In 1907, Adolf Hitler applied to the Vienna Academy of Art. He was rejected. Later, he applied again. Refused again. If he had been accepted, would the world have experienced World War II?
Two teens were memorizing John 15 in the back seat as Mom and a careful teen driver were in the front seat. They hit a patch of ice, slid into the path of an oncoming truck and three of these Christians were instantly killed. If God had chosen, He could have prevented this accident without violating any of His laws or righteousness. We wonder why He didn’t.
- If the truck had been going one mile an hour slower . . .
- If the truck had started out five seconds earlier or later . . .
- If the sun had been three degrees warmer, the ice would have been weaker . . .
and the accident would not have happened.
If. That troubling little word that carries big consequences. If drains away energy from our minds and hearts, as we second guess God.
Job 9 is divided into three sections:
- In verses 1-10, Job spoke about God’s power over the physical universe. He was especially awed by space.
- In vs. 11-13, Job said God remains mysterious and hidden if He so wishes.
- Verses 14 – 35 are the “if” section in which Job’s imagined scenarios forced him to conclude that nothing would reduce his suffering.
After speaking about being dwarfed by the vast expanses of space (v. 1-10), Job – in logical fashion – ticked off variables in an attempt to understand his situation:
If I were innocent, would that make a difference (9:15)? His conclusion was No.
If I summoned Him – would a discussion do any good (9:16)? No.
If I don’t think justice is being done, would that alter my suffering (9:19)? No.
If I put on a happy face, would a positive mental attitude turn things around (9:27)? No.
If I bathed and put on my best clothing, would God be impressed and lighten up (9:30)? No.
Convinced that God was against him, Job was very discouraged. You’ve been discouraged. Our Ifs can be stressful. But because God is both all wise and sovereign we can be at rest about our ifs. Besides, we haven’t read the last chapter. The book is not finished and neither are we.