Love Came down with Perspective

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,    That I might come to His seat! I would present my case before Him,    And fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words which He would answer me,   And understand what He would say to me.   Would He contend with me in His great power?  No! But He would take note of me. There the upright could reason with Him,   And I would be delivered forever from my Judge.[1]

2014-10-09 17.28.10My children were learning about perspective in school.  They ran around the house playing an amusing game where they would peek through the “lense” of their forefinger and thumb, then shout with glee to their object of observation, “You are so small! You are tiny!”  They loved looking at me with their chubby little hands and shrinking me down to size the best. To anyone who’s ever played this game, you know shrinking a giant object with a pinch of your finger can be amusing.

In the book of Job, we see how Job and his friends attempt to shrink God down to manageable proportions.  You see, Job longed for his trails to end. Job lamented that if he could only plead his case in court before God, his perceived unjust judgment may cease.  Understandably, the man was in pain.  Job suffered deep loss and a ravaging skin disease. His wife had long distanced herself from her husband’s choice to keep worshiping the Almighty. Still, Job cried out for God to hear his case and cited his defense that God was unfair to Job, that he didn’t deserve his trauma and pain.

Whenever we decide that God could have done His job better, we are on a perilous descent into self-deception and self-idolatry. Whether whispered or shouted with choice words for emphasis, our choice to judge God when we don’t understand reaps a whole lot of pain.

Job lived in short-sighted perspective of His God, framed by loss and heartache. God knew his beloved servant’s plight intimately yet His immutability, expanse and vastness could not be altered for Job, no matter how much he needed an explanation.  Our omnipotent and omniscient God cannot change.  Lord Jehoveh may not shrink down to the limits of our understanding but He does stoop down with perspective, like the Friendly Giant of our childhood who painstakingly draws the rocking chair closer to the fireplace, as He invites us to better hear His Story.

Job’s buddies were no help at all with his plight. Elihu listened to Job’s complaint and then bluntly told Job to quite trying, that God was beyond understanding:

Look, in this you are not righteous. I will answer you, For God is greater than man.Why do you contend with Him? For He does not give an accounting of any of His words.For God may speak in one way, or in another,Yet man does not perceive it. [2]

flowers and panorama clearElihu applauded the Lord’s greatness but missed the grace of the invite. God offers us a father relationship, the marvel of connecting with Almighty God as His own. Instead, Elihu advised Job to back off his audacious plan to hear an explanation from God, citing that at any moment, God could roll up earth and call it a day.  Without trust, Elihu let God’s dance card drop to the floor, unwilling to accept the wondrous gift of relationship in fear of His great power:

Surely God will never do wickedly,  Nor will the Almighty pervert justice. Who gave Him charge over the earth? Or who appointed Him over the whole world? If He should set His heart on it,If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, All flesh would perish together, And man would return to dust. [3]

After much discourse, suddenly, like a grand Crown Attorney, God flew into Job’s courtroom and spoke from His whirlwind.  Fifty-six questions were asked of Job.  Each incredible picture of God’s greatness demanded only one answer:  Only You, God.

God is large and in charge and we are His kids.  Job couldn’t answer a single challenge that God laid before him.  Job didn’t know how the sea’s limits were set in place or when the stars were placed into constellation, nor how the earth was formed.  Only God did.  J

In true humility, Job replied:

Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer You? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer;  Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”[4]

God asked Job twenty more questions that revealed His infinite grace and power.  As the Lord proved His greatness and His goodness, Job’s accusations against God fell like dust to the ground. In love, God stooped down and gave his beloved Job much needed perspective.  (If it was me, I would have been a bawling kid, saying sorry as many times as I could.) Deeply repentant, Job confessed his sin for accusing His God:

“I know that You can do everything,and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”[5]

Perspective.  Love comes down in mercy with perspective every day we are willing to ask our Father for the incredible gift of seeing our life from His eyes and seeing our world from His heart.  We just have to be willing to accept His answers.

2014-10-10 07.40.41Let’s Pray:  Father God in heaven, we ask You to shine Your Light and hold it steady until we see what You want us to see.  We repent for every time we have secretly judged You, O God.  We renounce the sin of self-idolatry.  We ask You, Father, by the blood of Jesus, to forgive us for all accusations against Your goodness.  Father, in mercy, send every just curse to the cross of Christ that has come upon us and our generations for our sin of pride and idolatry.  Shatter, O God, the self-deceptions we walk in by Your Grace.  Holy Spirit, lead us into all truth.  Search us and know us O God.  See if there be any anxious way in us and lead us into ways everlasting.  Merciful God Almighty,  we hear Your questions to Job and we worship You for Who You are.  Thank You for loving us, for offering us the incredulous grace of relationship with You through Your profound gift of Your Son.  Lord Jesus, King of Glory, thank You for leaving the vastness, the greatness of Your glory in heaven to come down as human flesh and reveal the Father to us all. Amen.  

Study Questions:

  1. Which of God’s seventy-six questions move you the deepest?
  2. Why do you think God spent so much time highlighting Leviathan in his questions?  If you want a resource to understand this subject more, head to www.theslg.com for “Joy Unstoppable”, a powerful teaching series by Arthur Burk.
  3. When have you quietly decided, God blew it and you could have done it better?  Can you have a conversation with God about this subject?
  4.  Elihu had no expectations to connect with God.  Job did.  Job connected with God because he wouldn’t stop asking.  How has your theology limiting your ability to grow in relationship with God?   Can you ask God to help you change?
  5. What are you doing intentionally to keep developing your relationship with God?  Try Give Him 15. I will do the same.

This Week’s Reading was Job 19-30

Next Week’s Reading:  Job 31-42

[1]The New King James Version. 1982 (Job 23:3-7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[2]The New King James Version. 1982 (Job 33:12-14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[3]The New King James Version. 1982 (Job 34:12-15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4]The New King James Version. 1982 (Job 40:4-5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[5]The New King James Version. 1982 (Job 42:1-6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

2 thoughts on “Love Came down with Perspective

    • Glad you enjoyed it. I just updated the post. I push this peg out every Friday and sometimes, I do another revision after it’s posted. Thanks for your kind remark.

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