Job states his innocence – in human terms – eloquently and forcefully. This is a man who has not only lived a good life, he has taken steps to avoid the temptations which would lead him astray.
There are interludes in chapters 26 and 28 that explore beyond the immediate question of Job’s innocence or guilt, into the reality that the majesty of God, and the root of true wisdom, are beyond human reason to search out, for all its achievements even in Job’s day.
As someone fascinated and inspired by the insights of the sciences and their probing the nature of physical reality, I find this a useful and important thing to remember. It’s not that God or wisdom are somehow in opposition to scientific and intellectual study, or even that they are beyond its reach (for the moment at least). It’s more that they are the answers to different questions. They are to be found relationally, not rationally; by trust, obedience and discipleship.
That doesn’t give us permission not to use the minds God has given us, or to act as if the rational and the relational existed in completely separate boxes, with no need for contact. But it does call us to keep a balance between the two, and in an age where the rational is strong, to be sure to develop our relationship with God alongside our learning and thinking.