Job 40:8 Will you even put me in the wrong?
Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
God is engaged in a very probing conversation with Job around the subject of vindication. If Job is to vindicate who he is or what he has done, is he willing to so that at the expense of the character of God? By trying to vindicate, Job is taking on God’s responsibility, that of judgment. The problem is that it calls into question the very nature of God. If Job is vindicated, what does that mean about God’s righteousness? Is God righteous, or in this action does Job take upon himself the mantle of righteousness? These are serious questions asked by God when the humans begin to assign blame.
Blaming God in the midst of difficulties is a pretty common human response. God had great respect for Job and in this conversation we see an exercise into critical thinking. Sometimes we are unwilling to take the time to consider the ramifications of our thoughts or actions.
What is it that we are really saying when we blame God? What we are saying is that we know the circumstances better than God does and we are literally, putting ourselves in the place of God. That is a scary place to land for we are limited and we do not have all the answers.
Putting God in the wrong and blaming God will take us to a place of complete disorder. In reality, when we blame God we refuse to acknowledge that God, in righteousness, exists. Gregory of Nazianzus refers to the chaos that ensures when people cease to believe in God. When we blame God, there is no longer a governing principle on which we, or the world can function. The result is disorder, with systems and structures which begin to deteriorate, “disorder being the prelude to disintegration.” (Nazianzen, Oration 29) All of this stems from humanity blaming God so that there may be self-justification.
We step into dangerous territory when we begin to blame God.
Lord, please help me to avoid the temptation of self-justification. Help me to take responsibility for my decisions and actions and to trust in you with all my heart. Amen.
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