Daily encouragement

Video by

Stuart Poteet

Discipleship Pastor

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Job 33:4

The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (ESV)

Behind the Scenes

Today’s verse from Job is nothing short of beautiful. It emphasizes care. It speaks of a divine, pure source. It enlists honor to our being. It reminds us that every dependent breath flows from the habitat of a God who desires us, made us, and sustains us.

The larger story of Job, when you look closely, embodies these truths from beginning to end. And while we could begin and end with today’s verse and be well-nurtured by the Spirit, the story surrounding Job 33:4 magnifies the ultimate, trustworthy authority of God.

This man, named Job, is well-loved by God. In chapter 1, God tells the enemy that “there is no one on earth like [Job]; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (v. 8). Chapter 2 quickly finds Job in shambles – he tragically and painfully loses his children, his home, his health – as the enemy is granted power over his life.

Most of the rest of Job is famously filled with the “wisdom” of three friends who increasingly insist that Job’s strife is due to unacknowledged sin (which glaringly opposes God’s words in chapter 1), but Job is persistent in maintaining his innocence, that God is acting unjustly against him. Elihu appears near the end of the story and tells Job, trying to win his trust, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (v. 4).

Make it Real

What fascinates me about this verse is that it is found amidst the dialogue of four men who speak, at length, insufficiently of God’s purpose and justice.

After 37 chapters of this misspeak, the Lord finally responds to Job: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” (38:2). He continues to prod, “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside? Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?” (38:19-20).

God highlights that Job and his friends do not comprehend the majesty and ultimate power of the Almighty, and therefore are inadequate to question his intentions and justice. Yet, during Elihu’s underdeveloped explanation of his will, our Father simultaneously uses his words to reveal and prove that even when we are confused and our words are not reflective of the true righteousness of his being, two things remain true: We are made by the Spirit of God, and his breath gives us life. Even though we misunderstand God’s justice, he does not disown us, nor does he withdraw his life from us.

Instead of obsessing over our innocence, as Job does, or obsessing over our sin, as his friends do, God reminds us that we are of and for him. Instead of focusing on “why me,” God wants us to praise with, “because of you, God.” This is not to ignore ourselves and our trials – quite the opposite. To fight against the trials of this world, God knows that we will be distant from him when we make it about ourselves, when we obsess over why this is happening instead of focusing on who is in charge. God knows that every moment that is spent on something other than his ultimate glory, power, and authority will leave us feeling powerless and victimized.

Instead, he charges us to look higher and focus on the One who has dominion over all things, letting our peace be founded on the powerful truth that “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (33:4).

End in Prayer

Father, you know that I will unfairly critique, question, and blame you for my trials when I am not focused on you. You know there are many times that I will misunderstand your complete justice, times when I hold myself to impossible standards and blame others for the wrong things. Do not allow my emotional distress in those times to send me further from acknowledging your power that made me and sustains me. Do not let the enemy keep me distracted from you, but instead draw me near and keep me focused, not on my trial, but on the beauty of how my life is so closely connected to yours. I love you, Father, Amen.

Written by

Autumn Krueger

ACF Youth Culture Administrative Assistant