Though he slay me, I will hope in him.

Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. (12:9-10) Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face. (13:15) Only grant me two things, then I will not hide myself from your face: withdraw your hand far from me, and let not dread of you terrify me. (13:20-21) Why do you hide your face and count me as your enemy? (13:24)

There is a view of the sovereignty of God that asserts that God has an active role in everything that happens in the earth. This view asserts, as Job states in his reply to Zophar, that God does bad things as well as good things. It is different from a view of sovereignty that acknowledges a more passive divine role - a view in which God allows bad things to happen to people. It is an important delineation because of the way that it paints God and divine love.

I have heard the "Though he slay me" verse used in a sermon to illustrate the faith of Job. To me, the verse reflects a dark imagery of the almighty that I am pretty uncomfortable with. I have been in such dark places where my posture is argumentative and my attitude one of bargaining. Such bargaining is evidence that Job is grieving. He wants the pain to stop and has no one to bargain with except the perceived author of his pain. Yet he finds no comfort in bargaining.

In our pain dear God, help us to know that you are our friend and do not count us as your enemy.

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