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February 8, Day #39 – A Lot to Think About

Today in our readings we come to Job 40:3 – 42:17. As we read through the entire Bible, we will be confronted from time to time by prototypical statements. A prototypical statement is one that is reflective of all men everywhere and in every age. In other words, it is a universal statement or a question that everyone makes or asks at some point in his or her life. Here in Job 40:4, Job makes such a statement; after being confronted by the presence and the reality of a holy God, Job says, “I am unworthy.” This is true of all humanity. Sooner or later, everyone who stands in the holy presence of God must and will recognize his or her own unworthiness before Him. Job is left speechless.

In chapter 40, notice God’s questions: He says, “Do you have an arm like God’s? Can your voice thunder like His?” (verse 9). Essentially, God is saying, “Job, who do you think you are?” He tells Job to consider just two of His large but insignificant animal creatures – “behemoth and leviathan” (cf., 40:14 and 41:1). We think we know what these are, but we don’t know for certain. Man certainly holds a more important place in God’s heart than these two creatures. But about the behemoth, God says, “When the river rages, he is not alarmed” (40:23). But when the river rages, you can bet that we humans will definitely respect the river’s rage. About leviathan, God says, “If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!” (41:8). We are creatures of greater dignity than these two brutes, but significantly, man is the only creature who dares to disrespect His Creator. In chapter 42, Job realizes this and repents of his pride: “I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (verse 6). God rebukes Job’s three friends for “not speaking what is right about God - as Job has” (verse 7), and He requires them to sacrifice a burnt offering for their sin. Job will act as their priest and mediator and pray for them. The book closes with God’s incredible blessings on Job for His faithfulness. In all his afflictions, Job never cursed God - as Satan said he would. Moreover, God – Who is inscrutable – never explains to any of us why all this happened to Job. Remember, He is not obligated to do so, because He is God.

In Psalm 18:43-50, we now come to the conclusion of this Psalm, through which David praises God for His deliverance from his enemies, especially from Saul. Four times, David proclaims that God is his “Rock” – his “Fortress” (verses 2, 31, and 46). In English, we have three degrees of comparison, known as positive, comparative, and superlative, as in “good, better, and best.” David’s four-fold declaration of God’s strength as a rock or a fortress goes beyond the superlative – He is better than the best rock – better than the best fortress. This Psalm tells us all the reasons why, and David’s response is this: “I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name” (verse 49). This should always be our response before God.

Earlier in Matthew 6:22-23, we read that “if the light within” us is darkness, “how great is” our darkness. Today we come to Matthew 25:14-46, and in this section, we read something similar: “Whoever does not have - even what he has will be taken away from him” (cf., Matthew 25:29). These paradoxes can only be understood properly within the truth of the kingdom of heaven. We are all born into a world of physical light and material wealth, but spiritually, we live in a world of sin, poverty, and darkness. Living daily with ordinary light and all our resources, we somehow arrive at the notion that they are our possessions, but they are not. Everything belongs to God. God is the Owner - the One Who has entrusted to us what we have – to use as a stewardship. In trust, we are to utilize and apply what we have for God’s glory - because everything is His – solely by virtue of His sovereign authority. Our treasures are loaned to us, and He can easily remove our treasures from us - and us from them. When we die, He does this. He takes away what we do not have and gives it to another, thus emphasizing His ownership and the importance of our spiritual needs. Interestingly, this is also a parable of darkness. If we squander our opportunity for salvation in Christ, it will be lost to us, and we are no more than “a worthless servant thrown into the outer darkness” (verse 30). A lot to think about.

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