Reflections on the Book of Job: Part 1
Reflections on the Book of Job: Part 1
1. I believe this is the book to read when you are going through the deepest suffering. There is an element of mystery about it. It speaks of the transcendence of God. What do I mean by ‘transcendence’? It means that God is ‘way beyond’ us. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts; His ways are higher than our ways. (Isa 55:8, 9). His ways are unsearchable, past finding out! (Rom 11:33).
2. It speaks of the transcendent wisdom of God, and the transcendent grace of God. (Which I hope to explain to you in a later hub.)
3. We think we know God. We read the Bible and think we understand. But we need to ask God to open our eyes. Unless God speaks to us, we really cannot know the deeper truths of the word of God. Do you think man by his limited understanding can really apprehend God?
4. Sometimes, immature Christians get excited when they receive light on certain truths in the word of God. They behave as if they are a ‘chosen few’ who have received ‘select revelation’. Alas, such people become a hindrance to God!
5. Mere light is not enough. The truth revealed to us has to be experienced by us. Understanding comes through bitter experience. The Bible opens itself up, reveals its deeper truths, to those who suffer. Suffering is the gateway to truth. So while we pray, ‘Open my eyes, O Lord, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law (word)’ (Psalm 119:18), we should be prepared to accept the deep work of the cross in our lives.
6. Preaching Jesus Christ and Him crucified doesn’t mean preaching something about Jesus, but preaching through actually experiencing and thereby knowing the ‘fellowship of His sufferings’. The message has been ‘burnt into you’ or ‘wrought into you’ by painful experience. The fact remains that God teaches us through deep sufferings. It is the school of 'trials and testings'.
7. Why not revelation only? Revelation by way of mere light can make a man puffed up. Sufferings, on the other hand, humble a man. God hates pride; God hates self-righteousness. So He balances revelation with suffering.
8. Look at poor Job. According to the law, he was blameless. But this legal righteousness was not sufficient. It made him self-righteous. Why, in the entire book, barring the last three chapters, we find him standing entirely upon his own righteousness. And he was a man, declared by God to be blameless, upright, God-fearing and eschewing evil. Job 1:1, 8. God calls him ‘My servant Job’. And despite the fact that he was approved by God, God deemed it necessary that Job should go through the terrible experiences described in chapters 1 and 2. So that Job could come to know God in a deeper way and be delivered from self. Job says in the final chapter, 'I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You.' (42:5). And he retracts what he has spoken and repents and humbles himself in the dust.
9. We 'see' God, we come to 'see' Him in a deeper way, only through the painful and inexplicable experience of the cross. From the book of Job, positioned as it is in the Bible next to the Psalms (where we hear similar outcries), it seems there is no other way except the subjective experience of the cross that brings us to a deeper understanding of God. I think this is what Paul meant when he said, 'I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.' 1 Cor 2:2.
© Roland Oliver/Pratonix
The second part of this hub must be read. It is at http://hubpages.com/hub/Thoughts-on-the-Book-of-Job-Part-2
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