A teenager, though living rent free, well fed and clothed, and equipped with the latest toys, may complain about their difficult life when asked to clean his or her room. Naturally, the parent responds by educating the child on a few realities of the real world and the difficulties of adult life. Do we talk back and complain to God? Job certainly did.
After God permits Satan to afflict Job’s possessions and health, Job, in a moment of weakness, begins to complain about God to his friends. “I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint.” (Job 10:1) “Your hands fashioned and made me, and now you have destroyed me altogether.” (Job 10:8) “Why did you bring me out from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.” (Job 10:18) Job hates his life, feels God just wants to destroy him, and wishes he’d never been born. Have we made comments like this before, even in our thoughts?
God answers Job in a remarkable way, asking, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.” (Job 38:2-3) God proceeds to ask a series of questions, proving the limit of Job’s knowledge. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding.” (Job 38:4) “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?” (Job 38:27) “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?” (Job 40:1) Of course, Job is humbled by this, saying, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3) He also repents, confessing, “Now my eyes see you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6)
God forgives Job and even “blessed the later days of Job more than his beginning.” (Job 42:12), however, the Lord doesn’t want us complaining. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among who you shine as lights in the world…” (Philippians 2:14) We’re children of a good heavenly Father and we must show that to the world. Unlike the ungrateful teenager, we must understand that God’s ways aren’t our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and if He asks us to carry a burden, there must be a good and loving purpose behind it.