“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.”
Had greeting card companies existed back in Job’s day, they definitely wouldn’t have hired Job’s three friends to write for them. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar initially had it right as they wept with their friend Job through his suffering. But then they started rambling on, basically offering the same lame explanations that people still offer today about suffering.
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A card from Eliphaz would have read, “Sorry you are sick. . . . You got what you deserved.”
Bildad’s card would have said, “Hoping you get well soon.” But then the inside would have read, “But if you were really as godly as you claimed to be, this would not have happened.”
Zophar’s card would have been the most brutal of all. The outside would have read, “I hope you get worse.” But Zophar wouldn’t have stopped there. The inside of his card would have said, “You will die. No one will remember you. You will be thrown away like dung.”
As we move further into the book of Job, we see Job asking the question why five times in chapter 3. By the way, there is nothing wrong with asking why when you’re suffering. Even Jesus cried out at Calvary, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). It isn’t wrong to ask why. It isn’t a lack of faith to ask why. But don’t expect an answer. Quite frankly, if God gave you the answer, you wouldn’t understand it anyway.
Even if the Lord did tell you why things happen the way they do, would that ease your pain or heal your broken heart? Does reading the X-ray take away the pain of a broken leg? It comes down to this: We live on promises, not explanations. We should not spend too much time asking why.