Monday, January 19, 2015

Job 40:6-14 comments: God's challenge to Job

6 ¶  Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, 7  Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8  Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? 9  Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? 10  Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty. 11  Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him. 12  Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place. 13  Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret. 14  Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

Here, in essence is God saying, “get a grip, Job.” God has used commonly understood terms and sarcasm in other places and venues talking to man directly and not in some spiritual-speak so prevalent among Christians. Look at the following passage from Isaiah and see how God expresses amazement at how stupid idolatrous man is. Your skilled craftsmen make a molten image or cut down a tree, make a fire with it, warm your hands, bake your bread, and then you worship what’s left as your god? What gives? Are you nuts?

Isaiah 44:9 ¶  They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 10  Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? 11  Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed: and the workmen, they are of men: let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together. 12  The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint. 13  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. 14  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it. 15  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto. 16  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire: 17  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god. 18  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. 19  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree? 20  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Here is another example of God speaking plainly to rebellious and foolish human beings.

2Kings 21:13  And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down.

God tells Job, very clearly, to do what God does and express the power that God expresses, and then, and only then will God acknowledge Job’s power as equal. Of course, this is an absurdity. Job knows he can’t save himself. If he could he wouldn’t be in the situation that he is. God is teaching Job about His sovereignty, His dominion, His rule over Job which Job has been questioning.

The Bible teaches God’s sovereignty in great detail and shows man that he is very weak and powerless in comparison and that mankind needs to lean on God’s wisdom, depend on His power, and seek His mercy and grace to survive and prosper. Christians try to resolve their problem with God’s sovereignty by limiting that dominion in saying that this or that was a matter of good or bad luck, this or that was a random event, or that God set up natural processes which basically function on their own without His direct intervention. These are all blasphemous insults against God and a denial of what the Bible is clearly teaching.

The Book of Job teaches that there is not a breeze, not a cloud in the sky, not a nova exploding a million light-years away that God has not been intimately involved with in its manifestation. Every process of so-called nature and the physical universe, in every moment of time, is an act of God. People have defined miracles as God interrupting the, “natural order.” However, the Bible teaches us that existence itself and every function of it is a miracle, a singular act of God, while a miracle is an event caused by God as a sign, a warning, for a specific purpose out of what we ordinarily expect that shows God’s power over that process to us. The reality of God’s sovereignty is disturbing and, indeed, staggering to ponder.

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