“Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me. Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. There an upright man could argue with him.” – Job 23:3-7
Argue with God? Is this something to even contemplate? Or would you just not bother? The actuality is that more than anyone else in your entire world, this is the One with whom you have to do most and ultimately. In fact, He is the One with whom you must have to do. There isn’t truly any other.
There is a moment in the movie western, Open Range, with Robert Duvall and Kevin Costner, where Duvall swears at God after his young colleague is killed by their enemies. While Duvall is standing over his friend’s freshly dug grave, he doesn’t swear at those who killed him; instead, he swears at God. In all truthfulness this was perhaps the truest thing to do, because it is God, not our enemies, with whom we have most to do. God is still sovereign; our enemies most certainly are not. This is only a starting point, not the end of the argument. Duvall opens an argument concerning his friend’s violent death, but the argument is certainly not concluded. The movie gives neither the time or the place, unfortunately, to arrive at the right conclusion; the holiness, care, and glory of God in everything, even the death of a friend.
Job argues with God in the Book of Job, not always rightly, but not always wrongly either. In fact, God while straightening out Job’s imperfect understanding, finds him to be more in tune with who He is than his counselors. God reprimanded them first, and then placed them at the mercy of Job’s prayer for them.
Do you argue with God? Do you bring your case before Him as the great judge of the affairs of men? The word (“my case”) used in our text, a court case or suit, is the same reasoned argument that any organized lawyer would bring before a judge who makes the final determination. When tragedy befalls you, or the rightness or wrongness of a situation throws you into a quandary, when you are mystified or confused over what has happened to you when you thought you were in the just and good hands of God, do you bring your arguments before Him? This is the lesson of the Book and circumstances of Job. He argues with God because he understands it is God with whom he has to do.
Such is exactly true of you; it is God who is at the heart of all things concerning you. It is God to whom you must cry out; it is with God you must argue and present your case as you see it. Possibly in the best reasoning of your argument you may find your answer or figure out the real truth of the circumstance. Or, if you cannot come to a final conclusion or answer, you find you can leave it with God and be satisfied until you no longer see through a “glass darkly,” but “face to face.” In any case, God has your life in his hands and your care is, He says, the apple of His eye. He is a God who can handle your arguments; He wants to hear and is listening. Give it your very best reasoning. Realize that in these matters it is just you and Him. You have come to your Father in the boldness of the blood of Christ, His Son. He will neither turn you away, nor close His ears.
Argue even out of anger, or out of fear, or out of frustration, but argue, knowing He ultimately has the right answer; and He will mark your perseverance of faith in finding the truth.
“God never moves without purpose or plan when trying His servant and molding a man. Give thanks to the Lord, though the testing seems long; in darkness He gives us a song. O rejoice in the Lord. He makes no mistake. He knows the end of each path that I take. For when I am tried and purified, I shall come forth as gold.”
(1st verse of Ron Hamilton’s hymn, “O Rejoice in the Lord,” 1978)