God Afflicted Job

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Hand with love spelled out in the palm

Job teaches us an important lesson in today’s Bible reading. If you remember from our first day of reading this book, Satan approached God and obtained permission to afflict Job. But Job says in 19:21b that God has afflicted him. So who was it? Was it Satan or was it God? Why would Job even say such a thing?

I said a few days ago that God is sovereign over all things. And Job acknowledges that truth. Yes, God afflicts His children. The author of Hebrews echoes this point in Hebrews 12:7–11. God disciplines His children. No, God’s discipline isn’t fun. No God’s discipline isn’t pleasant. But God’s discipline comes from a loving Hand that is completely in control. And frankly, that’s the way it should be.

But Job’s statement doesn’t stand alone. Notice what he says just four verses later. “But I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the end he will stand on the dust.” (Job 19:25 CSB) Job is convinced that God will reign supreme for eternity. The One through Whose Hand comes all things — good and bad — is always in control. He is always loving. He is always wanting what is best for His children. As Hebrews 12 says, if we aren’t disciplined by God, we aren’t His children.


I won’t claim that I know why God lets calamity pass through His Hands, and ultimately it comes from His Hands. But I do know that God is absolutely in control. Nothing catches Him off guard. Nothing can thwart His plans. God sees all. God knows all. God always knows what is best. And as I said a few days ago when we read the story about Joseph, God has a bigger plan than what we see. Sometimes God will show us His bigger plan. And sometimes He doesn’t. But He doesn’t owe us any explanations on this side of eternity. And on the other side of eternity, what mattered on this side won’t really matter anymore.

It’s easier said than done, but sometimes you just have to trust your Father. Sometimes you just have to leave it in His hands and let God be God. God has a purpose for all things and will work all things for His glory and so we would be more like Jesus.

“Should we accept only good from God and not adversity?”
Throughout all this Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:10 (CSB)

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Romans 8:28–29 (CSB)

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
– Job 18
– Job 19
– Job 20
– Job 21

This devotional was originally published on January 26, 2021.

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