Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Toward the beginning of the book of Job we are introduced to three friends who come into his life at the time of his pain and struggle, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. These three friends proceed to question Job’s faith, motivation, and even his integrity. There’s nothing worse than piling misery upon misery. Here Job is broken and hurting and these three “friends” decide to go ahead and heap more hurt on top of his mountain of brokenness. Job starts to get slightly upset, and in the midst of his struggle he begins to allow his hurt plus the attack to bring in a little bitterness. I mean, who could blame him right? He just lost his health, wealth, and all his kids and these three haters think it’s a good time to correct his mistakes. Come on God?! Can’t you give me a break here?!
As a touch of bitterness starts to set in, he begins to question the Lord. It’s been said that bitterness is an acid that eats its own container, and that’s exactly what happened to Job. This bitterness toward these friends caused him to begin to question God. In Job chapters 38-41, the Lord unloads 77 questions on Job from the midst of a whirlwind. In the midst of the raging storm God asks him questions like “where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” and “Have you entered the storehouses of snow or have you seen the storehouses of hail?” Right in the middle of the questions the Lord says, “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” Can you imagine God interrogating you in this way in the midst of what seems like a tornado?! What seemed so small and easily handled is now something way outside of my control, and the fear of God is all over me! And in chapter 42 Job basically admits that he can’t handle the truth. He can’t handle all the omniscience and omnipotence of God.
God will not be manipulated, nor does he live for our command. In Job’s response we are reminded of some important things about God that we just can’t handle on our own. FIRST, NO PURPOSE OF THE LORD’S WILL BE STOPPED. You may be a planner like me, and if you are then you probably struggle with giving up control. A plan is a good thing, as long as you give God your plan. But….here’s the thing, God doesn’t have to follow our plan. He lives on an eternal timetable and has an eternal program for the redemption of His Children and creation that will not be stopped or changed. Also, in your daily life and mine we can pray and plan and perform but God’s purpose will be fulfilled.
SECOND, TRUE WISDOM COMES FROM ABOVE. Job needed God’s counsel, God didn’t need Job’s. It’s been said that prayer is not about our will being done in heaven it’s about God’s will being done on earth. Some arrogantly speak as if they have all wisdom and all knowledge about spiritual things because they have read some book or gotten some degree. I have a Doctor of Ministry and I call tell you that just means I can be a holy roller and people not think I’m crazy! At the end of the day what counsel do we have to compare to God’s? Some people are too smart to go to Heaven, and some Children of God are too educated to be useful to God’s Kingdom. At the end of the day it’s about submission to God and love for Him and others. Before we open our mouths and speak supposed truths about God or much less question Him, we might ought to humble ourselves and acknowledge how finite and insignificant we really are.
LASTLY, THE LORD IS NOT PHILOSOPHICAL, HE’S RELATIONAL AND PRACTICAL. You don’t grow in Christ just from reading a book. You grow in Christ by reading the Bible and applying what you read. This growth comes as we walk through the trials of life and learn to put into practice what His word says when it’s hard. Job finishes this section by saying he had heard of the Lord, but now he could see him clearly. Through trials we learn to see the Lord clearly and rest in His grace and peace, not question His plan or benevolence. The Christian life is not philosophy, it’s faith. It’s not about gathering information, it’s about life transformation.
The truth is….we can’t handle the truth. You and I are not God and the best thing we can do today and every day is to admit this and be okay with it. We must learn to trust in His plan and His promises and admit our complete and total dependence upon His wisdom and power. May we not presume or assume things about God just because we know a few verses. Let’s confess our sin, admit our lack, turn from our arrogance, and submit to His will.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, you are so incredibly awesome. I cannot fathom your holiness and wisdom. I’m sorry for ever questioning you or living walking in pride and arrogance toward others. I am spiritually bankrupt apart from you. Fill me with Your Spirit and your wisdom today. I am desperate for you. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.