Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 2012 … Seeking and Knowing Truth

Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Job, Chapters 35-37 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Job 35: … [Elihu continues his argument before Job and “friends”]
1 Then Elihu said: 2 "Do you think this is just? You say, 'I am in the right, not God.'
3 Yet you ask him, 'What profit is it to me, and what do I gain by not sinning?' >>>
9 “People cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. >>>
12 He [God] does not answer when people cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. >>>
16 So Job opens his mouth with empty talk; without knowledge he multiplies words.”

Job 36: … [Elihu continues]
1 Elihu continued: 2 [To Job] “Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf. 3 I get my knowledge from afar; I will ascribe justice to my Maker.
4 Be assured that my words are not false; One who has perfect knowledge is with you. >>>
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding! The number of his years is past finding out.

Job 37: … [Elihu’s conclusions]
19 “Tell us what we should say to Him [God];
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness. >>>
23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
24 Therefore, people revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?[k]”

My Journal for Today: Well, if you were with me yesterday as I’m here trudging through Job in my chronological read through the Bible, … day 12 saw the introduction of a new, younger critic of Job, who has been crying out to God in his [Job’s] tribulations. And this younger “friend” demonstrates what happens when people see life unfolding and think they (in this case young ELIHU) have a corner on knowing what is going on.

I think it is quite interesting that the younger critic, Elihu, actually criticizes Job for the arrogance to cry out to God, not trusting that God is in control and knows all about Job’s condition. Yet, Elihu openly, and very arrogantly, declares that he, himself, has the inside track of knowledge on the nature of God (see Job 36: 1-4 copied above). And isn’t that the way we are many times, thinking – and even speaking – like we’ve got the answers to the problems of others.

Now it turns out that Elihu does, in fact, speak much truth to Job about the nature of God; and this young man does show a lot of faith in God’s sovereignty and the Lord’s promises to be there – ALWAYS – when we get into circumstances we cannot explain, as did Job find himself. But we must take care in counseling others that we don’t think that we completely understand or speak for God.

As I sit here, writing this journal entry – as I do on so many days – I feel that God does give me insight into life from His word; but I have to take care, as I would hope you do in seeking after God’s truth, that I don’t arrogantly think I’ve got the answers or that I can, with great confidence, interpret God’s word in my trek to understand His will for my life. That’s why, as I study God’s word, I very often use God’s word itself to try to interpret or understand His written truth (i.e., The Bible). In studying the Book of Job, for instance, I’m led by good study Bibles to many other books of the Bible and other passages of Scripture to understand what is going on in the life of Job as he seeks for understanding into his very painful human dilemma.

And above all, I have to avoid letting my VERY HUMAN feelings get in the way of my search for and my understanding of God’s truth. As I read through the Bible this year, I will be on my guard to do exactly what Elihu, Job’s young critic, is saying today. I will be going to God (in my case through His written word) to understand my LORD rather than relying on my own internal compass of understanding. But I know from God’s own word and promises (see Isaiah 55: 11, Lamentations 23: 19, or 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17) that I can trust, with the help of Spirit-led enlightenment, what God gives me in and through His word (i.e., the Bible), using it as my guide to understanding life. And thankfully, I have so much more of His truth in His word than did Job.

However, I cannot or will not be able to tap into this vast and perfectly accurate source of truth unless, as Job wrote about in Chapter 28 of the Book of Job, I did deeply into the minefield of God’s mind by going deep into His word, which is my minefield full of nuggets of pure truth. And so, I will continue to mine for God’s truth daily in this place. And if you come here to dig with me, you’re going to have to pick up your pick and shovel of motivation and dig out the gems of truth from our trek chronologically through the Bible this year; … and so, we move on!

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for offering up Your gems of truth as I dig into Your minefield of infinite knowledge. Amen

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