Job’s Accusations Against God

Posted on March 11, 2023


By David Ettinger

This post accompanies a previous blog, “Job’s Friends’ Faulty Thinking.”

Job Vents
Mention the name “Job” and most people think of immense, unimaginable suffering. How would you react if such hardship hit you? Well, we know how Job reacted.

He vented his grief, anger, and pain at God by casting aspersions upon Him and accusing Him of wrongdoing. Let’s examine some of the key accusations and see what we can make of them.

Accusation 1
“I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; Let me know why You contend with me’” (Job 10:2).

Job claims that his suffering is proof that God has condemned him; and that the Almighty is actually doing battle against him.

Accusation 2
“Yet You have concealed these things in Your heart; I know that this is within You: If I have sinned, You will take note of me, And will not acquit me of my guilt” (Job 10:13-14).

This is probably the harshest accusation of all. Job alleges that God is actually waiting for him to sin; that He is keeping vigil on Job, and the moment he sins, God will pounce. Job adds that once he does sin, God will continue punishing him while offering no forgiveness.

Accusation 3
“And should my head be high, You would hunt me like a lion; And You would show Your power against me again. You renew Your witnesses against me And increase Your anger toward me; Hardship after hardship is with me” (Job 10:16-17).

Job asserts that even if he were to rise from the ashes and improve his lot, God would quickly bring him back down. Job also believes that no matter what happens in the future, God will continue to inflict him.

Accusation 4
“Why do You hide Your face And consider me Your enemy?” (Job 13:24).

Job believes God regards him as an enemy.

Accusation 5
“Behold, I cry, ‘Violence!’ but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice. He has blocked my way so that I cannot pass, And He has put darkness on my paths. … He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; And He has uprooted my hope like a tree” (Job 19:7-10).

Job accuses God of continually attacking him; totally demoralizing him; and extinguishing the faintest light of hope in him.

Accusation 6
“I cry out to you for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn your attention from me. You have become cruel to me; With the might of Your hand you persecute me” (Job 30:20-21).

Job believes God is turning a blind eye and deaf ear to his pleas for mercy. Instead, God not only refuses to help Job, but is stoking the fires of persecution.

What to Make of It
1. Reread Job Chapters 1 and 2 and try to comprehend the torment God allows Satan to inflict upon Job. Even the strongest of believers would break down and vent fury at God.

2. Trials reveal what Christians are made of. It’s easy to praise God when things are going well, but when things take a sudden dark turn, we become different creatures. Suffering causes us to spew words we never uttered, and brings to light dark thoughts we never knew we had.

3. Despite our sufferings and trials, it is never right to disparage God. God has a purpose for everything, including hardship: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28).

4. Generally, we are utterly ignorant of God’s purposes. God chastised Job for His accusations, saying: “Who is it that darkens counsel My words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2). “Where were you when I laid out the foundation of the earth” (38:4). “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this” (38:18). “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it” (40:2).

5. This quote from John MacArthur: “Job needed to admit his weakness, inferiority, and inability to even try to figure out God’s infinite mind. God’s wisdom is so superior, His sovereign control of everything so complete, that this was all Job needed to know.” All Christians must learn this.

6. Job finally admits: “I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. … Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes” (42:3, 6). In the midst of our suffering, we must admit that God knows everything and always does what is right. Our accusations against Him – though understandable in our grief – are the output of ignorance and emotion.

7. Despite our pain and suffering, God’s end-game is glory: “For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

When trials and suffering hit, remember the account of Job and hold firmly – perhaps as never before – to the reality of who God is, what He has done for us, and the eternity He promised us. Though we will be tempted to accuse God as did Job, let’s also remember his confession: “I have declared that which I did not understand.”

And no matter what comes our way, in good times and bad, may we always declare: “To Him be the glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36)!