God’s Sovereignty in Job’s Story

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth  and Robert Wolgemuth
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The biblical account of Job is a stunning story of God’s control over the events of our world and the happenings in our lives. The book that bears his name opens with a ringing endorsement of Job’s character: “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Yet, this God-loving, sin-hating man—a devoted family man and generous benefactor—was not insulated from agonizing suffering and loss.

To the contrary, in a test of divine sovereignty that really had nothing directly to do with Job, God gave Satan permission to afflict this godly man with unimaginable loss and pain. One unanticipated disaster after another hit Job hard from every direction and caused the bottom to fall out. His great wealth—gone in a day. His ten (!) children—all dead in a moment. His body— covered with excruciating sores. His wife (also suffering deep grief)—confused and disoriented. His friends—misguided and unhelpful at best.

“The biblical account of Job is a stunning story of God’s control over the events of our world and the happenings in our lives.”

At the outset, Job held fast to his confidence that God is worthy to be blessed, not just when He is the dispenser of blessings, but also when those good gifts are removed and replaced with adversity. But as time wore on, that confidence sometimes wavered. Through thirty-five chapters of endless dialogue and debating about the problem of pain, Job’s inspiring bursts of faith were interspersed with anguished outbursts of questioning and despair. And all the while God was silent. As hard as Job and his well-meaning friends tried to figure all this out, they just didn’t know what they didn’t know.

Finally, the sovereign God stepped forward and addressed His suffering servant: “You’ve pummeled me with questions,” the Lord said in effect. “Now, I have a few questions for you!”

I will ask you, and you instruct Me! ( Job 38:3 NASB)

For starters . . .

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. (v. 4 NASB)

Then, for the next four chapters, God held court. In one incontestable point after another, He reminded Job of His track record as the Lord of all creation. He unveiled His greatness, His power, and His providential oversight and care of the universe. Job interrupted only once—to acknowledge that he was way out of his league when it came to understanding or challenging God:

Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. (40:4 NASB)

Finally, when he had heard God out, Job responded in resignation, confession, and humble, awe-filled wonder:

I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. . . .
I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. . . . I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You. . . .
Therefore I retract,
And I repent. (42:2–6 NASB)

In other words, “You win. You are good. You are faithful. I trust You to write my story.”

Chances are, your story is not as dramatic as Job’s, yet your problems and your pain are no less real. You may not be able to see His purposes or plan at this point. But by His grace, you can rest in His Providence, confident that . . .

He is good.

He is faithful.

And you can trust Him to write your story.

For Further Reading:

You Can Trust God to Write Your Story

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Robert Wolgemuth

Our kids beg us for stories at bedtime or while we drive; we gather around firepits and dinner tables to tell and retell our favorite tales—the...

book cover for You Can Trust God to Write Your Story