Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31-The Greatness of God

August 31, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Job 37:1-39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10;
Psalm 44:9-26; Proverbs 22:13

Our Creator would never have made such lovely days, and have given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above and beyond all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal. 
 ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Job 37:1-39:30

I love the Food Network channel on television.  If there is nothing else to watch, I can always count on being entertained, inspired, and taught by the Food Network programs.  One of the reasons it is so educational is that rather than talk about how to cook food, the television chefs are actually showing how to cook food.  The fact that a dish will turn out a certain way is not mysterious because one can see how they did it.  When the show is complete, you actually see the finished dish.  You understand the personality of the chef through the dish that they have created. Today, God finally presents Himself to Job.  God's approach to Job is to reveal His greatness through what He has created.

As our reading begins, Elihu finishes his monologue about God.  Now, the Big Guy, Himself, speaks up.  At this point in history when Job is alive, there is not a written Bible.  Job is alive during the time of the patriarchs, which includes Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel.  The Laws of Moses will not be written for hundreds of years.  It should not surprise us that God begins to teach Job about Himself where every good teacher must begin....the beginning.  God takes Job to the creation of the world in order to teach Job about the nature of the Being whom Job has been questioning and challenging.

Notice in Chapter 38 Verse 1 that God comes to Job in a whirlwind/tornado.  This would be terrifying.  Job is surely shaking in his boots.  God asks who would dare to question His wisdom with such ignorant words.  He then begins to ask Job a series of questions to display Job's ignorance.  These questions focus on where mankind was when God created the foundations of the earth.  Many people attempt through geology and fossil studies to expound upon the creation of the universe.  They try to explain the age of the earth and the methods by which the universe was created, but the fact of the matter is that no man was present at the creation of the universe, and no person can explain it.  This is God's point.  His greatness is beyond our comprehension.  The mere presence of what He has created establishes that He is great and we are not.
Here are some of the questions that God poses to Job to demonstrate Job's ignorance compared to God's knowledge. (I am summarizing some of these questions.)
  • What supports the earth in the heavens?
  • Why do the seas stay within certain boundaries?
  • Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
  • From where does light come?
  • Does the rain have a father or does ice have a mother?  In other words, who created water?
  • Can you guide the constellations?
  • Can you make it rain?
  • Do you provide food for animals? 
  • Why are some creatures wild?  Who made them that way?
  • Did you give the horse his fearlessness and strength? Did you grant him with the ability to go into battle because of his courageous instincts?
  • Are you the one who made the hawk so that it can soar and spread its wings?
It is evident that mankind cannot create something from nothing.  As we invent new things like medical drugs, hybrid plants, nuclear weapons, etc. we have to rely on using the building blocks that were first created by God.  No person is able to make a bird from nothing.  We have figured out how to clone a creature, but in order to do this, we must use the DNA/building blocks of life created by God. 

What is the point?  God's greatness is established in His role as Creator.  We are speechless before Him. As the Apostle Paul states in Romans 1:20,
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been make, so that men are without excuse."
Job has no excuse.  He has no position in questioning God.

Do you question God and His goodness when you suffer?

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10

Today, Paul gives us a key as to why he is able to suffer in his body without questioning God.  His teaching ties nicely into what Job is experiencing.  Paul has the benefit of having learned mysteries that were hidden to mankind during Job's days. Paul has been taught by Christ and commanded to teach the world about the concept of glorified bodies.

Paul explains that he considers the suffering in this "earthly tent," which is folding, to be temporary.  It is taken down when we die and we leave these bodies and will be given eternal bodies by God. It will be like putting on new clothing when we put on our new bodies.

Paul describes physical suffering as making as person want to not have a body at all.  I'm sure if you have ever known anyone who has suffered from cancer, you can relate to what Paul is saying.  The hope for the Christian lies in the knowledge that when we die, we slip out of this suffering body and receive a new restored, perfect body. 

Paul points out that he believes this with confidence because the Holy Spirit in his life acts as a guarantee of this truth.  He also states that he believes this without seeing it.  This is the essence of faith.

Paul ends by saying that we must all be judged by Christ, one day. He reminds us that we will receive what we deserve based on the good or evil that we have done in our bodies.  Remember, he is saying that in our body, we needed to have faith in Christ in order to be forgiven of the evil we have done.  With Christ's sacrificial death, our sins are forgiven.  When we stand before Christ as believers, we receive rewards for good works done in His name.  Unbelievers stand before Christ in punishment for their evil deeds. Either way, behavior matters.

Do you see your body as a tent that is folding?  Can you have a good attitude about suffering because of the prospect of a perfect heavenly body in the future?  This is how Paul was able to suffer well.

Psalm 44:9-26

Here is a psalm that describes the nation of Israel being out of step with her Creator.  The psalmist feels that God is asleep while they suffer.  Do you ever feel that way?

Proverbs 22:13

Lazy people have lots of excuses for why they can't get up and do something.  Do you know anyone who is like this?

What did you learn today?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton


  1. What Paul is talking about today really reminds me of my Mother. She suffered many years through several bouts of cancer but she never lost her faith and always took strength in knowing that God had a place for her where she would suffer no more. When she died, that knowledge, that she was with the Lord, no longer suffering, is what sustained us and does to this day. She also loved Job and gathered a lot of strength from his story. As always, thank you for all that you share every day.

  2. That is a story of hope, Ellen. God is a God of hope and I am encouraged to hear that your mother had hope in the midst of her suffering. Thanks for sharing.