“Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him.”
The book of Job tells the story of a righteous man who loved and obeyed God. He was blessed with wealth and a large family. God asks Satan what he thinks of Job and tells Satan that Job is a blameless and upright man who fears God and shuns evil (Job 1:8). However, Satan replies that the reason Job fears God is because God has protected and blessed him, and suggests that should God remove these things from him, Job would surely curse God to His face (Job 1:9-11). Then God does something that is unusual. He tells Satan, “very well then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.’ God therefore allows Satan to destroy whatever Job has. Job loses his family, his wealth and everything that is dear to him. In the proceeding chapters, we see how Job’s wife is so upset that she becomes angry with God. His ‘friends’ Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar go to visit him, supposedly to sympathise with him but it turns out that they are not much help. They tell Job that this has perhaps happened to him because he has done some evil and ‘deserves’ the punishment. There is a conversation back and forth, and it is clear that his friends are not actually well intentioned. They imply that Job is inferior to them, and less righteous than they are because he has been afflicted and they have not. These ‘friends’ are prime examples of whom you do not want as friends in fellowship. They did not provide comfort and their views about why God had allowed suffering in Job’s life, were judgmental and inaccurate.
By chapter 13, Job has listened to them at length and has also given his replies to their accusations. In this chapter, he tells these friends that he is not inferior to them. He tells them that they smear him with lies and are worthless physicians (v4). He has understood that they have spoken deceitfully and they think they are better than him. He warns them that God will surely call them into account. Job desires to speak to the Almighty to argue his case with God (v3) directly (and not with these three men). In verse 15, Job shows that he has understood the correct response and attitude to his situation:
‘Though he slay me, yet I will hope in Him.’
Job has understood that he is fully in God’s hands. He is confidence that God will deliver (save) him, because he knows he is righteous before God. He trusts that he will be vindicated (v18) from all the baseless threats these men have brought against him. He does not fall into the trap of denouncing God.
What does it mean to have faith in God’s deliverance? We have all experienced pain, loss and suffering. It can be difficult to see God’s plan when we are feeling emotionally or physically exhausted due to our suffering. Job had suffered unimaginable loss. He went through a long and painful period of wondering what was going on, and why God had inflicted this suffering upon him. However, he did not lose his faith in God because he understood that everything he had was from God. It can be very hard to make sense of suffering. We may feel angry with God and wonder why he has allowed such pain into our lives.
Nevertheless, Job sets us the biblical example of trusting in God and continuing to uphold our integrity.
Father God, I understand that you are the Almighty God, and that you hold everything in your hands. Help me hold onto my hope in You, even as I go through trials and suffering. Help me to trust that you will deliver me and help me not to sin in my pain. Thank you, God that You love me and will never leave me nor forsake me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.