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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
"The Right Call"
"Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?" Job 5:1
"Oh that my grief were throughly weighed and my calamity laid in the balances together!" Job 6:1
"Is there not an appointed time to man upon the earth?" Job 7:1
"How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind" Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?" Job 8:2,3
"No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you." Job 12:2
You may not follow the National Football League, but some do, and what they know right now is that Monday Night Football ended badly. There was a "hail Mary" pass thrown as time ran out and the players from both teams made a jump for the ball in the end zone, and it seemed clear that the Green Bay Packers intercepted the ball and won the game, but the official signaled a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks. As a result, Seattle won the game, and the debate has grown to a fever pitch. I clearly saw the Green Bay player, Jennings, catch the ball and come to the ground with it, which, in my opinion, means that Green Bay should have won the game. An estimated one billion dollars in bets were lost because of that call on the field, and of course, the sports shows are having a field day with this. Did they both catch the ball, or was it an interception?
Now, what does this have to do with us? Nothing! But, as you read the verses I have listed above, you will discover there is a truth to learn from this. Job had lost it all. With his children dead, money and property gone, body in severe pain, and his wife urging him to "curse God and die,” Job found himself in the ashes. Three of his friends showed up, took in the scene, and began to tell Job what their opinions of his situation were. Job heard a three-point sermon from his friends: man is sinful (Eliphaz), and God is just (Bildad), and God punishes sin and gives us less than we deserve (Zophar). What they were saying was, "Job, you have messed up and you’re getting what you deserve from God, but you should be thankful because it could be worse!" What a cruel sermon to preach to a man that has lost everything.
You know, people in pain think that their suffering is much worse than anyone else's, so don't argue with them. Zophar had responded to Job's words, not his feelings, and that was a big mistake. He told Job to repent and seek God and promised that God would hear him. He even told Job that if he did not repent, he would die (Job 11:20). Job mocked them (12:2) saying that when they died there would be no more wisdom left. Now, we know why Job was in this painful struggle because we can read the first chapter. We know what God thought about Job, and how much God loved him. We know that God had confidence that Job could overcome Satan's attempt to separate him from God. We know that Job was in this painful sorrow because of his goodness and not in punishment of his sin. We know all this, but, boy, did his friends blow this call!
Some things we need to learn from all of this:
You cannot measure pain or the greatness of God."Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know" Job 11:7,8
God is never found at the end of an argument. My opinions don't matter when they have nothing to do with changing the outcome. I think the ball was intercepted and Green Bay should have won, but my opinion will never change the outcome no matter how loud and long I argue. The three friends thought Job was in the wrong and needed to repent, but their opinion never changed the outcome. Keep opinions to yourself when it doesn't matter what you think!
Instead, lose yourself in the measureless love and power of God. (Eph 3:14-21)
Sometimes there are only questions and no answers. In times like that, realize that only God knows what He is doing, and keep your opinions and arguments to yourself, and with childlike trust, run to Him. Remember, God always makes the right call!