Who knows the creator?


Still moving stuff over here from my previous site, so when this talks about “now” – think October 2009.  Any new additions from Feb. 2016 will be in text like this.

I’m going through Job now, for a small group study. In the midst of all his problems, Job says the following when talking about who he thinks caused all the troubles in his life.

Job 12:7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Job 12:8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish of the sea inform you.
Job 12:9 Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the LORD has done this?
Job 12:10 In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.
Job 12:11 Does not the ear test words
as the tongue tastes food?
Job 12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?

Job 13:1 “My eyes have seen all this, my ears have heard and understood it.

Not only does Job himself “know” that it was God – so also do the birds, the fish, and even the earth itself. Sounds like Job is really angry with God – and he is.

This is the same Job who earlier (but still after his troubles were in full force) said:

Job 9:1 Then Job replied:
Job 9:2 “Indeed, I know that this is true.
But how can a mortal be righteous before God?
Job 9:3 Though one wished to dispute with him,
he could not answer him one time out of a thousand.
Job 9:4 His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.
Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
Job 9:5 He moves mountains without their knowing it
and overturns them in his anger.
Job 9:6 He shakes the earth from its place
and makes its pillars tremble.
Job 9:7 He speaks to the sun and it does not shine;
he seals off the light of the stars.
Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
Job 9:9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
Job 9:10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

So Job also knows that God created everything, and has control over everything.

But – shortly afterwards, Job also says:

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.

and

Job 9:13 God does not restrain his anger;
even the cohorts of Rahab cowered at his feet.

Job 9:14 “How then can I dispute with him?
How can I find words to argue with him?
Job 9:15 Though I were innocent, I could not answer him;
I could only plead with my Judge for mercy.
Job 9:16 Even if I summoned him and he responded,
I do not believe he would give me a hearing.
Job 9:17 He would crush me with a storm
and multiply my wounds for no reason.

Remember, this is Old Testament stuff – pre-Jesus. Job is talking about hope in God, forgiveness of sins, and a second life.

Consider this, from 1 Peter 1:3-9

Praise to God for a Living Hope

1Pe 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Sure sounds familiar.

How does Job know all of this? It’s so far after his time. He doesn’t seem to be a prophet – just a good man with a whole heap of troubles: all of his property and wealth gone; all of his children dead; living in a trash dump; listening to three “friends” tell him that he must have brought the whole thing down on himself by sinning against God – while knowing full well that he didn’t do that. How can he know all of this – and how can he have such deep understanding? Even though he turns out to be wrong about the cause (it was Satan, not God who caused the bad things to happen) – he was absolutely right in knowing that God was his hope. Maybe even incredibly right, since the very One he thought was causing it was also the same One he knew to be his only hope.

Here’s another question – perhaps a better and more relevant one. Why don’t we know this today as certainly as Job did then? Why is it so hard for us? We have the Bible to read – which was pretty much impossible for most people prior to Martin Luther, the printing press, and education that made it possible for so many people to read. We have the benefit of knowing about Jesus – which Job didn’t. We have the Holy Spirit – which Job didn’t. Everything is so much in favor of us – in this day and age – knowing these truths that Job knew with none of the advantages that we have today. And yet so many don’t know it at all – or still have trouble believing it.

As I was copying and reformatting this for the new site, up to this point I was thinking I really need to go back and read Job on a regular basis.  It’s not short – 42 chapter!  Even going back and reading what I wrote about it myself on a regular basis would be good.  It’s like – how many times do we need to learn these same lessons?  Fortunately, Jesus forgives us for being forgetful.  But still – I look back at my life – and I feel bad about how often I forget.  Forget, essentially, about Him and His promise to always be with me.  Another good thing – Jesus doesn’t forget to be with me, and He’s always there when I return to Him.

If you watch Fox News and see Bill O’Reilly – you’ve likely heard him claim to be Catholic. The other day he also said he doesn’t know if Jesus is really God. Bill is willing to say that Jesus was a good man, but not willing to say for sure that he was God. Maybe he said this because he was worried about ratings – or maybe he really isn’t sure. Either way – what does that say about the strength of his belief in what he claims to be (a practicing Catholic)? What about us? Do we believe that Jesus is God? Do we know that Jesus is God? It would be most wise to have an answer to this question. Consider the words of Jesus –

Mt 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

So – do you know that Jesus is God? Do you really know it and believe it in your heart? And just in case you think that what Bill said is “good enough”, one more quote, this time from Revelation –

Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.
Rev 3:19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

When I was young, I remember the priests used to say that you can’t sit on the fence when it comes to God. If you don’t truly believe – then you may as well not believe at all. I didn’t understand this before. Now I do – understand it – and truly believe.

If you’re still in doubt:

– talk to God – He will answer; talk to a true believer – one who will pray with you / for you to know God – He will answer.

If you are a believer, but come to periods in your life when you have doubts – or difficult periods:

– talk to God – He will answer; talk to a true believer – one who will pray with you / for you to know God – He will answer.

If you are a believer, and never have any doubts or difficult periods in your life:

– talk to God – He will answer; talk to a true believer – one who will pray with you / for you to know God – He will answer.
because you’re probably in denial. It happens to all of us.

Don’t believe that? – think you can go it alone and don’t need any help or encouragement because you’re always so “with God” that you don’t need anyone else? Beware – that’s a dangerous thought. Even Paul wrote in Romans –

Ro 1:11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong — 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
Ro 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.
Ro 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

Somewhere between now (2017) and when I first wrote this one (2009) I got into context of verses – annoyed at how often I’d see or hear someone pick out a verse or two, just to have it support what they were trying to say.  But then, if one takes the time to look it up – it meant nothing of the kind!  Essentially – it’s either a gross misunderstanding of what the Bible said – or a lie.

So now, as I’m reading this again for the move, I’m noticing that I also was picking out just the bare minimum of verses needed to support what I wrote.  So far, thankfully, I haven’t found any problems.  However, what I have seen is that, had I included the entire context, I could have done a better job of supporting what I was trying to say.

I’ve added more verses in a few places above, but especially in the Romans passage immediately previous to this note.
At first, I had only the first two verses – Romans 1:11-12.

Now, I added the remaining verses in the passage.
Why?
Because what I wrote was to both believers and non-believers.  Even believers with doubts.  All sorts of people.  That concept wasn’t included in the two verses I chose to use.  But that concept is, in fact, included in what Paul wrote in the passage – Greeks and non-Greeks / wise and foolish / Jew or Gentile – again, all sorts of people.

Context.  It really is important.

I end tonight with this final thought: At any given point in time – maybe you need someone’s encouragement – or maybe someone else needs your encouragement. Either way, like Job, know the God you worship – know that he created all of us, everyone and everything. Keep Him where He belongs – the One True God, above all other gods. He is our only hope – and as such, it wouldn’t be good to have Him say that He doesn’t know us, because we didn’t know Him.

One last note – to myself – and to you – yes, we all need encouragement.  One other thing we all need is to remember that we need encouragement.  Then, after remembering, we need to actually go and get that encouragement.

I want Jesus to be able to say to the Father that He does know me, because I know Him.

What about you?

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