Day 177: The smallest piece of the puzzle (Job 38-42)

Posted: September 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone-while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment. The wicked are denied their light, and their upraised arm is broken. “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you? Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death? Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell me, if you know all this. – Job 38:4-18

The world revolves around me. My knowledge of the world and the circumstances I experience are all that I know. It’s such a limiting statement, and kind of makes me sound immature. The phrase “The world revolves around you,” is a sarcastic way of reminding someone of their arrogance, conceit or self-involvement. If someone were to come and ask us if we are any of these things, I bet many would deny it. But the truth is, in the grand scheme of existence, we are all defined by the experiences we endure and enjoy.

When Job and his friends finally finish speaking to one another, God explodes onto the scene in a great storm cloud, reminding Job about who He is, peppering him with a flurry of questions no human can answer. Who created the heavens and the earth? Who else has the power to control the elements, nature, creation, the tides and the mountains? Who else has dominion over the earth? Who else can create the stars and constellations in the immense vacuum of space? Who can count the grains of sand on the earth and the clouds in the sky? Who controls the storehouses of snow and hail and lightning? Who else has dominion over the beasts of the earth? What is man compared to the strongest of animals on the planet, nevermind God Himself?

It’s a lengthy lesson for Job, and really, for us, in establishing just how superior God is in comparison to man. God’s words here were not meant to boast to Job or make him feel any smaller. They were spoken to teach Job that God controls everything, and nothing is too big or too small for Him to care about, including Job. It’s interesting to note that God never explains Himself to Job. He never has to, and that, I believe is the most important lesson here. God may never give us complete, or even partial, answers, but the lesson is simply to trust in the God that created everything, including us.

Tough lesson! There have been so many times I have longed for answers for why certain circumstances have come my way. Knowing they may never come this side of eternity has been a struggle, but I know I serve a God bigger than my worries, a God larger than my sorrows and worries, and a God who reigns sovereign over everything in existence. Who am I to question? The wounds may be painful, but my entire life, everything I know, is only the smallest possible piece of the pie compared to the glory of God who loves me.

Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low, look at every proud man and humble him, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you. – Job 40:8-14

It may hurt our pride to admit it, but we have no right to question God’s decisions, as much as it hurts, we don’t have the power to judge God or the right to ask why. God actions have no dependence on our own. This doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care – it simply means that God has the entire picture on his view screen, not the minuscule slice of life we are able to see. Next time you are struggling with a tough situation, a desperate time, or a time of great sorrow – don’t demand answers in your pride. Draw close to God, submit in humility, and He will provide His comfort in the best way He sees fit. We are merely the smallest piece of the puzzle. The sooner we recognize where we stand, the sooner we can come to a place of acceptance that God is sovereign! Take heart in this, and be comforted!

Job was an interesting read. It took me a little longer to get through it than I expected, but I suspect that was for a reason. Perhaps God wanted me to meditate on Job for longer because of some of the circumstances I have faced in my own life. Job’s speeches seemed like exaggerated versions of things I have said to God in my own time during especially tough times … it’s funny because after reading this, I feel that from the beginning, I should have said only what Job said to God and left it at that – but I guess hindsight is 20/20:

“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.”

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