Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"A little knowledge is dangerous!"

Day #33:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - January 30th

Scripture Reading:  Job 9 - 10 ...

Oh Job ... Job ... Job ... you know God, but you don't know God!  You declare that He is Almighty and that He controls the sun and the stars.  You proclaim that He brings judgment and you confess that you do not deserve His mercy.  You testify that He gave you life and showed you kindness, and that in His providence He watched over your spirit (10:14).  Yet, you accuse God of punishing you and imagine that there is no difference between the blameless and the wicked (9:22) - that He treats both the same.

A little knowledge is dangerous.  The book of Job reveals a man who worshiped God, who sought God, who knew some right things about God, but who needed to go deeper, to learn more, to grow!  How many people know some things about God, but are in serious error in understanding His character and how He works in the world?  That's why WE have God's Word.

Job needed to know ... YOU need to know, that God does not, cannot cause evil AND that He does not cause us to suffer or even allow us to suffer without reason.  As Job tries to understand, he foolishly and wrongly says that God "mocks the despair of the innocent" (9:23) and that "when a land falls into the hands of the wicked, He blindfolds its judges" (9:24) - "If it is not He, then who is it?" (9:24).  To accuse God of wrongdoing is never a good place to go.  To question God's justice is to reveal one's own ignorance.

Job cries out, "If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God's rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.  Then I would speak up without fear of Him" (9:33-35).   Job wants someone to stand between him and God and to bring reconciliation.  He could not know God's plan to do exactly that because the reality is, even though Job misunderstood what was happening to him and why, he NEEDED a Mediator.

You and I need a Mediator, too ... but not to persuade God to be merciful.  He already IS merciful, and it was His love that sent His own Son to BE our Mediator, to pay our debt and to reconcile us to the Father.  "God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them ... We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We beg you on Christ's behalf:  Be reconciled to God!"  (II Corinthians 5:19-20).

Knowing God as He reveals Himself in His Word is necessary to avoid the reaction of Job ... to question God, to engage in self-pity and to end up being afraid of God rather than loving God.  Jesus does what Job was asking for:  He removes God's rod so that His terror does not frighten us and enables us to speak of God without fear!!  Job needed Jesus ... and so do you and I.  Praise God for the gift of His Son and for the knowledge He gives to those who seek Him.

"Lord God Almighty, I seek You and desire to know You above all else.  My heart yearns for You, my God.  You are worthy of praise and I thank You for Your providence, for Your salvation, for Your Son!! In Jesus, I come to You without fear, knowing You are a God of holiness and justice, but also a God of compassion, mercy and grace.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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