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February 7, Day #38 – Unprepared for the Expected

From God’s omniscient and divine point of view, the Scripture readings for today again reiterate how truly ignorant - and therefore how fully dependent - we are on the one and only God Who knows. The first step we all must take toward knowing anything at all is to realize humbly that we are ignorant of that which we don’t know but need to learn. To become knowledgeable (i.e., informed and/or educated), we must come to grips with our own lack of knowledge. By design, learning is humiliating - it requires us to admit that we don’t know and to submit ourselves under the authority of someone who does know. Such admissions, submissions, and actions are naturally abhorrent to our own (sinful) pride, for, as children of Adam and Eve who disobediently sought to develop their knowledge from the wrong source, we too are all inclined to elevate and present ourselves as knowledgeable before others. Unfortunately, no human being has ever been able to keep up with the ever-expanding knowledgebase, and for those who choose to remain in their unlearned state, their ignorance continues to grow by that same rate! Historian, Will Durant, said, “Our knowledge is a receding mirage in an ever-expanding desert of ignorance.” Knowing God is vital because He is the Source - where all knowledge begins.

Today we come to Job 38-40, and now, God is going to have his say before Job and his friends. God is going to ask Job at least 77 questions about which Job knows nothing. It is important to point out that God is omniscient - He is never informed, instructed, or corrected. He begins by asking, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself …” (verses 2-3). God’s questions to Job relate specifically to the creation, the sea, the earth, the light that God has made, the weather, and the animal kingdom. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s reading, we see that Job is left speechless – even though earlier – he expressed his desire to defend himself before God (cf., Job 10:2; 13:15; and 23:4). I wonder, how would you like God to say to you, “Brace yourself”? (cf., Job 38:3 and 40:7).

We continue in Psalm 18:37-42 to read about David’s victories over the hands of Saul and his other enemies. God is the One Who armed David “with strength for battle” (verse 39). We note that, although David’s enemies “cried out to the LORD for help, He did not answer” (verse 41). This reminds us to “seek the Lord while He may be found” (cf., Isaiah 55:6-9). Proverbs 15:29 tells us that “God is far from the wicked ….” He is under no obligation to answer them.

In Matthew 24:32 - Matthew 25:13, we continue with the Olivet Discourse where Jesus informs us that “false Christs” and “false prophets” will appear (Matthew 24:24). Jesus says that “no one knows that day or hour” (verse 36). This statement should teach us that God alone determines the time for judgment. In Noah’s day, in spite of his preaching and the building of his ark, the people had no idea what was about to happen. They were unprepared for the unexpected, and when the flood came, it “took them all away” (verse 39). In chapter 25:1-13, we read the parable of the ten virgins – five of whom were foolish – and five of whom were wise. The lamps of the foolish virgins were “going out” for failure to bring enough replacement oil (Matthew 25:8). These girls were unprepared for the expected – they knew the Bridegroom was coming, so they should have anticipated His possible delay. Without oil, a lamp is an empty vessel – useless to serve its purpose. This is man’s condition apart from Christ and the oil of the Holy Spirit, Who dwells within. Jesus is warning us to be prepared for both the expected and the unexpected.

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