Summary: A message for the enlightment of mankind towards our attitude about God.
My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
-Job 42:5-6 NIV
More often than not I find that mankind is very apt to be critical. Many of us like to call ourselves opinionated, we like to say that we are just up front, or we say that we just speak our minds. But the truth of the matter is, we are (a lot of times) critical people. Some people just enjoy letting you know just how they feel about something. There are some people who can’t go a day without criticizing something or someone. They are critical of one another. They are critical of the church. They are critical of the government. They are critical of the restaurants that they dine at. They are critical of the movies they see. They are critical of the athletic teams that they call themselves supporting. It is just in the human nature to have an opinion about what we see. Somebody right now doesn’t like what someone else has on and they are critiquing what you should have done with your wardrobe. Somebody is critiquing this sermon as we speak. There is someone in here today that you have poured your heart out to and even though they said that they are just here to support you; if you pull it out of them they have a load of suggestions for you in your current situation. People are critical. I am willing to admit that there have been times in my life that I have been critical of people, places, things, situations, ideas, politics, and government. As people we always have something to say. And in some ways that is a blessing. It is a blessing to be able to think for your self. It is a blessing to be able to speak freely with boldness and grace. But that blessing is abused on occasion when we are tempted to be critical of God. I will confess that I have been there. I have sometimes been critical of God. I have found myself determining the dunamis power of God by my own dysfunction and disarray. I have found myself saying if God is so good why is the world in such chaos. Is there anybody in here today who can lay down your pride for on minute in front of your holy and sanctified friends and admit that you have been critical of God? When God sends rain for three or four days in a row we begin to think that we can do God’s job say He needs to release some sunshine. When God gives us a week or so of nothing but sunshine we start criticizing God again saying we need God to send some rain.
Brothers and sisters, we come to church. We pay our tithe and offering. We render to God our gifts and talents. And then next thing we know, we are still struggling. And it is at that point we begin to have suggestions about what God could be doing in our lives to make things a little better. And I believe that is why we can identify so well with Job, because Job was blameless and upright, and one who feared the Lord and he shunned evil. He had wealth, he had family, he had health, and a home and all of a sudden everything was snatched from him like a rug from under his feet. Job had begun to suffer bitterly. And Christian comrades, I have always wondered about that old cliché, “the patience of Job” because the more I read the book of Job the more I see how impatient he really was. He could not understand what was going on. He did not like how his life was going. Yet he still had the sense to worship God in the midst of the pain and agony. But Job still gave his friends, wife and God a piece of his mind when his patience ran thin.
When his friends accused him of having some kind of secret sin in his life, Job resented the idea. He said on one occasion, “God has wronged me!” If only I could get to God, I would bring Him to reason. I would plead my case before Him. Job became critical of God. He was frustrated. He was devastated. He felt as though he did not have a friend in heaven or on earth and so he reacted like most of us would; he felt like things could have been governed by the merciful and all-powerful God a little bit better than they were!
But Job finally got a chance to here from God and God asked Job, “Where wast thou Job when I laid the foundations of the earth?” I don’t think Job was actually ready for God’s response to his complaints because you can almost since that God’s question to Job shook up Job’s confidence in his own wisdom. It was at that point in Job’s story you see that all of his complaints stop. Job had to realize what a wise man came to grips with when he said, “Man knows mighty little. And one day he will learn enough of his own ignorance to get down and pray.” And when Job realized at this point of the text where he said, “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job became sorry that he ever criticized or challenged the wisdom of God. He came to the knowledge of who God is and How God works.