The Bible Story That Makes Me Uncomfortable

The Bible Verse that Makes Me Uncomfortable

I have no problem believing the Bible. When I first became a Christian at 16, I had a few months where I questioned many of the accounts in scripture:

How did two people populate the whole earth? Did the flood really happen? What about dinosaurs (admit it you’ve asked about those pesky dinosaurs too)?

God quickly and effectively brought answers to those questions in different ways. Some answers came through other people, some through teachings, some through faith, and still others through simply reading the Word.

Since that time, I have fully understood scripture to be God-breathed, infallible, and inerrant. However, that’s not to say that certain passages, or even whole books of the Bible, I find difficult to swallow. That brings me to…

Job. Job makes me uncomfortable. Job makes me squirm in my skin. Job keeps me up at night. And the reason? ‘Cuz I’m no Job. When I get hit with something big and painful I have a tendency to blame God and, basically, throw a temper tantrum (it’s not pretty. it’s more like a toddler in a toy store). It doesn’t happen automatically, but if the pain or unpleasant situation continues, eventually God gets the brunt of my anger and frustration.

Job, on the other hand, never questioned God’s goodness or love for him. He never cursed God or turned from wanting to be in His Holy presence. And since we’ve already established that I’m nothing like Job, you won’t be surprised to hear that I do the exact opposite. I feel certain that God is out to get me. He must be trying to hurt me, right? Why else would all of these horrible things be happening?

Or could it be that God loves me and is growing me? He is using a painful situation to peel back all the ugly junk and, instead, reveal the beautiful stuff. In order to get to the sweet, fresh juice inside the fruit, He has to press on me. The pressure strengthens me and glorifies Him if I respond well… If I praise Him in the midst of it and continue to be led by His Spirit.

God is for me. God is for me. God is for me. That is what He has been gently reminding me. If He is for me than who can be against me? I am still having trouble reconciling the idea that just because God has allowed something to happen does not mean He made it happen. Somewhere within balance of that idea is my peace. He is bringing me there, slowly but surely. And yeah, growing hurts sometimes.

But how I long to be like Job and call out to the Lord: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

Is there a verse, passage, or person in scripture that particularly challenges you? Or a person in scripture with whom you identify?

17 thoughts on “The Bible Story That Makes Me Uncomfortable”

  1. With whom do I identify? How about “Peter, not knowing what to say, said…” That’s about right for me. Hmmm…what if I was an internal processor? What if I actually stopped to take time to THINK before I spoke…what problems might I have avoided? What sins might I not have committed? What people might not be hurt by me? Yep, Peter, makes me realize God is still working with me, and still changing my heart, and still allowing me to have time to grow up into ALL aspects of Christ!!! I just hope the debris I leave in my wake isn’t damaging others against the gospel.

    1. Gosh, I so identify with Peter too. The curse (and subsequent blessing) of the gift of exhortation, that you and i share, is that we speak–often out of turn or just because we think we should. You bless people with your words of encouragement though Tracy, despite the mishaps here and there. You are not damaging others against the Gospel. Just look at what God ended up accomplishing through Peter…the rock.

    1. Jennifer,
      No kidding. Before having kids, the story of Isaac and Abraham sounded like a nice anecdotal God-story to me. I never took it very seriously.

      After kids, however, the thought of being able to do what Abraham was willing to do makes me sick to my stomach. Like you, I’d say “no way.”

      Then I think too of the Father God sacrificing His Son..handing Him over to be slaughtered. Ugh. Being a parent has so opened my eyes to God’s love for us.

      1. Andrew Peterson does a good job capturing the emotions in the Abraham-Isaac story in “Holy is the Lord” from the City on a Hill – The Gathering CD.

        There are a lot of stories that make me uncomfortable, most in the OT. The story of the flood, the commanded slaughter of an entire city, make me wonder how in the world I can explain God’s love to my kids when they learn these stories in cutesy detail.

        1. Tim,
          So true. Capturing God’s love in the midst of the destruction He warranted or often did not prevent is a difficult task to be sure.

          A girl in her 20’s I know, who suffered abuse as a young woman asked where in the OT is there proof of God protecting women. It is a tough one to answer. There are some small instances, but not many.

          Thank you Tim for the thoughtful comment.

