“Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”—Job 38:2
“I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.”—Job 42:3
This abridged exchange between God and Job reminds me of the times I have “darkened counsel” through my own prideful, angry words . . . of the times I have “uttered what I did not understand” in a fit of jealousy or resentment springing from a contrived sense of self-importance.
On the far side of suffering, Job finally recognized the limits of his earthly wisdom and opened his mind to the brighter light of God’s truth. In the radiance of this revelation, he could glimpse the expansive scope of God’s power while acknowledging without complaint the enduring mystery of His ways. He accepted a new possibility—a truth that, until then, had lain beyond the fringe of lamplight in shadows painted by his “darkened counsel”: Job had no warrant to summon God and could craft no statute that required the Creator to explain personal suffering in terms that met with Job’s approval or complied with Job’s expectations.
When we impose “darkened counsel” on ourselves or those closest to us, our hope for genuine enlightenment must be the same as Job’s. It begins with repentance granted by an all-knowing, all-understanding God who then mercifully leads us to a knowledge of the truth—truth that had once been outside our ability to comprehend or perhaps only obscured by our own stubborn, willful ignorance. So Lord, give me the wisdom to know when to speak, to admit when I don’t understand, to be satisfied with the knowledge You reveal to me, and to recognize Your truth in all its brightness.
“. . . in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”—2 Timothy 2:25