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Stupid Ostrich

Suffering is part of life.

Everyone encounters it.

Job encountered suffering more than most ever will.

But the book of Job (and suffering) is often misunderstood and misused.

Job is not a book of comfort during suffering. In fact, the book of Job is not even about suffering.

I mean, think about it. If it were a book about suffering, then whenever Job begins to ask God why this is all happening even though he is faithful, God would have immediately turned to give him comfort, or at least stopped to explain why all of this tragedy is happening and how it will all be okay eventually.

But that’s not the case.

Not only does God not stop to comfort Job but, instead, stops to reprimand/rebuke him and his questions.

No. The book of Job is not about suffering, it is a book about how awesome and huge and amazing God is.

Job begins to ask why this is all happening and God replies, “who are you little man to ask me questions!?” God then goes on in chapter 38 to tell Job to “gird up your loins” or, in other words, to “put on your cup big boy!” And then God goes on to ask a few questions like, “were you the one who created all of the earth and the trees and the animals, etc…?”

Here is Job, feeling sorry for himself, and it seems to be justifiably so. If any of us had suffered the way Job did, no one would accuse us of wrong-doing in our sorrow or complaints.

But God points Job to a new perspective.

The turning point comes in chapter 39. Just after God talks about a STUPID OSTRICH!!

Thats right. God turns Job’s attention to several animals, one being the stupid ostrich and he says to Job,

“The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love? For she leaves her eggs to the earth and lets them be warmed on the ground, forgetting that a foot may crush them and that the wild beast may trample them. She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers; though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear…"

How weird.

Pointing out the stupid meanness of an ostrich in the middle of Jobs suffering and questions seems out of place. But God had a very profound reason.

In Job 39:17 God explains everything. And this chapter is the turning point for Job. He will shortly repent and understand and rest in the bigness of God right after this.

It’s like God looks at Job and says, “do you know why the ostrich is so stupid Job?” And then he answers in verse 17 with, “the ostrich is so stupid, Job, because I have neglected to give her wisdom and I have given her no share in understanding.”

Now why would God point to the ostrich and share this story with Job during his suffering? It’s because he is calling Job the stupid ostrich, and saying to him,

“You know why you don’t get what’s happening Job?

Do you know why you can’t understand all the rough times?

It’s because I am God! It’s because I have seen it fit not to give you understanding.”

This is all a book of the greatness of God.

The point is that, even if life is unfair, even if pain and sorrow is all we know, God is so much bigger, mightier, more worthy and holy, that He is to be praised through all of it.

Now look at your own life.

What areas do you find yourself questioning God’s presence, goodness, or concern? Isn’t it ironic that the very breath you use to question God’s closeness was given to you by God Himself!? How much more intimate could He be!?

Maybe you don’t understand all that is happening in your life right now. And maybe that’s just how God wants it.

Maybe He has neglected to give YOU understanding so that you will run to Him and His greatness, now that you can’t handle it on your own!

As the psalmist says in chapter 51, “let the bones You [God] have broken rejoice!


My name is Adam Casey. I am a counselor at a faith-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in North Alabama. Day after day, for hours at a time, I am sitting with men who have seen (and done) some terrible things. Through these counseling sessions, personal struggles, and teaching classes on how Christ is the answer to recovery and reconciliation, many revelatory epiphanies have emerged. All of which are what inspire this blog. I am fully aware of my depravity and certain ability for flaw so make sure to test everything you read here with the word of God. Also, feel free to  write and respond. I love your feedback.

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