  2. The story of Job makes me uncomfortable as well. I think I identify with the disciples because no matter how much God has walked with me and I have learned at church and through bible study, I still act like a fool and punk out at the first sign of trouble.

    1. KC,
      Great point about the disciples. I recently did a study on Jesus and we looked at Him through those who knew Him.

      We focused a lot on Peter and man, can I relate. Loud-mouthed, quick-tempered, shoot first-aim later.
      I think I’m going to write a post about it actually.

      Thank goodness the Bible is not made up of perfect people, right? It helps us fools along the way…

  3. Job is hard!I have always been even more amazed at the book of Job because it’s the earliest recorded book of the bible. There’s a thing in theology called ” The Law of First Mention” and it basically says that God reveals the most/more important things He wants us to know in order of importance. Job was the first written material God gave us to reveal himself. It is interesting and sometimes scary to me that God chose to emphasize His’ Sovereignty and what proper human response to trouble should be way before He mentioned anything else about Himself.
    I know with my head God is able to do anything He wants, at any time He wants, for any reason he wants, but it’s such a hard thing when trouble comes to keep your peace while trusting in His’ wisdom & goodness. I think it’s important to God that we get this part of His’ nature down first and keep the right attitude. All the other spiritual knowledge and physical things in life we need will be given if we get this right.

    1. Actually I made a mistake. I don’t believe “All” things we need will be given if we get the message of Job. There are other things that God requires and general wisdom we need to follow to get certain things in life. However, it’s a really good starting place.

  4. I hear you on Job. But even more so for me is the rich young ruler from Luke 18. Now, I’m not rich by America’s standards, but even with my freelance writer’s income, I know that I make more than 99% of the people in the world. This scripture is talking to me. Would I give it all up? Hmmm… {ouch!}

  5. Prophet Ezekiel…i’m reading about him. I am amazed how obedient he was, that’s a passage, where GOD took his wife (he most dearest person )away from him… but GOD not allowed him to weep or be mourned, the reason was to show the sins of the Israelite had done.

    i couldn’t able to do that.

  6. Hi Nicole,

    Just visiting via your posting on Matt’s site.

    The more I know of Scripture, the less I understand it. One place that has troubled me for a long time is in Habakkuk 3:

    “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation”.

    Most of my adult life I have lived in poverty, at least by U.S. standards. I keep hearing how God blesses His children with prosperity.

    The first Psalm says of the good man, “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”.

    I live on nerve-raw faith that in spite of my life experiences, somehow or another, God is good.

    Can’t prove it by me.

    Unless, of course, I’m just an ungrateful slob not thankful for blessings of a loving wife, respectful grown kids who are my best friends, and tolerable health for a man age.

    Nevertheless, I can’t help wondering where I went wrong to make the Lord peeved at me and deny me just an average taste of the basic standards of the society in which I lie.

    Maybe I’m just a wimp whiner, like the guys John The Baptist told, “Be content with your pay”.

    Yet I keep thinking there ought to be something more tangible from the Lord. Winning Lotto would be a nice start.

    Anyhow, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him”… but it ain’t fun.

    John Cowart

  7. Such an honest post. GOD knows his children better than we know ourselves. Can you imagine Job’s faith after that experience. Can you imagine his relationship with GOD? I’m sure it was unshakable! After that happened to Job, it would take a lot to convince him to doubt the very existence of GOD and GOD’S love for him. I always say that Job was a “warrior” to endure that kind of pain and suffering, but it was GOD who carried him through it all. HE allowed it because HE knew that HE would be there to get him through it. That’s our GOD. He’s awesome like that! Thanks for posting this! Love the site.

  8. Job challenges me too – while I might not begin to blame God for my problems and challenges, I do still tend to get angry that He’s not “fixing it” quickly enough. Like, why should I still have 2 autistic children when Jesus purchased their healing at the cross? And then I remember it’s not all about me, that I can’t see the bigger picture, and that maybe there is more glory for God by my standing and believing for their healing for this time than if He were to reach down and heal them now. It’s about perspective – am I looking at thing through my eyes or God’s?

  9. There is incredible tension in the verse you quote, the part about God slaying you, but you trusting him. It is filled with unknowing. Why does he slay? What is this trouble? How is this good? And despite the unknowing, it is full of love and trust. Trust is difficult since it requires believing what we have not seen and do not know. It is the essence of faith. Thanks for sharing Nicole.

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