Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Job; Is Love

Job 3:8, "Let the cursers of day mark it, who are ready to wake up Leviathan.

Job 3:8, "May those curse it who curse day, those who are ready to arouse Leviathan."

These are statements made indicating the depth of the inward trials of Job showing the reason of the change that took place in Job’s conduct, from entire submission to the will of God, to the impatience which appears here. The believer, who knows of the few drops of the bitter cup of despondency understands that they are more dreadful than the sharpest outward afflictions, it is this cry that is heard in Job's rhetoric. The disillusionment and despair created by inward turmoils and that assault upon the mind and following in succession the heart, the spirit and the soul and finally the strength, shake the confidence, faith, hope and belief in the love of God. These are the hard thoughts; the dreadful discourse of the soul; wishing and calling upon leviathan, the monster of our soul; the self-derived (is there such a word as aseitious) fear of our spirit; the antagonist of our will; desiring that final conflict, knowing the desperation of the vanquished, and yet, welcoming the defeat, the inglorious rout. This is the personal dirge and lament of the depressed. There is shame, disappointment in extending an invitation to the ultimate leviathan, death.

There is the hint of the complaint against God and the reproach of the heart with regard to the affliction as Job says, " ... for the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes." We often find that the lack of appreciation for our circumstances are expressed in almost identical terms; the presence of the bitter complaints and reproaches addressed to God are indicative of a remiss theology in which we find the absence of submission of the heart which acknowledges and accepts that God is perfect in all His ways. Job was upright, pious, religious, but he began to make those attributes his righteousness; which evidently proves that he had never really been in the presence of God. The consequence of this was that, although he reasoned more correctly than his friends, and he showed a heart that really felt far more than they what God was, he maintained that the injustice(?) he was suffering was unwarranted and he falsely associated the authorship to God and he falsely attributed to God the desire of God to harass him without cause. His discourse underscores his benevolent attitude toward his life; his complacency with life as it is, and perhaps his wish that it always should be; his satisfaction. God's grace was his mantle piece; it was his observable self-satisfaction. Job did not misbehave in prosperity, abusing it by presumption and security, but had lived circumspectly, walking humbly with God, and working out his salvation with fear and trembling. However, ...

Salvation with fear; life with fear; life full of anxiety; life with/without consideration for the variety of God's providence's; life experienced with the changeableness of this vain world; life lived with the spectre of God's justice, and my sinfulness. These fears of mine will never be in vain, but are justified by my present calamities and the narrowing of my life by the prospect of my future ruin. The hammer will fall, destruction will come, and with it the memory of prosperity and safety will be up-rooted. It is the anticipation of those things that wreck havoc upon the heart, mind, soul and strength and create the greatest of fears and apprehension. To live with the expectation of misfortune; to constantly wait for pain and suffering; to believe that without cause or solution dire events will occur; to see each dilemma intensified by it's randomness; is the epitome of dread.

We tend to think it is unreasonable for men of faith in God, men who trust God to entertain and indulge themselves with such thoughts and surmising of calamities and distresses. The fact is we have all suffered loss and with each successive instance of loss comes the fear of the next, the further depth of pain experienced, and subsequently more fear. This is not cyclical, it is helical, ever downward, unbroken. Into this quagmire of thought God must intervene and heal, breaking the twisted mind-set that keeps the continuum organic and active.

This is the mantra of the heart yet untouched by the love of God, a heart yet untouched by the fact " ...that Christ may dwell in (my) heart(s) through faith; that (I), being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that (I) may be filled with all the fullness of God."

There is a danger that as a person I may never come to know myself, the 'I, myself', that with all my piety, my knowledge(?), my study, my searching that my conscience has never been placed before God. There is a danger that real liberty and perfect peace which "passes all understanding" and can not be shaken are as yet unknown. There lies danger in not understanding the fullness of the grace of God and His love, as it is really and as it really is. "God alone can search out what the heart really is before Him; and the absence of all self-will, perfect agreement with the will of God, absolute submission, these things God alone could test, and thus lay bare the nothingness of man's heart before Him. God did this with Job; revealing at the same time that He acts in grace in these cases for the good of the soul which He loves."

Many Christians know this sense of hopelessness while knowing, but not believing, that there is currently, in this present moment, an opportunity to be favoured with a sweet sense of the love and presence of God. Many Christians attempt to resolve the inequities of life through empirical explanation. This is interesting, dangerous, perhaps futile, however, it will result in an affirming of the fact of a Sovereign God presiding over a sin-confused world with power and authority directed by perfect wisdom, love and mercy.

When there are no rational, empirical, theological explanations for disaster and pain, we must rest by faith in God's goodness and love and the hope of His redeeming purpose in the midst of suffering and pain. This is not a vain attempt to trivialize the intensity of pain as it is felt and experienced, nor is it meant to be a petty or irreverent overview of the question of the purpose of distress and despair in the world, but is meant to underscore the importance of trusting God's purposes in the midst of suffering because suffering, like all other human experiences, is directed by divine wisdom. Divine wisdom has as it's motivation, design and desire the expression of God's love. The search for answers to life's dilemmas, the analytical quest for resolution of this perilous, mixed up and troubled situation of Why? this had to happen can not be found apart from the consideration of the love of God.

This means that we take the words God speaks to us in our today, and write them "on our hearts". The promises of God create a tone of thinking and believing upon the nature of God, and in that nature we believe that "God is love", so that, principally through the course of circumstance we can understand that God's purpose is healing and restoration of the 'I, myself', from the treacheries of sin and the captivity of fear. Divine love conquers all. The question is no longer asked "Is the Lord among us, or not?" for He is truly here, we need not assume, because He has said, "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid ...; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." "Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

Are you listening? Do you hear?

"For God so loved you, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but will have everlasting life."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well stated! Sometimes I get lost in your writing- but this one I "got" and agree! From the paragraph starting " Many Christians know this sense of hopelessness ....." AMEN! Good writing there - keep it up!Jill