Job and the Whirlwind - Gospel in Life

Job and the Whirlwind

Tim Keller |  September 15, 1996

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  • Suffering
Job 42:1-10
RS 272-02


Many people say, “I want to meet God. I want to have an encounter.” But the way Job gets to an encounter with God is through absolutely horrible suffering.

Job is a book for adults. It’s not easy. It’s certainly not sugarcoated. When God shows up, it’s not a Hallmark-card, folded-hands, rays-of-light-coming-through-the-stained-glass-window kind of religion. Oh no, not at all.

Let’s look at the story of Job, and then let’s look at what it teaches about what it means to know God. It shows us 1) the philosophical lesson, 2) the foundational lessons, and 3) the practical lesson.

Job 42:1–10

The story of Job shows us that getting to know God might involve tough times and isn’t always easy or comforting. The real point of the book is about seeing and truly understanding God, not just hearing about Him. This is something Job learns through his tough experiences and talks with his friends. When Job meets God, who asks him “Who are you?”, it changes him. He says he’s sorry and finds peace. This gives us three important types of lessons.

1. The thinking lesson

The conversation between God and Satan in the story helps us sort out how God can be good and powerful at the same time. It shows us that God is in control of everything, even things involving Satan, and that bad things and suffering weren’t part of His original plan. But even with bad things in the world, God feels for those who suffer and makes sure nothing goes too far off the rails.

2. The deep-down lessons

When we’re hurting, it’s important to remember that we don’t know everything like God does. We need to stop blaming God for our pain and realize that we’re the ones being tested. We should learn to serve God instead of expecting Him to serve us. Job’s story points us to Jesus, who also suffered even though He was innocent. He understands our struggles and stands up for us.

3. The doing lesson

Job’s story teaches us that the real point of suffering is to keep seeking God, even when things get tough. It’s through tough times that we can become more like God, even though it might not be easy. So, we should be brave, knowing that there’s mercy in our tough times and that they’ll eventually lead to good things.



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