Sunday, June 28, 2009

Job 38

Last Sunday's Old Testament was from Job 38. I understood the obvious point that it meshed with the Gospel reading (Mark 4 -- Jesus' stilling the storm). But Pastor chose verses 4-6 as our verse for the week.

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements?
Surely you know!
Or who stretched out the line upon it?
To what were its foundations fastened?
Or who laid its cornerstone?

And I thought, "WHAT???"

But you know what? It's kinda nifty.

Where else do we hear about the "line" being stretched out? In Psalm 19, where it's talking not just about the creation of the world and the sun and stars, but about the angels being created in the heavens too, and that they preach the Gospel and their voice goes out into all the world.

Where else do we hear about a cornerstone? Psalm 91 and Psalm 118 & Matthew 21.

Oh, and then in Ephesians 2 we hear about the household of God which is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.

What was Job's problem? Was it that he didn't believe God was powerful? Did Job think that God had somehow lost control of the world? Or was it that he was doubting whether God cared about him?

The disciples in the boat? Was their problem unbelief in God's raw power? Or was it also found in their doubt that Jesus cared whether they were perishing? They were wow-ed by the fact that the wind and sea obeyed Jesus, but not just that ...

He whom the sea and wind obey
doth come to serve the sinner in great meekness.
Thou, God's own Son, with us art one --
dost join us and our children in our weakness. (TLH 81)

So when Job sasses God and when the disciples holler that Jesus doesn't care about them, God's response in these verses is not Calvinistic. It's not just that God's the Big Cheese who's got all the power. The response is that Job didn't understand who this God is. Job and the disciples didn't understand His mercy. This God knew from the very beginning that His Son would save sinners, that the Gospel would be preached by the apostles, and that the angels would rejoice over the salvation of the lost. The foundation and cornerstone of the earth was laid when the angels shouted for joy ... which they did over the Lamb who was slain to rescue the lost sheep.

Would you sass back to a God who planned from before He made you that He would save you? Would you sass back to a God who took every one of your griefs and bore it for you? Would you sass back to a God who arranged for the means to draw you to Himself? If saving you took some pretty humongous pains on His part, maybe it's only our blindness to His suffering which makes us so quick to sass back when we get a little suffering like Job's or some storms like the disciples'. If God had said to Job -- if Jesus had said to the disciples -- "Hey, I'm in charge here and I have all the power" that wouldn't cause them to put their hands over their mouths and shut up as happened when the message (Mark 4:39 and Job 40:2) was rather "Hey, I'm in charge here and I have all the power and I'm using it for your good because I love you."

1 comment:

  1. Advertisement: Dr. Scaer's sermon on the Mark 4 text found in the "In Christ" series was a great, great, great sermon. Some of your comments reminded me of it.