Ignorance is not Bliss

Then the LORD said to Job,
“Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Let him who reproves God answer it.”
Then Job answered the LORD and said,
“Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
“Once I have spoken, and I will not answer;
Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said,
“Now gird up your loins like a man;
I will ask you, and you instruct Me.
“Will you really annul My judgment?
Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
“Or do you have an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?
“Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity,
And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.
“Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.
“Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And tread down the wicked where they stand.
“Hide them in the dust together;
Bind them in the hidden place.
“Then I will also confess to you,
That your own right hand can save you. (Job 40:1-14)

Ignorance is not bliss. Instead, it’s more like sweeping dirt under a rug. Job’s problem was the problem that all humans have: a limited understanding. A teenager may think she is making good choices based on her life experiences, but the adults in her life can easily point out everything she has missed. Likewise, even the brightest, best educated, most thoroughly equipped individual falls far short of God’s knowledge. Job and his friends thought they knew what was going on. Job’s friends were convinced he was guilty of a major sin, while Job was certain that God’s attack on him was without cause. Job was closer to the truth. In fact, God himself said that his suffering was without cause, but only in the sense that he wasn’t being punished for misbehavior. The explanation for Job’s trials was Satan’s belief that people served God only as a means to an end. Satan and Job’s friends believed good behavior purchased God’s blessing. God’s purpose in what happened to Job was to demonstrate that Satan’s position was mistaken. In fact, a human being could remain faithful to God even if he wasn’t getting anything out of it.

Just because we don’t understand what is happening to us, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a good reason for it. We have to decide to love God, to trust him, and to follow him, regardless.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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