Arguing with God

Arguing with God

Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. – Job 38:4

Job 40:1-5

 1 Then the LORD said to Job,

 2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”

 3 Then Job replied to the LORD,

 4 “I am nothing – how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand.”

 5 “I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.”

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be” (Thomas Jefferson).

“People used to say, ‘Ignorance is no excuse.’ Today, ignorance is no problem. After all, you have ‘a right to your own opinion’-and self-esteem to boot” (Thomas Sowell).

“Ignorance of the law of irreducibility was no excuse. I could no longer excuse myself with the claim that I didn’t know the law – for knowledge of self and of the world is the law that, even though unattainable, cannot be broken, and no one can excuse himself by saying that he doesn’t know it” (Clarice Lispector).

Job argued with God (Job 38-42). Job truly thought of himself as being qualified to do so. But he soon discovered that he was incorrect. It is almost as though the Father interrupted Job while he was still thinking about what to say and He spoke to him and said, “hold that thought!” Then the Lord gets serious, very serious. He asked,

Job 38:1-4

 1 Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind:

 2 Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?

 3 Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.

 4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.

In essence, the Father said to him, “Who do you think you are? Of all that there is to know, how much do you think you know? Before we go any further, I require that you answer some questions for Me. First of all, where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know so much” (Job 38:4).

When it comes to things like creating planets, stars, and the entire cosmos itself in perfect harmony and balance; or maintaining and controlling the powerful forces of planet Earth such as the wind, the waters, night and day, hot and cold, or the trembling of the earth how are you doing? And then there is that matter the existence of all matter, energy, and life itself, what part did you play? And from there, the Father begins a rather stern interrogation. He asks a bunch of questions that Job could not possibly know the answer to. He is doing this to make it abundantly clear to even the most casual observer, that Job does not have a clue regarding the Father’s knowledge, authority, or creative power.

We might say today, “that is above my pay grade.”

The Father’s response to Job’s questioning could be summarized as follows.

In essence, you speak in ignorance not from knowledge. You think yourself righteous, but you are actually arrogant and proud. Compared to me, you know practically nothing and are almost powerless. I am all-knowing and all-powerful. I have an eternal plan. I created everything to achieve my eternal purposes. Everything is working exactly as I planned.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Instead of weeping when a tragedy occurs in a songbird’s life, it sings away its grief. I believe we could well follow the pattern of our feathered friends” (William Shakespeare).

Father I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You. So often I have spoken confidently about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. I take back everything foolish I ever said. I repent!

INSIGHT

“Job was sure that his speeches had been filled with wisdom and knowledge, but God’s first question put an end to that delusion: ‘Who is this that darkens My counsel with words without knowledge?’ (Job 38:2, NIV) The Living Bible paraphrases it, ‘Why are you using your ignorance to deny My providence?’ (TLB) God didn’t question Job’s integrity or sincerity; He only questioned Job’s ability to explain the ways of God in the world. Job had spoken the truth about God (42:7), but his speeches had lacked humility. Job thought he knew about God, but he didn’t realize how much he didn’t know about God. Knowledge of our own ignorance is the first step toward true wisdom” (Wiersbe).

Job gets the message loud and clear.

Job 40:1-5

 1 Then the LORD said to Job,

 2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty? You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”

 3 Then Job replied to the LORD,

 4 “I am nothing – how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand.”

 5 “I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.”

Job repents and submits to the Father’s authority and wisdom.

Job 42:1-6

 1 Then Job replied to the LORD:

 2 “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.

 3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I, and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me.

 4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’

 5 I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.

 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

We are living in difficult and challenging times. Our minds and emotions are heated up and every now and then they boil over. Rather than arguing and challenging the Father out of ignorance and limited understanding; instead, we need to recognize the error of our ways, repent, and entrust ourselves to Him.

1 Timothy 1:5-11

 5 The aim of our instruction is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

 6 But some people have missed this whole point. They have turned away from these things and spend their time in meaningless discussions.

 7 They want to be known as teachers of the law of Moses, but they don’t know what they are talking about, even though they speak so confidently.

 8 We know that the law is good when used correctly.

 9 For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders.

 10 The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching

 11 that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God.

2 Timothy 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

Perhaps that time has now come!

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