Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Now I see

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You. – Job 42.5

Job had heard all about God. He had heard about who God was and what God could do. His head had always said God could do all of these things – but know He had seen with his own eyes who God was.

This reminds me of Thomas who had to see Jesus’ wounds before he would believe it was Jesus. That was fine, but how much better it would have been if Thomas could have believed without having to see.

In the New Testament we are challenged with the very clear words ‘we walk by faith, not by sight.’ We also read that faith is the evidence of things we have not yet seen. We read a lot about believing without seeing but many of us still live by the axiom ‘seeing is believing.’

Job was a man who loved God and hated evil – and still be struggled with believing until he actually saw things from God’s perspective. I think the key here is not so much seeing physically, but seeing God for who He is and seeing the problem from His perspective. Remember Job just said ‘You can do everything’ and with that in mind we see that those major obstacles are nothing to God.

Oh for that wonderful day when all of our faith shall be sight! 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

You can do everything

Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. - Job 42:1-2

As this marvellous book comes to a close Job, after all those chapters of dialogue, finally gets his heart sorted. Though Job had spent a long time wondering what was going on and doubting God and not seeing his place in the plan now he says the amazing words ‘I know that you can do anything and Your purposes will be accomplished.

How many times are we told in the word of God truths like this? ‘You can do everything.’ ‘Nothing is impossible with God.’ ‘For with God all things are possible.’ ‘Is anything too hard for the Lord?’

I know all that – in theory. I know and love the word of God. I know that all of these verses are true.

Why then do I still doubt God? Why then do I still fret about the future? Why then do I try to figure out how can sort all of this out?

When it comes right down to it the problem is that my faith is weak. Job rightly points out that God can do everything. Roger says ‘God can do everything – well maybe not the things I worry about. They might just be beyond Him.’

It sounds really awful when we put it there in black and white.

Do you and I really believe that God can do everything? Can He really take care of that problem or that situation or that need that we face? Can He? 

Monday, 24 October 2016

Man up

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: "Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: "Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendour, And array yourself with glory and beauty. - Job 40:6-10

Job had decided to sit up and let God teach Him, and God did just that. God starts with the words ‘prepare yourself like a man…’ In today’s slang we would say that ‘man up.’

I hope ‘man up’ is not a sexist phrase, but I think we all have the idea. When we ‘get in trouble’ over something it can be tempting to try and make excuses and get out of trouble.

I think I am glad that I don’t have to see God face to face when He deals with my sin and by doubts and my lack of faith. I am glad that He deals with me through His word and as the Holy Spirit.

When I am confronted with my sin there is no room for excuses or passing the blame. When I am in sin and God reveals it to me it is time to man up and get things sorted. By manning up I admit my sin, I repent, I confess my sin and forsake it.

May I have the character to man up when God deals with my sin. 

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Shut my mouth

"Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further." - Job 40:4-5

When confronted with the truths of who God was Job only had one response – ‘I will lay my hand over my mouth, I have said enough, I will say no more.’

Really though, what else could he do? God had confronted Job in a way that Job did not have answer. What would you or I say if God said to us ‘where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?’

I don’t know, but I think I might still have been stubborn enough to say a few repetitions of ‘yeah, buts’ but that would not do any good. God was right like He always is.

How many times would do well to just put my hand over my mouth and let God work. My complained is me telling Him that I know best.

I can be one of those who has a hard time just shutting up and listening. God can speak to be through His word and even though I don’t say it exactly I can have a ‘yeah, but’ attitude.

I need to just do like Job, keep my mouth shut, and let God teach me. 

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Lord answered Job

Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said: "Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let him answer it." Then Job answered the LORD and said: - Job 40:1-3

‘The Lord answered Job!’

What a statement that is. God, the creator and sustainer of heaven and earth answered Job the sinner.

I think this has got to be one of the greatest verses of scripture. The fact that God would condescend to answer Job and his issues and complaints amazes me. Why would God answer Job? Is God answerable to man? Does God have to explain Himself to us?

Of course He doesn’t have to explain anything. His ways are far above our ways and is thoughts are far above our thoughts and He is doing what He is doing whether we get it or not.

Does that sound harsh? Don’t we do things our children can’t understand and then expect them to trust us?

No, God didn’t have to answer Job – but he did answer him. God loves His creation so much that He is willing to condescend and talk to us.

And He didn’t just talk to Job, He talks to us today through His word. God loves us so much that He talked to Job directly and He talks to us as well. All we have to do is to go to His word and find the answers.

But God still does not have to explain it all. Sometimes His ways are so far above ours that we have to simply accept them by faith. God did not tell Job why, but He told Job enough about Himself for Job to trust Him. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Where were you Job?

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: "Who is this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.  - Job 38:1-4

Job’s friends were done. They had said their peace and given their views and questioned God and given their opinions and in some cases had really tried to help.

But now we read the awesome words that we’ll talk about a little bit more tomorrow – ‘the Lord answered Job.’

But today I want to look at the next words as God asks Job a question – ‘Where were you Job?’ For the next many verses God queries Job about why he thinks he is so smart. In verse after verse God reminds Job of the wonders He has done and asks Job where he was when it all happened.

We might think that Job was foolish and that it was about time God called him up on it.

But what about you and me? What about when things don’t go the way we think is best? What happens when we look down the road and can’t see how it is going to work out?

Aren’t we the same as Job? Aren’t we saying that if we were in control we would have done it better? Aren’t we saying that we know better than God?

And yet where were we when God laid the foundations of the earth? If I wasn’t there who am I to question Him?

Where were we when God laid out His perfect plans? 

Thursday, 20 October 2016

With God is awesome majesty

He comes from the north as golden splendour; With God is awesome majesty. As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, In judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart." - Job 37:22-24

‘Majesty’ is a great word. It is really, well, majestic isn’t it. But in all of its majesty it can be difficult to really grasp what that means. We know that kings and queens can be referred to as ‘your majesty’ and we kind of get it, but what does it mean?

There are a lot of words included with what majesty is. The Hebrew word used here is also translated beauty, excellence, honour, goodliness, and glory.

I think we get an idea with those words. Our God is beautiful in His holiness. He is excellent in every way. He is honourable and good and full of glory. In all of those ways and more he is beyond our understanding.

Do we see the majesty of God on the dark days? Sure, it is easy to see him in his majesty when things are going along swimmingly. We are very aware of his majesty then.

The test comes when His remembering His majesty when life gets rotten and He seems distant.

When that happens it is incumbent on us to look past the troubles to see the majesty of a God who is in our side.