August 27, 2011

Will Job Justify God, or Justify Job?

Beautiful Saturday Morning My Friends!

Two things before we finish up with Job today.  It was wonderful to meet some new faces yesterday, thank you all for joining us and opening up your thoughts, hearts and lives in such trust and humility.  I am always so incredibly humbled myself (and at times convicted for which I am grateful) through our encounters.  AND thank you for the lovely card, again, you all take such strides to make sure you encourage me and show me such love...…….

We came full circle with God’s relationship with Job and what we can glean from it in the present.  For those of you who could not be with us, we missed you as well as your perspectives.  Take the next few days to read through this and make your journal entries – I would love some feedback!

Here is what we saw as we walked the final pages:

We noticed that we had seen Job cry out to God and speak what He believes to be truth, but we had not seen him sit intimately “with God”.  We heard him ask rhetorical questions, but there was no invitation for God to correct Job’s lack of understanding.  He spoke about when he was going to approach God, in my opinion it was more of a tough guy display for those gathered around.  We still heard no tender need.

Recently, I had this experience myself – coincidence, I think not.  I noticed that when I am hurting and vulnerable with a certain person I am no longer willing to allow that tender place to be squashed by their anticipated dead weight haphazardly plopping itself onto the tender unprotected ground.  So I use a wall of defense to protect it, and anger to stand in front of it daring this person to knock me down. 

In case you are unaware – no matter how the other person has treated me to build this defense up, isn’t healthy for me, or the other person.  I have to trust God and get away from the wrecking ball.  This is not my battle my territory has to stay open and inviting…….but we have to know who is not supposed to be in the inner courts of our kingdom.  If you are not familiar with our studies of this and want more information, please let me know and I will give you the archives titles.  (Good news, we will be starting this again on a different level this week!)

As for Job, we also have not seen the first person praying to invite God to speak.  Everyone has been speaking about him saying they consider the wise things of God and their own perceptions or proverbs.  However biblical the theory might be the use has been generic in its practicality.  Job desired counsel; he was imploring friendship and comfort by those that loved him.  He actually NEEDED someone to allow him to be “human” and NOT so strong for everyone else so that he could dispose of his grief and find stability.

 As Job was slammed with their weight, he did what I have been doing – he took the battle stance of defense, opened up his mouth and spewed facts about God, life, pain and despair.   He was saying, shut the gates and grow a heart “Friend”.  You are supposed to be safe, you are supposed to let me be real; you’re supposed to sit with me, let me hold on to something that isn’t going to crush under the weight I feel.  But when I reach out you are like a vapor, nothing of substance or sturdiness is there so I fall – HELP ME!

This is actually good news for Job, he now sees that these people are hurting him, not helping him.  So, he does what any God loving person should do……He starts to pull himself up by his boot straps, thinking logically based on God.  I kind of see him hitting the wall and shaking his head like a cartoon.  He has some sense knocked into him.  He has to explain to these guys, look I was grieving.  I did not really want to die, I just wanted this nonsense to stop, it hurts, it’s uncomfortable……can’t you relate? 

Job doesn’t like that his stature in the eyes of those around him has been distorted.  That simply adds insult to injury.  He wanted them to continue to see him as righteous and upright no matter what.  Yet, he still stands there arrogantly protecting his frailty.  A mighty and strong warrior till the end…..so far.  Within all Job’s monologues, we constantly hear I did this, and I did that…I, I, I……and then occasionally God.  The show piece here is Job’s good works, how He provides etc.  He even is bowing his chest out to God…..ooops!

He lists along set of rhetorical questions for God to answer. He is basically in God’s face demanding: is this what my “good God” does?  Tell me what I have done, common’ tell me so I can defend myself!  He is bating God for an argument all for the purpose of closing Him down – he wants this to end.  These actions are where fear of vulnerability and self righteousness part ways.  There is a grand collision about to take place!

I found one thing Job stated particularly of interest, when he said “if I call and he answered (God) I would not believe that He was listening to my voice”.  To me this infers that Job did not believe that God would talk to him, counsel him or even waste His time in his presence.  Was Job going to waste his time seeking a God he believed was doing all this to him? 

Job then moves into realizing that these so called friends are not able to help him.  They are no more intelligent than he is.   He is now stepping out of the presence of the crowd that has gathered and separating himself from that mentality.  This is awesome!  The next positive steps Job makes is to humble himself by giving God back his authority.  He actually opens up some options to God and requests that their communication be on God’s terms.  Wow, good stuff!  With sincerity he wants to know what he has done.  He is asking now.

Job also makes a statement that his words are done.  God is so patient, he allowed Job to reach the end of his “self” without destroying him.  How very loving, He never left him unattended.  He was listening to him this whole time.  He finally answers Job’s questions, but he used a language Job could understand; rhetorical questions, firm speech, authoritative. 

God was not sarcastic, although a cynical heart would perceive it as such.  God simply stated the facts and proposed that Job give it his best shot to take His place.  Is this what happened with Lucifer, was God in His goodness giving him his own world to “do it better then”?

Job needed to be tested so that he could see his pride.  God saw him as righteous but in order for Job to “reach his righteousness” he had to journey through this territory of discovering, uncovering, repenting, and liberating his heart and mind so that he could be transformed into His righteousness.

These friends couldn’t help him because they were using theories, facts and judging Job.  They didn’t really know him personally, nor did they have much wisdom from living as they spoke.  So they truly were not even close with God or Job. 

Job was doing this with God.  It is like when we try to imitate celebrities or when stalkers think they have this intimate relationship with people objectifying them for their own pleasurable feelings.  It is all relational delusions.  All this being said, by the standards of Gods “law” Job was “perfect”, but as Satan said Job was blessed and comfortably “able” to make sacrifices, help others and what not. Contrary to the whole “kept man” theory of satans though, Job did, in his own human way, “love God”, and felt that he was righteous and fervent toward God’s ways.  He really was trying, but it was askew. 

So there was a bull’s-eye on his pride, God needed to put an arrow in the heart of the matter.  Why?  Simple – he does not desire sacrifice, he wants relationship……His own relationships with us individually and a family relating as a family unto Him. 

His bull’s-eye was Job’s continuous justifications of things – they all stemmed from fear which was the soft spot.  Love cannot operate without brokenness and harm in fear.  That is why God must cast it out. 

Perfect love casts out fear.  The one who fears is not perfected in love.

Today, I ask that you look for the bull’s-eye of fear in your lives.  Where is the soft spot you are guarding?  Ask God to be your strong tower and protect your heart above all else.  He will tell “you” to protect your heart above all else, but he has the walls and vengeance covered.  He does not want any blood on your hands, or your blood to be shed.  He is just that “kind” of God.

 

My prayers covering you as the blanket they are meant to be,

With Love and a holy Kiss,

Candace