Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday January 29th, 2016: Job 36-39 ~ Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is: Job 36-39

In chapter 36, Elihu continues on with his words of "knowledge" and "understanding" to Job.  Despite Elihu's perspective of himself and his perfect in knowledge claim, there were some verses that stood out to me in this chapter.

“God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty, and firm in His purpose."  Job 36:5

God is all powerful, and God's power assures the fulfillment of His purpose.  Whether we want to accept His purpose or not, His will, will be done.  God has a purpose for executing both goodness and justice, so we ought to place our faith in God, and gain our understanding of His purpose from Him.

"If they obey and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment."  Job 36:11

I do not agree with Elihu's theology here, which is the same as Job's three friends, but I found it interesting that people today are really not different than back then.  People want to be content and happy and think that if we do good things, good things will happen to us.  Just before I read the passage and wrote this post, I was driving home and saw a lady by herself in her van with a flat tire.  My first thought was that I should provide some assistance because if Pamela or one of our girls were in that situation, I would want someone to help them out too.  Kind of the "paying it forward" idea.  So I turned around to offer my limited car fixing ability to her in hopes that one day if needed, someone else would do the same for my girls.  How silly.

“The godless in heart harbor resentment; even when He fetters them, they do not cry for help.  They die in their youth, among male prostitutes of the shrines.  But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.  Job 36: 13-15

Elihu is talking about people who do not know God.  However, if we do not cast our cares upon Him, and we pile up one grievance on top of the other, then we are not yielding to God and will not hear His voice in our suffering.  Even Elihu realized that the basic spiritual need of man stems from the hardness of his heart.

Elihu then continues on with how great and infinite God is, and that He is greater than anything we could ever imagine or figure out (vs 26).  He continues on and describes some of God's creation and the passage reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects.  He begins chapter 37 by saying that his heart pounds and leaps from its place because he is stunned by His creation.  

Am I stunned by His creation?  Do I give enough praise to God when He sends the thunder?  How everyday the sun and moon provide their light and the clouds form from nowhere.  Can I say that I have given God the glory He deserves in His creation, how He commands the wind, the sun, the moon, the lakes, the rain, the clouds, and (I guess even the snow) and they obey?  I can safely say, that I have not.  My knowledge is limited and I cannot fathom the magnificence and magnitude of His creation.

God begins to speak to Job in chapters 38-39, and He quickly addresses the fact that no matter how wise a person may be, we can not be as wise as God.  God points out the mysteries of His creation, and since man has so little understanding of this, how can man presume to understand the action of God as in the case of the trial of Job?

These two chapters are full of illustrations of nature that are beyond man's comprehension with regard to their origin, or means of accomplishment.  They also demonstrate God's disdain for man's understanding of the ways of God in light of the fact that those who spoke to Job represented themselves as great men of wisdom.  God is just setting the record straight on their actual level of understanding.

We need to be careful to not be like Job and his friends.  It is easy speak about issues with uncertainty, and base it on a hunch and not a fact.  In times of need and direction, my prayer is that I will go back to the Bible for my counsel, and base my decision on what the scripture says.


Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: Job 40-42

4 comments:

Nathan Reimer said...

36:11

"if they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment."

This verse also caught my attention because this attitude exists today just as it did back then, almost like a credit card points system - the more we do for God the more points we receive here on earth. It's an attitude that is easy to fall into and we need to be aware that God's ways are different than out ways, we can't earn a trip to heaven.

Also like chapters 38 and 39, they remind us how little we know and how great God is. A good portion of scripture to go back to when we or others are going through times when our faith is low.



TammyIsBlessed said...

We totally take God's creation for granted! At times we do voice our awe at the magnificence of creation - particularly when we see one of the natural wonders of the world, or even a spectacularly beautiful sunset - but do we purposefully take the awe and give God the glory for His creative work? It truly is amazing and beyond our comprehension.

Funker said...

I love that God shows up and does not answer Job's questions. His Sovereignty means He answers to no one.

Pamela said...

I kept hearing the lyrics of Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable" as I read through God's response to Job. Especially these words:
Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow
Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night
None can fathom

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

We literally cannot wrap our heads around God's creation and how intricately it works together.