Monday, February 3, 2014

"Declaration Without Explanation"

     The Bible begins with a sublimely simple declarative statement concerning God's initiation and creativity: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).  The Holy Spirit and Moses provide no explanation of God, primarily because none is possible.  An infinite Heart and Mind cannot explain Himself and His way to finite beings such as ourselves.  Thus, the Scriptural record invites us into its pages with the simplicity that tells us much about our Maker, and much about ourselves.

    "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened?  Or who laid the corner stone thereof?" (Job 38:4-6).

    Proud human flesh, infected with Satan's lie that "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," desires a Bible that primarily explains rather than declares (Genesis 3:5).  God's response to suffering Job resulted from His servant's outcries against his misery, and Job's mistaken notion that he might better cope if only the Lord would provide the whys and wherefores of the trial. 

    "I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me.  Show me wherefore Thou contendest with me!" (Job 10:1-2).

    "Tell me why, Lord!"  No answer was forthcoming to Job. Indeed, he didn't know (and apparently never knew) that his trial resulted from heavenly machinations between God and Satan (Job 1).  Job could not have comprehended such things, anymore than could we ourselves.  The Lord therefore calls Job to trusting submission in His declaration without explanation.   Job responded in repentant faith and submission, ultimately trusting God rather than cursing Him as the devil predicted and sought to effect in Job (Job 1:11; 42:1-6).

    Unlike Job, we possess a completed Bible in which God actually explains, to a limited degree, many things about Himself and His way.  Scripture remains, however, a primarily declarative rather than an explanatory document.  We will all come to places, conditions, and circumstances for which no explanation is provided, nor is any possible.  As with Job, our Heavenly Father calls us in such times to trust rather than understand.  Or, as the adage wisely encourages, "When we cannot comprehend the hand of God, we must trust His heart."  Such a determination is hard, again, because our flesh bears the delusion that we can understand as gods understand.  We cannot, and perhaps the Lord allows and even determines the inexplicable for the purpose of illuminating the proudful strain of deception in us that must be overcome.  "Why?"  We'll often never know.  Of this, however, we can be sure: God's way is perfect (II Samuel 22:31).  Indeed, let us sound the beautiful anthem again and again to each other, and to all who will listen, namely, that no one has ever trusted the God and Father of our Lord Jesus and been disappointed for doing so.  And no one ever will...

"Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds!"
(Psalm 36:5)
"My life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed. I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.  I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. But I trusted in Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God... oh how great is Thy goodness!"
(Psalm 31:10-14; 19)

Weekly Memory Verse
    "O LORD, Thou art my God; I will exalt Thee, I will praise Thy name; for Thou hast done wonderful things; Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth."
(Isaiah 25:1)

No comments: