Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ramblings...on life and JOB (in the bible)

It seems everyone is blogging. There are blogs about everything under the sun. There are blogs about motherhood, housecleaning, cooking, home design, money saving. It's endless and can send my mind into a whirlwind faster than Pinterest (which I do love).
I get down on my blogging efforts and want to give up and then kind friends encourage me by letting me know that at some  point my words on here have brought life and maybe even encouragement. So hooray and thank you ladies for those spontaneous acts of love to get me back on here.
I have had a very restful two weeks. Almost too restful to the point I am ready to DO something. After a surprising  gallbladder removal surgery I was unable to lift any of the kids (or boxes) and in the middle of a move that has been impossible so our time in Alabama has been a must. But I am ready to go home. To have a sense of home again, other than my moms. 
I have been grossly reminded of the temporaries of all existence here on earth these last few weeks and like the old gospel song "I'm just living in my temporary home". No matter whether that's for three weeks or three years or thirty...
I want to leave you with something more than just my ramblings and life facts.  Have been "chewing on" these verses from job 22. "Can man be any benefit to God? Is it an asset to the Almighty if you are righteous? Does HE gain if your conduct is perfect?" I want to point out some things that these verses taught me.
 First some background/context of the entire book of JOB:
 Job is in turmoil. His life is falling completely apart and his well meaning, believing, philosophical friends talk with him regularly about his life,his condition. They think they are wise. They know a lot of theologically sound things about God. They feel the need to call Job to repentance several times. The book records his confessions/arguments and conversations with said friends. 
This scripture is one of those. Job has just pointed out that God does things we can't explain or understand and the verses i posted are his friends' response to Job. They go on to say some things that are "off track" about Job's situation, because they were unaware of Gods purpose in Job 's  suffering and Gods allowing of the enemy to touch Job; but to dwell on these verses I see something huge. Something big. A least for me. 
Unexplainable things happen. Kindergarten students loose their lives to a killer, entire schools loose life to a tornado, strong Christian parents loose kids to drugs, babies die in miscarriages. We look at God and we don't understand. We see hard things. We look at our own lives and circumstances and we are overwhelmed, bewildered, confused. We try, oh we try hard to perform, to please. To do good enough, for God, for parents, for teachers and friends. We have endless checklists (or at least I do) of things to do "right" so that God is 'happy' with me and blesses me and is pleased. That he claps and stands happily in heaven at my performances. I stress, oh I stress, over my kids' behavior (or misbehavior) I grow weary over trying to figure out mans' responsibility amidst Gods sovereign order. 
That is why I think these verses are huge.  
1. Can man be any benefit to God? 
First i have to wonder..Did God exist completely, happily and perfectly before man was created? YES.   (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, Hebrews 1:1 So our creation was not for HIS benefit, but for ours. Throughout the bible we read that we are made so that we may know of his love, of his master plan of salvation available to all men. To feel his grace, his mercy, his pardon so that he may thouroughly display his goodness to us..
This is not to say man cannot do works that benefit His KINGDOM, for our efforts to share the gospel do indeed benefit. Benefit who? Man. Once again we see man benefitting man because of God, but no real benefit to God. For he did not have to create man, but he did. For the purpose of salvation to be to our benefit.
2. Is it an asset to the almighty if you are righteous? 
Romans 3
None of us is righteous. That is clear through out the bible. So is it a credit (to some account) of God if we are? Remember Abraham? Looking for 10 righteous people? If he found them-was it God that benefited? No. The people of Sodom. THEY benefitted because of Gods mercy in not destroying them if they were found righteous. As do we.
But God? Fully righteous  Jeremiah 9:23-24/psalm 118:142 In need of no ones additional righteousness. Can He work through our righteous acts? Yes but still it is He at work..for:
3. Does he gain if our conduct is perfect?
As previously established. It is not. No ones conduct is perfect. None of us can claim that status or ability. But say it were..play along with me and let's 'pretend' if my conduct/behavior were blameless and I did only good all the time would God gain something? If we gave credit to him for allowing us ability to behave perfectly and claimed his help and sustenance through each temptation towards straying from Perfect conduct...AND we confessed our constant prayers to him for help and ability to continue and our desperate need of him, say then would God gain? 
I say: he would gain glory, but it would add nothing to his already perfect state. It doesn't say that WE are perfect, only our conduct(behavior) because he knows that no one other than GOD could be completely perfect in all of their being. GOD pointed out Job's uprightness to satan in Chapter one. He was aware of Jobs response in the end from the beginning. He did indeed gain glory and still does today when we like JOB, Like JESUS, point all good things as coming not from ourselves. 
By thinking any good comes  from us (John 3:27, James 1:17) we would rob God glory for his giving us the ability. (but this is something that sadly i do..why do I constantly want praise?!)
I believe here is a reminder for me in my parenting. That my children's behavior is not to my credit. If it be good-It is a gift from God. It is a testament to His goodness and mercy. In giving me wisdom in how to teach them to behave and/or in giving them strength to act in accordance with any training or instruction we may have given. It is all to his credit and glory. And it benefits me to know that neither mine, nor my children's behavior  alters God eternal perfect being. He is and will forever be perfect. He is and forever will be the only one who acts good in all things at all times. He is and will forever be the only one who gives to any of us that we may benefit. I am instructed to train my children in righteousness, to talk constantly about God, his word, his work. May I recognize his perfect existence is independent of my imperfect behavior as a parent. may i depend strongly on him for teaching me and my children how to act in righteousness. His work is complete  in creation, the cross and eternity future.  His behavior towards me and all mankind is just and righteous though ours is not. He is good. Is is the only true good one (mark 10:8) 

There is a ton of theology in Job. Deep theology. Hard theology. Rich truths and chewy truths. 
This post is not about things I (or you) need to DO or me NOT parenting my child. It is simply the ramblings of a believing mommy on things about God and His word. ramblings...thoughts..this blog is for me..to record things I'm learning...to journal..to remember...SO
...Feel free to look over all my ramblings and just look at the pictures :) (when i get them posted:)
But if you want to join in and share..tell me..What verses/chapters encourage you when you wrestle with Gods sovereignty and mans responsibility?

1 comment:

Katherine said...

You know, dear friend, how I long to hear His voice. Oh how I've wished so many times that He would speak audibly to me. But I know we are saved and live by grace through faith. I look forward to that "one day." His Sovereignty I don't begin to understand (obviously...He's sovereign ;) And Holy. And Righteous. And I have NONE of those attributes. It's easy for me to fool myself into thinking that I must (and that I can) earn His favor. At the same my love for Him is proven through obedience. And at the same time I love because His love is in me. And my head starts spinning. In all my doubts, in all my self-pity...when I wrestle with how He works, I rest in several verses...This one is one of my favorites (1 John 3:1-3): "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God and that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies Himself, just as He is pure."

I'm trying to remember that there is joy and much anticipation to be experienced in His mysteries. I have to claim it. You know my need to hear "I love you" from Jesus. I need these verses to remind me...especially with death, suffering, just plain-old hurt feelings abounding.