And the rest of the Bible is also there for a reason.
People often have legitimate questions about suffering or all sorts of big picture questions about God, such as why He did or didn’t do this or that. Sometimes the questions are natural and from reasonable motives, but they are often smokescreens. Never forget Romans 1. People know there is a God but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. I know, I used to be one of them!
Romans 1:18–21 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
In talking to a few skeptical Kairos prison ministry participants once they had lots of questions like that. They were looking for reasons not to believe. My strategy in situations like that is to give a quick answer then point to greater truths.
Example: One asked, “What if Adam hadn’t sinned?” I could tell from the conversation to that point that it wasn’t coming from faith or genuine concern, but from skepticism. You could waste a lot of time on that sort of hypothetical, so I just smiled and said, “If Adam hadn’t sinned and ruined everything, then I would have.” They got the joke and it gave me a chance to segue to the gospel.
Back to Job: As you probably know, Job had lots of things he wanted to know from God, but when God showed up and asked questions then Job got quiet very quickly. He didn’t get the answers he wanted, just like we often don’t get answers we want. It is important to acknowledge that to people without apology.
Job 38:1–7 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
And it goes on from there.
But as I like to say, the end of the book of Job is in the Bible for a reason: We don’t get to know everything. Job was more devout than any of us but he didn’t get answers (at least at that time).
But the rest of the Bible is there for a reason as well: God reveals countless profound things about himself to us that we do need to know, including his remarkably gracious terms for saving our wretched souls. Of course we can’t know everything about God, but we can know a lot. So point people to what we do know and don’t get caught up in what we may never know (at least not in this life).
I also like this passage. It reminds me that when there are things I don’t or can’t know I should just follow Jesus:
John 21:22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!”
And this is a classic. People forget that our default destination is Hell. They think the default is Heaven and that you only go to Hell if you are “really” bad.
Romans 9:18–20 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?”
We just can’t fully comprehend his greatness!
Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Instead of apologizing for God when bad things happen, as some “Christian” Leftists do when pretending that God isn’t completely sovereign, we should switch the narrative. When people ask where is God, include something like this: “God is where He has always been: Ready and willing to forgive repentant sinners. He is also still withholding his wrath from those who completely deserve it right now: People who have killed their own children, who have sex out of wedlock with impunity, who mock his created order with every sort of perversion – including pretending they are a different gender, who are greedy, who are unkind, who are liars, and on and on. Namely, everyone, including me! So repent now and accept his gracious forgiveness.”
God is not soft on evil. The cross was simultaneously the great act of evil ever (fallen man killing God in the flesh) and the greatest act of good (saving those who couldn’t save themselves).
More about knowing God:
1 Corinthians 2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Isaiah 55:8–11 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
P.S. I liked this comment from the Bible Knowledge Commentary:
Like a deaf critic of Bach or a blind critic of Raphael is the unregenerate critic of God’s Word.