When Days End With Why? Part 3 - God Speaks

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, "Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? "Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? "On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, So that an abundance of water will cover you? "Can you send forth lightnings that they may go And say to you, 'Here we are'? "Who has put wisdom in the innermost being Or given understanding to the mind? "Who can count the clouds by wisdom, Or tip the water jars of the heavens, When the dust hardens into a mass And the clods stick together? "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, Or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, When they crouch in their dens And lie in wait in their lair? "Who prepares for the raven its nourishment When its young cry to God And wander about without food? (Job 38:1-7 ; 34-41 NASB)

“He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!” When you sing it – do you think Santa or do you make the leap of applying that to God? His got his list and he is checking it twice after all!!!

Is he the universal Santa? A slot machine of miracles for the right amount? A confessor in the darkness? Does he even care? Or is there a better question behind our “whys?”

Do you want God or just God's gifts? It is a question at the heart of Larry Crabb's book Shattered Dream. Dr. Crabb speaks from his own experience with both cancer and his career in ministry.

Ask yourself – What are you wanting from God? (A good job? Meaning for life? Wealth? Healing?) Who taught you this? Is it Scriptural? Is it grounded firmly on God's Word?

I have been called a good man. What does that mean? In this world and in this society, what does that mean? What does it count for? My being a “good man” doesn't influence people to change behavior or even make them listen. What does it count with God? He is no score keeper – it will do no good for you to think about God that way.

If God were to be a score keeper, then it would be like the umpire this past week in the Tiger's game. No one will remember how many calls he nailed in his career or how many World Series he served in. He robbed Galaragga of the call. No matter all that God gives, we'll hold it against God – like Job's friends, the accountants – God is tracking the box scores and the tally sheet. BUT Job ain't buying it.

Job says, “God is no where to be found.” BUT he is wrong there. Job, in his suffering and grief, is stuck at Janet Hagberg calls “The Wall” in her theory of spiritual growth. Job cannot go back – the accounting method doesn't work but he is struggling before this huge “Why?” But God is more concerned about Job than he thinks – It was God who pointed Job out in the first place.

Each of his friends, has their own account and Elihu, this friend of Job, places God WAYYYYYY!! up there from us all. He says, “The Almighty, whom we can't reach, is great in power and judgment, has more than enough righteousness, and does not oppress. That is why people should fear him. He does not respect those who think they're wise." (Job 37:23-24 GW)

AND THEN GOD SHOWED UP
Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. "Who is this that belittles my advice with words that do not show any knowledge about it? Brace yourself like a man! I will ask you, and you will teach me. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have such insight.
(Job 38:1-4 GW)

God doesn't come in answering but asking. Is that right? It is a bit dismissive and God pulls no punches on Job's three friends either. But asking good questions is part of teaching. Socrates used it. Rabbis were great. But another was the master....
The pharisees asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” In reply Jesus asked them, “What did Moses command you?”
A rich young man asked, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus asked him, “Why do you call me good.”

BUT what could God say to answer the question “Why?”
How could he explain the loss of 10 children and all that he had?
Sin? No – it doesn't fit the crime.
God's will? Then what kind of God is this? (CS LEWIS)
God shares with Job images of the mystery of creation – an intimate look at God's involvement in the details of life itself. The images show the wildness and still untamed and uncontrollable power of nature. And if a picture is worth a thousand words God said it all, “I am God and you are not.”

God is beyond our control – He is beyond our debating and definitions, our boxes and boisterous natures. The prophecy Isaiah noted God's words, “My ways are not your ways.”

But we're still only looking here at part, we're not done with Job's story and neither is God. The verses which follow move the story forward and move the questions to a better resolution of God's design. After all, God is no score keeper – God seeks something more – a depth of relationship – God didn't give Job answers – God gave himself.

And God has never stopped giving himself. In our anguish, our grief, our pain, our confusion, our betrayals, our sin – God walked among us, human like us, on the cross, he faced death like us and says, “ Here I am. Come follow me.”

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