:16. Take some time to pray, worshipping God for this display of His gracious provision for His sinful people.
[by Tristan Murray]