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By: Larry Shaffer
Meat? I don’t live in California anymore. Welcome to Texas!
God the Prosecutor
I prefer to think of God as an advocate, not a prosecutor. In Job 38, Job’s words and actions brought out the prosecutor-side of God. God FINALLY speaks to Job after all of his suffering, trials and ultimately, his complaining about the unfairness of God. What Job is doing, in a sense, is calling God to court so that He can justify his actions. NOTE: Do not try this at home.
Poking the Tiger
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loin like a man, and I will ask you and you instruct Me!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Verses 2-7
This is sarcasm in its highest form. The God of the universe is using extreme sarcasm to humiliate one of his most beloved and faithful servants on earth. Why? It’s completely non-intuitive that God would do such a thing. To us mere mortals, it’s incomprehensible. After all, I prefer to picture a gentle, loving, heavenly father Who scoops me up into His arms with a warm embrace and gently whispers in my ear, ‘I love You.’
Instead, God is instructing and teaching a student who is in the rarest of rare classes of spiritual elite. This is God’s highest level of Navy Seal and special forces training. God doesn’t just do what he did with Job to anyone, (thank God). He has certain lessons that are only given to the extreme rare ones that can endure them and become stronger. Job is such a one.
Perhaps you’ve heard of savants or savant syndrome. This is characterized as a condition in which someone with mental disabilities demonstrates certain abilities far in excess of average. Job was a spiritual savant. I don’t know that he had spiritual disabilities, per se, but he was far above average in his dedication to God.
There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil, 1.1.
Job was so unique and outstanding in his character and actions, that he was the subject of roundtable chats between God and Satan. In one of their conversations, God offered up Job as an example to Satan. The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil. 1.8
The Devil takes the bait. Satan then accuses Job before God and challenges God with the notion that Job is an empty suit; he is a prominent person among men and angels, but Satan accuses him of lacking in substance, fortitude, and depth. Is Job a spiritual empty suit? He looks spiritual, smells spiritual and acts spiritual. But is he really??? I mean, really?
Is Job truly spiritual when we cut him open and pierce him as far as the division of his soul and spirit? Penetrating as deep as his joints and marrow? Even down to the depths of the very thoughts and intentions of his heart? The place where we hide the deepest thoughts and secrets of our hearts, down below the conscious into our sub-conscious intentions?
Satan wants a piece of Job. Why? The failure of Job would be a major trophy for the Devil. Perhaps it would help with his recruiting efforts. He’d love to say ‘I told you so’ to God. So, God accepts the challenge and Job enters into a period of unprecedented pain and suffering. Job endures like few would endure, but eventually, he questions God. With a touch of arrogance and dash of pride, Job calls God to court. Eventually, Job gets what he asks for.
Yikes, this is going to be ACKWARD.
Father, We observed a glimpse of You today that we rarely see. You were irritated and You were sarcastic. Lord, on this side of heaven, we sometimes don’t get why You do what You do; and why there is so much pain. Sometimes our pain is the consequences of our sin and sometimes it is for our discipline and sometimes for our growth. In all cases, by faith we believe that You are always perfect in all Your ways. In that truth, we submit to You always as our refuge in time of need. Amen!