(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
In the aftermath of the “Mighty Storm” that Marc wrote about yesterday I found it terribly meaningful that after Job’s simple answer, “I am unworthy – how can I reply to you?” God steps it up a notch. And for God, His notches are unfathomable to us. God basically lets Job know that he should be strong and answer Him like a man. The NIV says “brace yourself like a man” and the NASB says “gird your loins.” The underlying Hebrew word ‘azar means to equip, clothe, or encompass and is used elsewhere in the Bible to indicate preparation for war. God takes this whole thing from a “mighty storm” to “prepare for battle!”
In this discourse from God He only asks 18 questions; but He makes statements and describes some of His strongest creations in great detail to make a point glaringly obvious to Job. If you look at Job 40:15-24 it is obvious that some sort of powerful and large animal (behemoth) is being discussed here. The NIV would have you believe that it is merely a hippopotamus or an elephant; the Blue Letter Bible says that “is patently absurd” and believes this is some sort of extinct dinosaur. Continuing in Job 41 God speaks of the leviathan. Again the NIV downplays the awesomeness depicted here and says that this is possibly the crocodile. The Hebrew word here refers to some sort of sea monster or dragon and I know I have never seen a fire breathing crocodile (Job 41:19, “firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out (NIV)).” Either way you look at these references, God is talking about some of His greatest and most powerful creations to say to Job, “look at what I created, look at how powerful they are, and yet they cannot even save themselves from Me.” And like God does when He questions us or when we approach Him in righteous indignation He puts the exclamation point at the end of the entire conversation.
Finally, Job gives God the answer that he should have given some 30+ chapters ago, and repents humbly for his pride and righteousness.
When I look back on the entire book of Job and see the discussions that we have had here in “The New Normal” it is interesting to see that it was never about Job’s innocence or sinlessness. It was never about Job being righteous in the eyes of the Lord. It was never about any of those things. This whole book has been about TOTAL SUBMISSION TO THE GOD OF ALL CREATION! It does not matter how innocent we THINK we are. It does not matter how deserving of God’s blessing we FEEL we are. It is about God’s power and God’s strength and being able to say, “God I trust you. I may not understand what I am going through right now but I trust You and give You all of the glory because I know You are the creator of all things and all things work for Your will.”
How does this relate to us today? What can we learn from Job’s experience? I believe Job got caught up in the questioning of his “friends” and he began to defend himself to man not realizing that he was taking Glory away from God by doing so. How many times do we face the questioning of our friends (or enemies) and do the same thing as Job and go straight to defending ourselves rather than glorifying God? If we are honest with ourselves I bet we can find incidences where we have done this without even realizing it; where we have done this almost instinctually. We all need to realize that we belong to the CREATOR of ALL things and that we DO NOT need to justify ourselves to anyone but Him. We may face questioning, we may face persecution, we may even face God Himself; and in everything we are faced with we need to remember, “God I trust you. I may not understand what I am going through right now but I trust You and give You all of the glory because I know You are the creator of all things and all things work for Your will.”
As you ponder on the chapters of this book and as we prepare to draw Job to a close tomorrow it is important that you be honest with yourself: Are you truly humbled before God? Are you truly surrendered to God? Fully and totally surrendered?