Monday, May 2, 2016

"Let him who accuses God answer Him ..."

Day #124

Scripture Reading:  Job 39 - 40 ...

People who say it is all right to question God and to accuse Him of injustice need to read the book of Job.  Since the first sin in the Garden of Eden mankind has fallen prey to the false idea that we are wiser than God and that we can and should question how God uses His power.  After all, God understands our need for answers and if He loves us He should explain Himself and reveal everything that He is doing.  Then we will be the judges of whether it is good or bad, right or wrong!  Of course, such a mentality effectively reverses the roles of God and man.  It becomes quickly obvious in Job’s life that God is not about to abdicate His throne and submit Himself to the rule of those whom He has Himself created!!

Some read these chapters of Job and put their hands over their mouths and gasp!  Did God really say that to Job?  Did God really say to Job, "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?  Let him who accuses God answer Him" (40:2)?  Did God really say - not once, but twice, "Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you will answer Me"? (38:2, 40:7).  Yes!  He did.  But why?  Because Job, like many people today, accused God of acting unjustly.  This was not where Job had begun, but it was where he ended up after the horrible counsel of his friends, which made Job try to defend himself by accusing GOD!!  But as young Elihu said, "There is more to be said in God's behalf" (36:2).

God is compassionate, loving, kind, gracious and merciful.  He is PATIENT with those who cry out to Him for help in the midst of suffering and trials.  He lifts up those who are distressed; He encourages the faint of heart and strengthens the weak.  God is our "ever-present help in times of trouble" (Psalm 46:1).  God NEVER does anything wrong!  When Abraham was asking God if he would spare Sodom if there were fifty righteous people, he declared, "Far be it from you to do such a thing - to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike.  Far be it from you!  Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:24-25).

The answer to that question is, "YES!" And anyone who knows God ... anyone who knows the one true God who reveals Himself in His Word, in His Son Jesus Christ and throughout the centuries ... anyone who KNOWS God should never question God's justice or accuse Him of doing wrong. Such questioning is not only incapable of bringing any comfort, but is an affront to God's character!  In the case of Abraham and his pleas for God to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of the righteous, the truth was that there was not even ONE person who was righteous in the sight of God, including Lot and his family!!  And in the case of Job, though a good man, HE wasn’t righteous either!  And neither are you ... and neither am I. 

God continues His questioning of Job in Chapter 39 by pointing out His sovereign rule over all the creatures He has made.  After this barrage of questions in Chapters 38-39, Job answers God's challenge with these words, "I am unworthy - how can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth.  I spoke once, but I have no answer - twice, but I will say no more" (40:4-5).  More people should swear silence and keep their accusations to themselves.  “Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10).

The words, "I'm not worthy," are often being used to suggest a false humility.  People don't really think they are unworthy.  Some people may have a low self-image and say they don't deserve anything good, but it is usually because they think they have failed in some way or because they feel guilty, not because they believe they are unworthy.  Most people declare that they DESERVE better.  When people are going through trials and suffering, they are often told they don't deserve such hardships.  People really believe that most people have somehow earned a "good" life without trials.  It is that mistaken idea that actually causes people to resist the Gospel and leads to God's judgment.  If you think you are worthy, why do you need a Savior?

God is not being mean to Job, but asks him a very logical question:  "Would you discredit my justice?  Would you condemn ME to justify YOURSELF?” (40:8).  The majority of humanity rejects the true Gospel because it declares every human being guilty before God and worthy of His judgment. Furthermore, many in the church today have fallen for a counterfeit gospel that virtually ignores God's holiness and justice and assures people that God is LOVE ... therefore, ALL people (or at least almost all people) will go to heaven based on their being "good enough" and God being a God of love and grace.  People actually believe they are worthy!

GOD says that ALL people are unworthy and that ONLY by His grace can anyone be saved.  God gave His SON so that those who believe would be saved, and those who believe are those whom God has chosen, those who are born again by His Spirit, and who then place their faith in Christ alone, knowing that they have been saved by GRACE alone ... and the result is that GOD receives the glory.  To those who accuse God of wrongdoing, Paul answers:  "Is God unjust?  Not at all! ... Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?" (Romans 9:14, 20).

You and I need to understand, to really grasp the truth that God is the ONLY one who IS just!!  You aren't and I am not.  We have sinned and we live in a fallen world where the consequences of our sin and that of sinful humanity include suffering, pain and death.  God has provided the cure in His Son Jesus Christ, and now you must humble yourself, confess your unworthiness and come to the Father through faith in Jesus, admitting that you have nothing to offer that earns anything, let alone God's forgiveness and eternal life in His presence.  The good news of the GOSPEL is that the gift of God is eternal life through faith in Jesus!!

Confess your unworthiness and place your trust in Jesus today!  HE is just and He is worthy of our praise!!

"Father, Jesus said that the truth would set us free, and in hearing, understanding and accepting the truth about ourselves and about YOU we find freedom from the need to try to justify ourselves when we know we are guilty.  Instead, we can embrace Your grace and find joy in forgiveness.  Thank You, Father, for Your sovereign grace to me and all who believe.  Without You I am nothing.  I am humbled by Your love and give YOU all my praise!  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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