Sunday 9 July 2023

God's Final Word - Job 39 - 41

After all of Job's words and discussions with his friends, Job gets his wish! God addresses him directly. Curiously God barely addresses the content of Job's complaints. Instead God gives Job a kind of IMAX cinema experience giving a cosmic tour of creation - the equivalent of a helicopter ride over mountain ranges, looking out towards space, and then from that high level view down to the intricacies of nature.

Through this God questions Job directly: 'Where were you when I did this? Have you given the orders for this provision? Do you know about this?'. It might seem harsh, but it was actually what Job had asked for (e.g. back in chapter 23). Among God's questions he effectively asks 'Would you discredit my justice to justify yourself?'. Here God is saying something like: 'Job - you are doing the classic thing that humans do: you attack someone else to justify or big-up yourself'. Through it all God is saying: 'Look: I have not only created  ... but I also continuously hold creation. My justice runs at the same time as providing spring rains, governing night & day, looking after animals in the wild as they have their young and (much much more!)'.

So with all that God asks: "Would you put yourself above me?". God, in one of His earliest big revelations to a person allowed that person to ask God his name. God replied with the Hebrew word 'YAHWEH' which simply means 'I am' or 'I am who I am' - God who is beyond understanding and who holds things. Our best response to this is: "God - you are God ... which means I am not!". Recognise God and who we are in relation to Him!

In our human bodies we have circa 3 trillion cells. Every minute cells renew (old ones die, new are formed) ... to the tune of 300 million or so, which means millions every second! Yet not one of us, even if we concentrated really hard, could increase that renewal rate by 10% !! The whole thing happens by God's grace - we have no option but to trust God for it continuing. Consider a baby just a few weeks old - the tiny fingers, its soft breathing and yet steady heartbeat. In that small bundle there are again trillions of cells. What can our response be to such things? Surely it is to worship, to say: "God - this is amazing: you are God, I am not!".

When we are faced with this wonder, maybe there is jut one appropriate reaction: to bow down, to collapse, even to a heap on the floor in worship ... to be completely undone before God. Some of us will have literally had that experience. Others will have had that 'undone' experience though not necessarily a heap on the floor. For any who have not had that experience my prayer is for revelation - that you get a sense of God, and are open to that sense, that leads you to submit with your own 'wow God' moment.

I would urge you not to resist. For in resisting you are trying to say: "I am god ... He is not!", which is the wrong way round.

Job in chapter 42 finally submits to all this, saying: "Okay God, you are way bigger - I sit here in the dust". He gives up on his own logical explanations and arguing. He trades all those for simply being held by God. That is the same exchange we make when we become followers of Jesus. We say 'my logic isn't enough ... it's over to you God - I'll let you in, I will be held by you'. We choose to submit to Him ... to let God be God, and recognise that we are not!

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