Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?"

Day #131:  Daily Bible Reading Plan - May 8th

Scripture Reading:  Job 37 - 38 ...

For those who have read the book of Job before and who know how it ends, by the time you get to Chapter 37 you are beyond eager to get to Chapter 38, where God finally speaks to Job Himself.  But first, Chapter 37 and the words of young Elihu.  It is a continuation of the testimony Elihu began in Chapter 34.  In Chapter 36, verse 2, Elihu said, "Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's behalf."  When you get to Chapter 38, you read in verse 1:  "Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm ..."  What storm?

The storm Elihu apparently sees or anticipates as he speaks in Chapter 37 ...  He begins, "At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place.  Listen!  Listen to the roar of His voice ... "  (37:1-2).  As you read through this chapter you can sense the anticipation in Elihu's mind and heart and voice.  GOD is coming!!  What a testimony Elihu gives!  He testifies to God's majesty and power and all that God displays throughout the earth "so that all men He has made may know His work" (37:7).  It reminds me of two passages of Scripture immediately:  Psalm 19:1-4 and Romans 1:20-21 ...

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.  There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.  Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world" (Psalm 19:1-4).

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20-21).

Elihu knows God!  And he wants to remind Job WHO GOD IS!!  His questions prepare the way for God to speak:  "Do you know ... ?  Do you know ... ?  Can you ... ?"  It is as though Elihu is saying what God is about to say, "Job, who do you think YOU are?"  And now ... and now, here comes God: "Out of the north He comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty.  The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power ..." (37:22-23).  And now the moment I, and hopefully, YOU, have been waiting for ...

Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm.  He said, "Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?" (38:1).  So begins an array of questions unmatched anywhere in human literature or history that takes four chapters to complete.  Those who do not know God might wonder about God's mercy or compassion in challenging Job like this after all he has been through, but remember, God's purpose for Job is GOOD.  Job NEEDS the TRUTH and God is a God of truth.  Sometimes, oftentimes, the most compassionate thing we can do is confront people with the truth ... GOD's truth.

God is not being mean.  He wants Job to THINK:  "Where were you when ...  Have you ever ...  Have you journeyed ...  Have you seen ...  Have you comprehended?  Tell Me, if you know all this!"  (38:4-18).  And the questions keep coming:  "Can you? ...  Can you? ...  Can you? ...  Can you? ... Can you?"  (38:31-34).  And then, "Who? ...  Who? ... Who? ...  Who? ..." (38:36-41).  There is simply no one like God, who has done all these things, who has journeyed to the far reaches of the universe, who has seen everything (before He created it), who comprehends everything.  He is the God who CAN do anything and He is the one WHO has made it all for His glory!!

And as much as God wanted Job to think, He wants you and me to think, to know, to believe, to understand that He is God and there is no other, because in knowing Him, our Creator, we find what we need, what our soul longs for, what only HE can satisfy ... LIFE in its fulness, life with all of its purpose and meaning and joy and ... eternal, everlasting LIFE!!  I pray that you have heard His voice and that you have found life in Him through faith in His Son Jesus Christ by the work of His Spirit within you.

"Almighty God, I confess that I continue to be amazed at Your majesty, Your splendor, Your glory ... and now we know only in part ... then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known.  I praise You, Father, for revealing Yourself to me and I am so thankful, so very humbled and thankful to know You as MY God, as my Creator, as my Savior and my Lord!  I am in awe of You and I love You!!!!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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