My (now first grader) grandson came into my office one recent Wednesday evening after Bible class. I was meeting with someone and he stood quietly by until I was finished but I could tell by the look in his eyes something wasn’t right. When my conversation was over, he told me his troubles. One of the bigger boys had taken his ball (which he wasn’t supposed to bring to church). The boy was taller and older and was just tormenting him in ways little boys do. It’s always in good fun – until it isn’t fun any more. The bigger boy was being a bit of a bully.
What my grandson needed was an equalizer – or a bigger stick. Which is why he came to me.
Job, in the section that ends with chapter 14, essentially calls God a bully. He is in charge of everything. “In his hand is the life of every creature, and the breath of all mankind” (12:10). He brings devastation and victory and no king rules without God’s permission. And with that power, he bullies the weak, slowly destroying a man’s hope like water wears away stone (14:19).
Is this true?
Is this really our God?
It’s certainly Job’s perspective. And in that perspective, it is true. But it’s only part of the story. And yet . . . it’s a part of the story that must be accepted, as distasteful as it seems. This God is sovereign. He is having His way – and will continue to do so regardless of how we feel about it. The temptation is to find such a God distasteful and turn away. But again, where will we go? Only this God can deliver. Only this God can bless. If we “curse God and die,” He yet holds our destiny in His hands. Complain though we might, He alone is our hope. Job knows it, which is why, though he thinks God is a bully, he doesn’t desert the Lord.
My grandson got his ball back before I could step in. Another chum attacked the bully from behind and delivered the ball from its captor. I, however, have no equalizer against God. I am at his gracious mercy. However unpleasant, Job knew that too.