Monday, April 6, 2009

Finally...God Speaks.

Job 38:1 - "And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm."

All this time, God has been patient with all of these "characters", and then it's almost like He's saying, "Are you finished?" Job has spoken, spoken, and spoken his mind some more. Now it's God's turn to speak His mind.

In the midst of Job's lament, the winds began to blow again. It seems that another storm is brewing. The dark thunderheads are low on the horizon, and they are blown quickly across the heavens. In their midst are loud claps of thunder and bright lightening. Then suddenly, "the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind." A great wind that was first the source of Job's afflictions is now the place from which God speaks.

Let Me amaze you, says God, by the complexity and intricacy of it all! From the foundation of the earth (38:4) when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God in the heavenly court shouted for joy (38:7), that joyous celebration of the Creator has been sung ever since. Consider the sea, held back from its chaotic power (38:8-11), the skies, the deep, the light, and the darkness (38:12-21)...Think of the animals too! Can you hunt prey for the lioness (38:39)? Who provides for the ravens (38:41)? What about the life-giving power of birth - for the mountain goats (39:1); the wild asses (39:5); the wild oxen (39:9)? Come round with me Job: See these things; wonder at them; enjoy them. You cannot control them, but they are under my control says God...

Sometimes we will most help distressed people - help them draw nearer to God, from the depths of depression - not by teaching them doctrine, or by preaching our best sermon, or by showing them the error of their ways, but by walking with them round the garden, by taking them to see a waterfall or a sunset, by helping them recover an enjoyment in the world.

Job 39:13 - "The ostrich flaps her wings futilely - all those beautiful feathers, but useless!"

Leave it to God to pull a stunt like this...maybe Job even laughed out loud at this picture of the dumb, clumsy ostrich, without a grain of sense in her tiny head. Who can consider the duck-billed platypus or the blue-footed booby without thinking, "What a joker God is!"

The Lord's quirky sense of humor, however, is more than just a laughing matter. It also poses some rather profound questions. In the world of animals it is fine to give a creature feathers and wings and two legs like a bird, and yet withhold from it the power of flight. But what about when the Lord allows this sort of thing in a humban being? What about the diabled child who will never learn to walk, or perhaps never grow up at all? Do we laught about this too? Or do we conclude that God is cruel?

Life's underlying order may not always be humanly comprehensible. But we must believe and trust that Divine Order is always there.

In His response to Job the Lord does not supply any of the missing cards. All He does is to say, in effect, "Here is the deck, learn to play with it. Learn to live without knowing everything. What does it matter whether I give you great wisdom or only a little? Compared to all there is to know, it is still only a pittance, and therefore many things are going to strike you as preposterous or even insane. So get used to it. Get used to my absurdity, and live by faith rather than by sight. Be like the ostrich: though you cannot fly, you can still flap your wings joyfully!"


Beth Moore -...Yet Will I Trust Him: A Study of Job
Daniel Tomberlin - Wind of Terror, Wind of Glory
Mike Mason - The Gospel According To Job

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