A Closed Mouth
A devotional thought from Jonathan Leeman for “Wisdom”
Job 42:3: “Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”
Sometimes it’s best to keep your mouth closed. And nowhere is this truer than when considering the judgments and purposes of the Almighty. Moses tells us that the hidden things belong to the Lord (Deut. 29:29). The teacher of Ecclesiastes says to approach Him keeping your words few—God is in heaven and you are on earth (Eccl. 5:1-2). The humble psalmist agrees: “I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me” (Ps. 131:1). And Paul, point blank, says that God’s wisdom and judgments are unsearchable (Rom. 11:33).
Then there’s Job. Poor Job loses everything. He responds well at first, but then he can’t help but question God. Big mistake, Job. The Almighty shows up, asks a few questions of His own, and Job, backtracking, quickly confesses that some things are “too wonderful” for him to know.
The biblical testimony is uniform: comparing wits with the all-wise One will leave you speechless. So why do we buck? Why do we turn heavenward to question, complain, presume, and accuse? The short answer must be that we still believe the serpent’s lie. We don’t trust God’s judgment. We think we know better.
But in just two words, Job both rebukes us and offers sweet hope: “too wonderful.” Why do bad things happen to good people? Why would God send people to hell? Why must children suffer? The answers, Scripture says, are too wonderful for us now. The Bible tells us instead to trust God and to calm and quiet ourselves (Ps. 131:2).
What is an answer that’s too wonderful? It’s hard to imagine, but this we know: There has been no injustice greater than the death of God’s Son on the cross, and consider what God has done with that!
Pause and Reflect
• Where in life are you tempted to question or doubt God?
• How does the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ teach us that even when we’re most tempted to doubt, God can be trusted?