reply to post by negue
Your question is not a new one: it has pained the hearts of men and women since times of remotest antiquity. Some even articulated it in the Bible
itself, trying to fathom why the Almighty permitted them to suffer seemingly without cause and to no obvious end; 'O God, what ARE you doing in my
life, it makes no sense!' —
...I would choose strangling
and death rather than this body.
16 I loathe my life; I would not live for ever.
Let me alone, for my days are a breath.
17 What are human beings, that you make so much of them,
that you set your mind on them,
18 visit them every morning,
test them every moment?
19 Will you not look away from me for a while...
20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target?
Why have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
and take away my iniquity?"
(taken from Job chapter 7)
Even this man who was aware of the need for God's forgiveness, and sincerely served Him, couldn't make head nor tail of it. The whole book is an
expression of this anguish. It's a good read. (And thousands of years old.)
And yes, our days are all known beforehand. Job knew this too, and was overwhelmed with frustration that he couldn't fathom his Maker's purpose in
all his suffering:
"‘A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble,
2 comes up like a flower and withers,
flees like a shadow and does not last.
3 Do you fix your eyes on such a one?
Do you bring me into judgement with you?
4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
No one can.
5 Since their days are determined,
and the number of their months is known to you,
and you have appointed the bounds that they cannot pass,
6 look away from them, and desist,
that they may enjoy, like labourers, their days."
(from chapter 14)
Not only did he suffer physically, he lost his children. Even his friends forsook him, and his wife ridiculed him.
"‘He has put my family far from me,
and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.
14 My relatives and my close friends have failed me;
15 the guests in my house have forgotten me...
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my own family.
18 Even young children despise me;
when I rise, they talk against me.
19 All my intimate friends abhor me,
and those whom I loved have turned against me.
20 My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,
and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.
21 Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends...
(from chapter 19)
What on earth was going on? Could the Almighty, all-knowing God of Love really be in control?
Eventually He Himself speaks towards the end of the book. But not because He had to. But because He cared.
Shocking though His response may be.
"And the Lord said to Job:
2 ‘Shall a fault-finder contend with the Almighty?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.’
3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 ‘See, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but will proceed no further.’
6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
7 ‘Gird up your loins like a man;
I will question you, and you declare to me.
8 Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
9 Have you an arm like God...
11 Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
12 Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
tread down the wicked where they stand.
13 Hide them all in the dust together;
bind their faces in the world below.
14 Then I will also acknowledge to you
that your own right hand can give you victory."
(from Job chapter 40)
One thing God reveals is that He, as the very Judge of what is right and wrong itself, is not at the beck and call of His creatures that He should
justify Himself to them.
One day it WILL become clear, though, such that every mouth that has questioned His wisdom will be stopped, and humbled. The sheer beauty and
perfection of His purpose will stun every creature. It has to do with the eternal destiny of men and women.
18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits
with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the
one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay... 22 We know that the whole creation has been
groaning in labour pains until now and not only the creation, but we ourselves... groan inwardly while we wait...
(from Romans chapter 8)
It all has to do with creating a longing and an expectation of what is to come...