Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pinata or Witness?

Where was that whirling sound coming from?

Elihu had just finished with his speech, and Job was fuming. Bildad, Zophar, and Eliphaz also sat there fuming. They all opened their mouths at once, when a whirling sound filled their ears.

And it was getting stronger.

A whirlwind, mighty and dark, was approaching them. At once, the men had jumped to their feet to run for safety, but it was of no use. The whirlwind was already upon them.

But instead of was like it stood stationary in one place. Waiting.

Job's clothes whipped around his body, and the stinging wind made his eyes water. However, that was nothing compared to the way his heart was beating rapidly in his chest.

Especially, when the bold voice of the whirlwind spoke to him.

It was the Lord.

Answering him.

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?  Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!"

Job gulped.

Based on Job 38:1-5

I don't know about you, but I complain to God. A lot. I've always related to the book of Job. So many people groan about this book. I'm weird because I actually like it. This book always speaks to me.

I'm gonna let you guys in on something I've struggled with in the past, and have been dealing with lately. Sometimes it's hard to be the "good Christian" who does what the Bible says, without seeing any results. It's not easy to be making sacrifices, and living paycheck to paycheck, while people who have basically spat in God's face live an easy life. It's the "Older Brother of the Prodigal Son Complex." (The prodigal Son and his brother's story can be found in Luke 15:11-32.)

It boils down to jealousy.

Job was an upright man, who essentially did everything right. He obeyed God. He feared and served God. He was a good guy.

And then everything went wrong.

We've all felt like that from time to time. Any explanation doesn't make it easier, but what do you do when the "Life isn't fair" answer just doesn't cut it anymore?

I liked one explanation that we saw in the movie, God's Not Dead. A character who had it all compared himself to another character - his elderly, Alzheimer-stricken mother. In a God-moment of clarity, the mother said that sometimes the devil allowed some people to live perfect, easy lives. That it was like a prison cell, all decked out to look like a mansion. The door was always wide open, but those people never left because it was just so comfortable. But one day it would be too late, and that door would swing shut and their cell would be exposed for what it really was.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there are so many reasons why, but God doesn't have to justify Himself to us. God doesn't have to let us in on the plan - and isn't that the truth! It stinks like a skunk, but I don't want to find myself making such a big stink, that God has to put me in my place from a mighty whirlwind! Unlike Job at the time, we know that the whole reason God allowed the devil to use him as a personal pinata was because God trusted Job to remain faithful.

Perhaps He is trusting us with the same task? Perhaps we are witnessing to more then just the people on the earth, but the host of Heaven as well. Job's story didn't end up in the Bible by accident. We were supposed to learn from it. Take it to heart, and don't gloss over this truth. God is trusting us to remain faithful. Are you up for the task?

V. Joy Palmer

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