When God told Job to "Man Up!"

Most of us are familiar with the story of Job, a man considered righteous among the men of his time, and greatly blessed by God in terms of this world’s riches. Satan was allowed to take it all away and Job was counseled by four friends concerning why he was suffering and by his wife who recommended he curse God and die. If you haven’t read the account of Job for yourself, we recommend you do so, paying particular attention to the dialogue between Job and his friends.

After all of the dialogue, in itself interesting because it revealed the true character of everyone in the discussion, we finally have in Chapter 40, God speaking directly to Job and reminding him of exactly who he and his friends were dealing with:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Dress for action like a man;

    I will question you, and you make it known to me.

Will you even put me in the wrong?

Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?

Have you an arm like God,

    and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Adorn yourself with majesty and dignity;

    clothe yourself with glory and splendor.

Pour out the overflowings of your anger,

    and look on everyone who is proud and abase him.

Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low

    and tread down the wicked where they stand.

Hide them all in the dust together;

    bind their faces in the world below.

Then will I also acknowledge to you

    that your own right hand can save you.

     (Job 40:6-14 ESV)

What follows through the rest of Chapters 40 and 41 is a wondrous and awesome declaration of God’s sovereignty over all creation. At the end of God’s declaration and challenge, Job replies:

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

“I know that you can do all things,

    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.

‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’

Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand,

    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

‘Hear, and I will speak;

    I will question you, and you make it known to me.’

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

    but now my eye sees you;

therefore I despise myself,

    and repent in dust and ashes.”

     (Job 42:1-6 ESV)

Whatever self-righteousness Job might have had vanished completely as Job considered what God had spoken and his own stature compared to the sovereign Lord of the universe! As a result Job concludes the matter by saying to God:

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Ch 42, vv. 5-6)

It is with that confession to God that Job provides us with what I consider to be a perfect definition of true humility before God; realizing exactly who God IS and who we are!

For Job to ‘man up’ before God turned out to be seeing God, realizing who he (Job) was compared to God, and finally assuming a posture of repentance and humility before Him.

What a lesson for us in today’s extremely self-centered culture! So I need to ask myself, “Dano, how’s your eyesight been lately?”

Be Blessed!

He Knew What Was In Man

Jesus, that is:

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”  – John 2:23-25 (ESV)

And now that Jesus is no longer with us in person, the Holy Spirit indwelling each and every one of us who names the name of Christ, is the discerner or all of our thoughts and intentions.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Heb 4:12 (ESV)

The written word of God is so powerful’ and aided by the Holy Spirit will dig into the deepest regions of our innermost parts (soul & spirit/joints & marrow), and ought to convict us when we claim to know what Jesus knew; when we think we have the right to declare before all the world, (via the blogosphere) the motives in the hearts of other Christians  when they aren’t behaving in the manner we, in our self-righteousness indignation, declare they ought to behave.

If you think I have specific examples in mind of Christians wrongfully judging the inmost thoughts and intents of other Christians, and broadcasting their judgments to the entire world, you are dead on. This post is specifically for some of those I have come to know in recent months who do exactly that – declare that they know the innermost thoughts and motives of other Christians’ hearts. I am not, however, going to name their names, or the names of their ‘victims’. After all, I might think I know what drives them to do what they are doing, but I’m not Jesus so I won’t go there. The best I could do is tell the world what their motives might be, not what they are.

I will say that they feel they are justified in their actions. They will, and have told me that because out of an evil heart come evil acts (Luke 6:45. Matt 15:18), it means that they have the right and authority to declare exactly what heart motive prompted whatever alleged evil is on the table. That ‘evil’ could be from individuals they will name, churches where there are ‘rules’, or it can be entire ‘movements’ (like homeschooling). But all those passages tell us is that where there is evil, there’s a heart problem. It’s quite a leap to claim that they give us Christ-like power to see into men’s souls.

Am I saying that we ought to ignore the bad acts of brothers and sisters in Christ? By no means, What I am saying is that we need to allow church discipline and civil courts to run their course without our interference. We also need to apply love, grace, and compassion to everyone (alleged victims or accused perpetrators) involved in cases/situations where where there is  real or perceived wrong doing.

In a word, we need to be on our knees, not our soapboxes! We have every right and duty to judge ‘things’, but not the thoughts and intents of any man’s heart. God will judge all of our hearts, and will do so justly.

And that’s really all I have to say for the moment.