Wednesday, December 5, 2018

God Describes Himself

Christmas lists....I've got one.  It is woefully unfilled with gifts, and I really need to get after that tomorrow....smh

It was trendy a while back to make a list of things to describe yourself.  An example would be "100 Facts about Mandy", (to just choose a name out of thin air).  I never wrote one of those lists, but knew people who did.

We can get a lot of information about the character of God by studying His words and actions in the Bible.  But, at the end of the book of Job, God gave a lot of information about Himself at once, in an effort to describe The Indescribable to a mere human.  He did so in the form of questions, peppered with asides to Job like, "Can you do that?"  "Have you ever done that?"

We find God describing himself in Job 38 and 39, because Job had been busy justifying his life before God, telling God how righteous a man he was, and how he really didn't deserve all the calamity that had befallen him.  Essentially, Job was questioning God's actions in his life.  This is how God so aptly put Job's actions and attitudes in Job 40:8 (NIV) - - -

Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

Here are the things God listed (not in question form, though, but in statements)

  • He laid the foundation of the Earth.
  • He measured the Earth and marked off its dimensions.
  • He laid the Earth's cornerstone, while stars sang and angels shouted for joy.
  • He brought the seas under control, setting their "doors and bars" in place.
  • He gave orders to the morning and showed the dawn its place.
  • He knows the location of the "springs" of the sea and walks in the recesses of its deepest parts.
  • He knows the location of the gates of death.
  • He also knows the way to the abode of light, where light lives, and where darkness resides.
  • He binds up the snow and hail in storehouses, held waiting for when He calls on them to fall.
  • He knows the point from where lightning is dispersed and where east winds originate.
  • He designs the paths for torrents of rain and decides the path of the thunderstorms.
  • He fathers the rain and the drops of dew.  He births frost and frozen waters.
  • He brought forth the constellations of the heavens and controls them to this day, displaying His dominion over heavens and Earth.
  • He counts the clouds and sends lightning bolts on their way.
  • He provides food for the lioness, the raven and all living things.
  • He knows where the mountain goats give birth and the does bear their fawns.
  • He created and easily controls the wild donkey and the wild ox.
  • He created the silly ostrich who, although created with little sense (she tends to kill her young), can run faster than horse and rider.
  • He created the wild mustang, giving him his strength and spirit of fearlessness.
  • He created the hawk and eagle and knows their ways as well.
  • As He sees fit, He endows human hearts with wisdom and gives understanding to the mind.

After hearing this list, Job's response was much like Isaiah's when he "saw the Lord, high and lifted up" (Isaiah 6:5 NIV).  Isaiah said, "Woe to me! ... I am ruined!"  In Job 40:4 Job answered the Lord saying, "I am can I reply to you?  I put my hand over my mouth."

Then, God goes for round two.  In Job 40:9-41 He continues to describe His marvelous character, attributes and deeds.
After that list, Job confessed that he despised himself, and he repented of his actions, in dust and ashes (42:6).  Humility and repentance, in the presence of One Job could not begin to fully comprehend.

Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength.  We will sing and praise your might.
Psalm 21:13 (NIV)

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