Where Were You

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Why this song?

The book of Job contains a vast amount of fascinating poetry, but perhaps the most fascinating part starts in chapter 38 when the Lord speaks to Job. After Job and his friends has spent a number of chapters questioning why everything had gone wrong in Job’s life, the Lord himself gives Job an answer.

One of the most relatable aspects of Job is his questioning of God. I’ve never lost all of my children and cattle, but I have had moments where I didn’t understand how God was working in my life. Where I saw only a small portion of the big picture and that small piece didn’t make sense to me. In those times, it’s easy to wish for God to appear to us directly and give us an answer. Lucky for us, God’s answer to Job is as true for us as it was for Job.

Song Breakdown

The song opens with a verse from the perspective of Job (or us) asking God why he is allowing such pain and sorrow in our lives.

The next four verses take the awesome imagery directly from the book of Job as God responds to us. The lyricist does an excellent job adapting the imagery into rhythmic, metered verses. Just as God did in Job, he starts big (the universe, stars), works his way closer (earth, weather), and brings it right down to our level (plants, animals). God has power over all these things. He is in control, so why do we need to question his judgment?

The song ends with an outro where Job (again, representing us) admits that he was out of line. The words come from Job 42 nearly verbatim: “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”

Use in Worship

The song is an excellent exercise in humility. It’s difficult to sing through the Lord’s answer without feeling small in comparison. In that regard, it works well combined with a confession of sins. It also works well as a closer, reminding us that the Word of God that has been preached to us is greater than our worldly wisdom and sending us out into the world with the reminder to trust his judgment.

Musically, the song works best if you have a slightly larger group to lead it. While it could certainly be led by a single guitar or piano, the song naturally builds each verse and having the ability to add instruments and intensity throughout the song helps add to the overall effect.


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