Wronger and Dumber than We Think


In the book of Job, the God of the universe proves Himself right and everyone else in the book wrong.

Job has been given pain by God, even though he had an apparently Godly heart (certainly by the end he does) and did Godly things. So he complains about it.

Then his four friends give some on-the-surface-true counsel (“Sin causes pain, Job, and God is fair”) that is really just self-serving and arrogant (“Poor Job; that would never happen to me”).

And at the end of this thick, poetic dialogue filled with grief, disbelief, and Job’s friends’ pride, God speaks up and reminds them all that He made Earth, ostriches, snow, the balls of burning hydrogen we call “stars,” and the human heart. And that they didn’t.

“Get ready to answer me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me. Where were you when I established the Earth? Tell me, if you have understanding?” 38:3-4

“Have you ever in your life commanded the morning or assigned the dawn its place?” 38:12

“Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go? Do they report to you: ‘Here we are?’ Who put wisdom in the heart or gave the mind understanding?” 38:35-36

The bad news is that we have no defense. We are sinful. We have rebelled. We complain when we shouldn’t and we are prideful without reason.

We treat ourselves and trust ourselves as gods, believing our own opinions or desires are worthwhile bibles to believe and follow.

Our father Adam and our mother Eve ate from a tree in disobedience, thinking they were smarter than Satan and smarter than God. They thought they knew better than God what would bring true joy and meaning.

And so no, we humans have no case. No defense. Our sins are real and our pride is awful. He is right and we are wrong.

“Would you really challenge my justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself?” 40:8

He is holy and good and right. We are rebellious and dumb and wicked.

We can pretend or claim we’re not, and that God is wrong in the Bible and in Christ, declaring Him guilty and justifying ourselves. We can walk around with terminal cancer claiming that the diagnosis was wrong and the doctor was just being melodramatic and a buzzkill. Or perhaps in a more appropriate metaphor, sit on death row and play our harmonicas and tell other inmates the judge was too harsh, and that our crimes weren’t really all that bad.

We can do that. We can impotently, meaninglessly try to justify ourselves.


We can freely have “God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe,” (from Romans 3).

We can pretend we’re not clueless and hopeless and dead in our sins and trespasses, or we can be justified for real by grace through faith, like the New Testament says.

Pretend and die, or repent and live.

Job made his choice, after hearing God from the whirlwind:

“Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that You can do anything and no plan of Yours can be thwarted. You asked, ‘Who is this who conceals My counsel with ignorance?’ Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak. When I question you, you will inform Me.’ I had heard rumors about You, but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I take back my words and repent in dust and ashes.”

We’re rebelliously wrong, and He is wonderfully, gloriously right.


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