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Weekly Devotion 6 | When God Doesn't Answer Your "Why" Question | Job 28

This devotional is based on CJ Mahaney's sermon, When God Doesn't Answer Your "Why" Question, given on November 8, 2015. For a PDF version, click here.

 

Day 1: Human Futility

Quotes/References:

  • Elmer Smick sets the context for this chapter: “Since the dialogue has reached an impasse, the author now makes his own comment on the powerlessness of man’s effort to penetrate the secrets that belong only to God.”
  • CJ: “The author draws our attention to mining as a compelling illustration of the intelligence, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and determination of Man. What Man accomplishes in mining is no less than an amazing feat. However, by himself and left to himself, he cannot find wisdom.”

Questions to Consider:

  • Why would the author interrupt the argument between Job and his friends to explain the futility of mankind’s efforts to get wisdom? What did CJ explain as the authors’ purpose?
  • Where does our world frequently suggest to us wisdom can be found? Which of these places do you most often feel tempted to go in order to answer your “why” questions?

Prayer Recommendations:

  • Pray 1 Corinthians 3:19-20 for yourself. Pray that God would keep you alert to the crookedness of the wisdom of the world when it offers answers to the “why” question.
  • Pray through this passage again for our church. Pray that God would give us all a greater awareness on how dependent we are on him for true wisdom.

 

Day 2: The Value of Wisdom

Quotes/References:

  • CJ: “The poet goes on to draw our attention to the incomparable value of divine wisdom. The author just piles one precious metal on top of another in comparison to make the point wisdom is costly and its value exceeds all precious jewels, individually and combined…divine wisdom cannot be attained by them, for this wisdom is not for sale!”

Questions to Consider:

  • When you suffer, what is it that becomes all the more valuable to you? Friends; Distraction and ease; productivity; intimacy with God?
  • Why does the author of Job praise divine wisdom so highly? What about it makes it of such incomparable worth?

Prayer recommendations:

  • Pray Proverbs 3:13-15 for your community group. Pray that God would give you a greater awareness of wisdom’s worth and a greater hunger to obtain it.

 

Day 3: The Wisdom of God

Quotes/References:

  • Christopher Ash: “How we respond to this verse is a litmus test for our hearts. In a saying that is crucial to the whole book, God directs our attention away from our agonized questions and toward himself. He does not take us by the hand and lead us to the answers; rather he beckons us to bow before the Lord himself, who knows the answers but chooses not to tell us. We ask, ‘Why doesn’t God answer my question?’ To which he replies, ‘Turn your gaze and your inquiry away from the answer you want and toward the God you must seek.’ So do not seek wisdom; seek the Lord. This is deeply humbling. We should not expect to find wisdom (to know the answers to all our questions) but rather to bow in humble worship before the One who does and therefore turn away from evil.”

Questions to Consider:

  • Read Job 28:28 again. How does this conclusion strike you?
  • In the first half of Job 28, the author explains that man cannot find wisdom in his own intelligence and strength. In light of this reality, how is God’s answer to man in verse 28 an act of compassion and grace?

Prayer recommendations:

  • Pray Proverbs 9:10 for yourself. Pray that when life goes sideways because of suffering, the Holy Spirit would remind you of where the path of wisdom starts.
  • Pray James 1:5 for our church, especially those who are suffering. Ask that God would give them generous insight into and confidence in the God’s answer to the why question in Job 28:28.

 

Day 4: God’s Greater Gift

Quotes/References:

  • Os Guinness: “As believers, we cannot always know why, but we can always know why we trust God who knows why.”

Questions to Consider:

  • Even though God’s wisdom is sometimes concealed from us, he forever revealed the wonder of his character. Why is knowing God today so much better for your soul than having answers from God?

Prayer recommendations:

  • Pray 1 Corinthians 1:18 for yourself. Pray that when you it seems that God hides the answers that surround your suffering, he would remind you that by his wisdom he used the cross to reconcile you to himself.
  • Pray Revelation 21:4-5 for your community group. Pray that God would encourage you with the truth that one day all the cause of your sufferings will come to an end; that all that is broken shall be made whole; and that this will all come to pass because King Jesus atoned for our sins in God’s greater wisdom.