Wrapping Up Job

It has been a shamefully long time since I posted anything here. I could list any number of excuses, but the fact of the matter is that I forgot how much I need this time. The format serves me well (whether it helps you at all is another question altogether, but I hope it does). So here I am, concluding my thoughts on Job.

Chapter 41 is an extension of the argument found in chapter 40, in which God uses examples from nature to show just how little Job understands about being in control. As the creators of Bible footnotes everywhere insist on pointing out, many scholars try to explain away the leviathan as little more than a crocodile. I guess it could be that simple, but I don’t think so. I prefer to call the leviathan a leviathan and take the description at face value.

But for me Chapter 42 is the real treat. Job’s response should humble anyone not named “God”:

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.

I’m guilty of doing this just about every day. Sometimes I think Christians fall in love with the Bible simply because it allows us to feel like we’re holding a paginated, leather-bound version of God in our hands. It’s comforting and empowering to believe that God has revealed His truth to us in exhaustive fashion—what idiots we can be.

The Bible is God’s message to us, not an unabridged owner’s manual. And it’s not as though anyone really understands the Bible completely either. We can study it and grasp its truth to give us ample wisdom for all that we do and experience . . . but no man’s Bible knowledge is without its problems and limitations.

Yet I can go months on end feeling as though I get it, I don’t need the Bible, and I understand God perfectly well enough to go about my daily routine without trampling all over His plans and desires for me.

Job realized how limited his understanding was, repented, prayed on his friends behalf, and received all sorts of wonderful gifts from the Lord. Just on the other side of his sufferings and grumblings was a mountain of blessings. I wonder how much of that I’ve missed because I’ve been lost in my own darkened stream of consciousness?

Not too much, I hope.

Verse of the Moment: 1 Cor. 1:17

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” 1 Corinthians 1:17

How interesting that Paul was glad to have not done something inherently good because it allowed him to escape the glorification of his personality? He earnestly feared becoming the face of his ministry and becoming the object of worship.
The cliché goes, “don’t blame the messenger,” but Paul was afraid people would praise the messenger. He was happy to detach his name from the baptism of the saints so they would know they were baptized into the family of Christ and not the family of Paul.
Yet how quick am I to take credit for the small things I do? How much do I long to hear my name associated with anything recognized as significant for the cause of Christ? Maybe not so I can receive glory, but at least my share of the pie. I need to trust in God to provide all I need, not the cult of personality within the Christian culture. I hope I can remember that.