Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Humble Pie, Anyone?

My throat is dry and parched like a desert.

I'll be the cast member with the pocket full of cough drops today.

I finished reading the book of Job. You know, I always thought he was an innocent man who got a raw deal, but then everything worked out well in the end. Reading through it this time, however, I could see how Job was standing on his own good works to declare himself righteous before God.

Chapter 29 is a laundry list of all the good works he had done and the countless people he had blessed with his benevolence. What made me laugh aloud was his opinion of himself in verse 24:

"If I smiled at them, they couldn't believe it; they were thrilled at the light of my countenance."

Oh, Job.

Kelly and her friend Aleah were watching a movie last night. I made them pause it so I could read it to them! This makes me think of Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway where he is finally able to build a fire.

[broad gestures] "I. . . .have made fire!"

In other words, I am so amazing!

Three of Job's friends tried to convince him that he has sinned somewhere, and that God wants him to repent. Job keeps declaring his innocence. Finally, young Elihu can't take their babbling anymore and speaks up.

Job - you're not innocent or righteous because you are not God. No one is. He alone is the righteous One! Stop acting like you've cornered the market on holiness because you haven't. No one can come even close to the glory of what God has done, especially you!

Elihu continues by telling Job something that's pretty hard to hear sometimes:

God can do whatever He wants to us, whenever He wants to.

He doesn't do it just to mess with is, though! Elihu says in 34:10, "It is impossible for God to do wrong, and for the Almighty to act unjustly."

I hate going through trials. HATE IT. I wish I could just get to the end of the trial and have the lesson learned that will cause me to grow.

Elihu says in 36:15, "God rescues the afflicted by afflicting them; He instructs them by means of their torment."

This is painful for me, but it's especially painful to watch when it happens to the ones I love. I treasure this journey through Job for the reminder of God's ultimate goal through trials - to RESCUE and INSTRUCT us.

I'm so in need of rescuing and instructing!

In chapter 38, we find that Elihu was in agreement with God Himself. He didn't answer Job's "why me" in a way that Job may have hoped, but He answered in a way that brought truth and healing to Job.

My mom has something similar to Job's final response on her fridge and it makes me smile or cringe (depending on what I've just done) every time I read it. Job responds in 40:4b with "I place my hand over my mouth."

To paraphrase: "I got nuthin'."

Maybe, like Tom Hanks, we've been able to do something as amazing as building a fire by rubbing sticks together.

None of us, not one of us, have been able to do what God has done. Not only did we not create the universe, we didn't send a beloved Son to the cross to defeat death and rescue the lost for all eternity.

We got nuthin'.

"But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head.

I cry aloud to the LORD, and He answers me from His holy mountain."
Psalm 3:3-4

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