May 21, 2011
“I’m ready to shut up & listen”
Since we were here last year we have worked through a series about community and relationships. We have dealt with friendship, marriages, forgiveness, experiencing tragedy and then learning to comfort another by being the person God uses to help someone through a similar crisis and resurrection of their life.
All of the messages are in printed form right here on our website if you are interested in any past.
In Hebrews 13:5 God says He will never leave us nor forsake us. We never need to fear abandonment, or circumstances separating us from all our loved ones or friends that care …even the new ones He has prepared to walk us through our darkest hours about to come.
We have talked extensively about 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 discussing how God allows us to experience many difficult, even tragic circumstances so afterward we’re able to counsel many others going through similar things… “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Never forget …God HAS time for you!
I am sure you have heard, …and you, yourself have said “not now, I’m busy”, or “I’m sorry but I don’t have time now.”
I am beyond sorry today that all too often I said those things simply because I had far too much responsibility to handle in aspects of our ministry here and abroad, and I left Leeanne and Sarah to Kathy because I had to rush off and solve some problem for others. It took me way to long to change that lunacy!
Fortunately, God is not like me, or the business executive, or any one of us humans trying to avoid interruptions… Take a look at Psalm 34:
6 When I was desperate, I called out, God heard me and got me out of a tight spot.
15 God keeps an eye on His friends; His ears pick up every moan and groan.
17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.
18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.
Needless to say there is the other side of the coin when one does not believe God is interested, He is uncaring or not involved in the control of this universe or life as we know it today. We can do it best, we live in it! …or so people like to think.
Possibly God’s best response to mankind comes out of the life of Job. When I think of crisis, tragedy, and a devastation in the life of a family, I cannot imagine being in Job’s shoes. He lost everything, including all his kids in one day leaving him destitute and alone …except with a wife who told him to curse God and die! (Job 2:9) Yeah, that was a big help!
But God was there. And, after listening to Job …along with the assumptions of some not too brilliant “friends” that believe Job had to have sinned for all this to happen, God takes on Job’s questions in Job 38-41.
The Lord, in this discourse, humbles Job, and brings him to repent of his passionate expressions concerning God’s providential dealings with him. God does this by calling upon Job to compare God’s being from everlasting to everlasting, with Job’s own time; God’s knowledge of all things, with Job’s own ignorance; and God’s almighty power, with Job’s own weakness. Our darkening the counsels of God’s wisdom with our folly is a great provocation to God. Humble faith and sincere obedience see farthest and best into the will of the Lord.
But, let me point out just a few of the questions God poses to Job in that amazing discourse. These are only in a summary format so please take some time and read Job 38-42.
Imagine yourself in Job’s shoes when God speaks to you out of a whirlwind saying:
“Who are you to talk to Me like you know something when in reality you don’t have a clue what you are talking about? Prepare yourself like a man and I will ask you questions and surely you will be able to answer Me.”
- Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Yes, tell Me if you have understanding of this.
- Who came up with it’s blueprints & determined its measurements. Surely you know!
- What are earth’s foundations fastened too?
- Who laid the cornerstone?
- Who took charge of the sea when it burst forth
- Who decided what they were and then set the seas’ boundaries? Tell me if you know all this.
- Have you ever ordered the morning to come & dawn break?
- Do you know the dark mysteries of death?
- Do you know where light comes from and darkness lives? Come on, You know all this because you were born then, so you can lead them home if they got lost. After all your years are many and you have known them all your life because they lived in your neighborhood.
- Can you bring out the Pleiades, Orion, The Great Bear & her cubs or know the first thing about the laws of the constellations?
- Can you get Venus to look your way?
- Can you lift up your voice to make an abundance of rain cover you?
- Can you send out lightning bolts making them obey your orders?
- Who gave wisdom to the mind & understanding to the heart?
- Can you number the months that the mountain goats and deer will live?
- Are you the one who gave the horse strength and adorned his neck with a shimmering, silky mane? Did you make him to prance proudly or give him fearlessness that causes him to run straight into battle without fear of sword or lance?
- Did you command the eagle to soar high in circles and make its nest at great height?
God goes on & on with answerless questions to Job and finally asks:
“What do you have to say for yourself? Since you contend with Me are you going to correct Me & rebuke Me? First answer these questions!
- Needless to say Job repents and says…
- “I have spoken what I did not understand. These things are far beyond my understanding and too wonderful for me to know. I am speechless and in awe. Words fail me. I never should have opened my mouth. I babbled about things far beyond me.”
- “I heard of you by hearing, not knowing and seeing.” (Note Job is speaking of knowing God in his head but not his heart.)
- “But now my eyes see you.” (Note that now Job begins to know God in his heart)
- “I repent in dust and ashes and …I am ready to shut up and listen.”
Afterward, God restores Job twice what he lost.
And I want you to note something here.
- That restoration happens AFTER Job prays for his 3 foolish friends.
- So God turns right around and uses Job to comfort out of his experience as we have been talking about.
- He never leaves us & always provides a way out.
- Even when we act like idiots and think we have a better plan
The conclusion here and through the last year is God is trustworthy.
If He holds the stars in place by His hand, surely He can take care of us also …IF we trust Him. …NO, He never answered Job’s “why” questions nor likely to answers ours either, BUT we can know it will be for our best.
Where is your head and heart today?
Do your eyes see God for Who He is?