When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble? – Job 34:29a
It has always been easy to neglect personal communion with God. The matters which lie right in front of us call for our time and attention, and if there are any of those two things left at the end of the day, well, we’re tired and we want to “turn off.” God gets the scraps of our time. But our relationship with our Father in heaven cannot be well kept up with fleeting prayers and momentary meditations. And if we stopped to look at things aright, we would see that His claims upon us are primary. It’s not as if we live these lives of ours in secret, cordoned off from God’s providence. Psalm 139:1-17 shows us that the Lord knows us through and through. God can facilitate our way if we slow down for Him.
Job was a man who was in deep distress and confusion, and he said some things which furnished plenty of proof of it. But he also said some things which were hopeful and which he knew to be true. It was Job who testified that “I know my Redeemer lives” (Job 19:25), and it was he whose faith shone out in his exclamation “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15). Satan tries to persuade us that because things are not working out the way we hoped God can’t be trusted, but Job’s words are certainly true. We might not be able to understand why everything is going awry, but we can know that God is worthy of our trust – always.
In this verse it is not Job who is the speaker. It is the younger man Elihu. But it is a sentiment that Job at his best would have heartily agreed with. I can remember a time in my life when I was very depressed. Every day (for many years) was a struggle. I trudged through the hours (emotionally speaking), as I lived out my existence. I do not reveal this to garner sympathy – the Lord delivered me from it all along time ago – but I mention only so that I can record an experience. One particularly bad night I felt that I couldn’t take another day of it. I cried out to God for help. I then feel asleep emotionally exhausted. In the morning it was like I was a different person. I was permeated by peace. It was a deep and powerful and yet “light” thing. I was suffused by it. It was without any question not mine. It was given to me. It was wrapped around me by Someone Who cared for me. It didn’t last for more than a few days, but the knowledge that my Father had given it, and that such “shalom” was my destiny in Christ, was all I needed.
The text asks us, “When He gives quietness, who then can make trouble?” Notice the quietness or tranquility is given. It includes a sense of utter safety and belonging. It subdues all fears, and answers – though not in words – every doubt. I believe emphatically that one day every saint of God will be surrounded by this “quietness,” and no one and nothing will be able to upset it. Grace and peace is addressed to us in the New Testament letters. Jesus words to His discouraged disciples are words to us too:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
So we can expect trouble in this world. We shall have peace! Today, wouldn’t it be a good idea for us to spend more time with such a God of Peace?