Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Dinosaurs, Job, God and YOU!"

Day #125

Scripture Reading:  Job 41 - 42 …

As God questions Job He points out some of the creatures He had created, including the behemoth and the leviathan.  Some have said these are imaginary animals or symbols of the spiritual enemies of man, but neither of those explanations fits the purpose of God's questions.  It is God's intention to teach Job or to remind him and convince him that God's wisdom and power so far exceed Job's wisdom and power that Job is foolish to contend with God or to charge Him with acting unjustly, as if He could not bring to pass whatever He desires.

It has been suggested, based on the discovery of certain dinosaur bones, that Job was describing two different types of dinosaurs.  Of course, this is a problem if millions of years separated men and dinosaurs, but the Bible indicates otherwise.  God's "conversation" with Job is intended to help Job understand God's greatness so that Job would know God and trust Him … no matter what!  We need to have that same confidence, yet the same enemy who was trying to persuade Job not to believe in God tries to deceive people today through the lies of the teaching of evolution.  Here in the book of Job, God speaks of things that confirm the fact of His creation and the timing of His creation, as well as His wisdom and power in creating and sustaining all that He made for His purposes.

We have seen repeatedly that it was and is God's desire to reveal Himself to those whom He chooses, and Job was one of these … perhaps one of the first with whom God spoke.  The account of Job's life began with him worshiping the God of creation and it ends with Job giving this testimony:  "My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes" (42:5-6).  Like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:1-5, Job's reaction in beholding a glimpse of God's glory was an overwhelming sense of inadequacy, humility, brokenness and shame.

People today seem to want to approach God without any of these.  Today we hear, "God is love," and people come to Him to get what they can and then walk away.  Such is not the nature of God.  At the end of God's questioning Job replies by saying, "I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.  You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know" (42:1-3).  Isaiah responded the same way.  Our approach to God must be like Job's at the beginning and at the end of his experience:  "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.  The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised" (1:21) and "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (2:10).

God sovereignly rules over all things.  That's the point of His questioning of Job.  After this, God speaks to Eliphaz, one of Job's friends, and says, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken of me what is right" (42:7).  They had told Job that troubles are God's messengers to punish those who do wrong, but God makes it clear that He only disciplines those He loves and that He is wise enough and powerful enough to bring good out of evil.  Satan is the author of Job's problems, of his suffering and his trials.  All the suffering in this world is the consequence of Satan, evil, temptation and sin.  While God allows it for His purposes, He is the Author only of that which is good and right and perfect.

As He did with Job, God promises to overrule evil in the end and to bless those who trust in Him.  "The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first!" (42:12).  God may do that even today for some.  But God has PROMISED to do that for EVERY person who trusts in Him when they enter into the new world that He will create.  How quickly would many today exchange eternity for an easy life in this world, a life filled with only good things and no trials.  Given the choice, many would say, "I want it all, and I want it NOW!" 

Some might ask:  "Why can't we have BOTH?  Why doesn't God give us an easy life now and then eternal life in the future?"  Well, you can be like Job and question God, or you can accept God's Word when He says that His ways are not your ways and that in our bearing suffering and trials by the power of God our testimony to the world is enhanced and made all the more powerful.  Wasn't that the whole point of what we have been reading in Job?  Satan believed that anyone would serve God if they had the kind of "charmed" life that Job had at the beginning.  What Satan could not believe was that anyone would continue to worship God if God took it all away:  "Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face" (1:11).

But as low as Job got, with the “help” of his friends, he never cursed God.  He protested too much, He questioned what God was doing and why, but he did not stop believing in God or desiring to worship God.  What about you and me?  How do you handle trials and suffering when they come?  Are you tempted toward despair?  Do you wonder if God is punishing you for some sin?  Do you accuse God of wrongdoing?  If you KNOW God … if you really know God as He reveals Himself to Job, you will worship Him and praise Him because you know He is worthy, for He alone is God.

We today can know our God, our Creator, even better than Job did, for we know that He kept His promise to send a Savior and in Jesus Christ God has revealed the way to come to Him for forgiveness and eternal life!!!  We who believe have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade away, reserved in heaven for us, even though now, in this life, we are called to face trials and suffering and to live by faith (I Peter 1:3-5). We will not fear, for our God is with us!  Our God reigns!  Let the earth be glad and let His people rejoice!!

"Almighty and everlasting God, YOU are my Creator and I worship You for Who You ARE!  I need You and I thank You for Your steadfast love and compassion through Your Son Jesus Christ.  Fill me now with Your Spirit and give me eyes to see Your glory in the creation around me, and wisdom to trust You in the midst of life's trials.  You are ALL I need and to You I give my life, in Jesus' name, Amen"

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