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Awesome God

Key References: Job 38-41; Prophets and Kings, chap. 12, pp. 162-164; The Desire of Ages, chap. 51, p. 471; The Bible Story (1994), vol. 6, pp. 173, 174; Our Beliefs, nos. 3, 5, 11.

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“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4).

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We can trust that the God who created us will also sustain us.

What stories and experiences of the past help you to refl ect on God’s goodness? In ancient times family events and stories were passed on to new generations by word of mouth. Try to envision the story of Job being told by his wife to one of their grandchildren.

How good to see my grandson today!” exclaimed Hiram’s grandmother on his arrival.

“Greetings, Grandmother!” he shouted cheerfully.

“What can I do for you, Hiram?”

“Well, I would like to learn more about Grandfather’s experiences. Mother often talks about his marvelous life story.”

“I’m not surprised that your mother remembers those events that marked your grandfather’s earlier years,” said Grandmother. “Your grandfather isn’t here, but maybe I can help you. You know most of the story already, right?”

“Yes,” said Hiram. “Grandfather lost everything; then he got really sick.”

“Right. Three friends and another person we didn’t even know came to sit with him when he got sick. Instead of comforting him, they said that your grandfather must have done something wrong for God to allow him to suff er so much. Your grandfather insisted on the justice of his ways before God. His friends kept telling him he needed to confess his sin.

“God had permitted them to talk for a long time, but then He decided to participate in the conversation as well,” Grandmother said. “Your grandfather heard the voice of God speaking to him.”

Grandmother continued, “God asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?’ [Job 38:2]. God helped your grandfather acknowledge Him as the Creator of our world and of the entire universe. He asked Grandfather, ‘Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?’ [verse 12]. ‘Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons?’ [verse 32].”

“How could someone answer such diffi cult questions?” Hiram asked with growing interest.

“God posed those challenging questions to help your grandfather realize that only the Creator of the universe is all-knowing and that He is in control even of our lives.”

“What else did God say?”

Grandmother continued, “God asked more questions, such as ‘How big is the universe? Where does the source of light come from?’ ”

“How did the conversation between God and Grandfather end?” asked Hiram.

Grandmother continued explaining. “Well, Grandfather finally admitted that he didn’t know as much as he thought he did.”

“Now, that must have been a tough test for Grandfather!” said Hiram, nodding his head.

“God wanted to know if your grandfather was doubting His wisdom and justice,” Grandmother said. “God asked him to consider if he was as powerful as to rule over the proud and the wicked in order to bring about justice on the earth. Your grandfather realized that he had nothing left to say in his defense. “

Hiram shuddered.

Grandmother looked Hiram in the eye and said: “You see, my dear grandson, we can’t see as God does, because He sees the big picture. He just wants the best for us. Sometimes the things He allows in our lives don’t make sense to us right away. But if we are patient and trust that He loves us, everything will be all right. That was God’s lesson to your grandfather. God wanted him to understand that as the Creator, He was also the Sustainer. It’s as though He was saying, ‘Don’t you know that because I brought you into this world, I would take care of you?’ ”

“Grandmother,” said Hiram thoughtfully, “I’m so grateful that you have shared with me more about Grandfather’s experiences. Do you think that God takes a personal interest in each of our lives?”

“Of course He does, my dear grandchild,” said Grandmother with a broad, reassuring smile.

“He takes a special interest in each of His earthly children. As Grandfather’s story illustrates, God sometimes allows difficulties in our lives to test our trust in Him. But He never leaves us. His plans for us are far greater than what we could ask or imagine.

“Ask Grandfather about it!”