Given our human make-up, it takes a lot to break us of our hope in our Self. We think we can handle life, avoid disaster, and that we deserve blessing. Only when Job loses it all, does he come to terms with reality, a reality which includes losses as well as blessings. He assumes because he’s innocent, he shouldn’t suffer. God, he believes, owes him an explanation. At times we also feel that way.
When the Almighty does speak in chapter 38, however, Job learns lessons which shift his hope. Although God shows he cares about Job in that he personally responds to Job’s pleas, he puts Job’s suffering into a broader context. In nature, death persists alongside birth, and chaos (Leviathan) continues along with order. Humans control very little of life.
At first speechless, Job then “repents” or retracts his lawsuit, in “dust and ashes,” i.e., in human mortality. He thereby acknowledges God as too big for him to prove “wrong.” In contrast to what he has “heard” of God (i.e., second hand), Job now “sees” God face to face. Who he sees brings him to his knees to redirect his hope from himself to the Living God.
Where is the object of your hope?