Thursday, January 31, 2008

Love - Job and the parable of the tares and wheat

Just got off the phone with someone who compared the story of Job to the parable of the tares and the wheat. In the parable the Sower has planted good seed but up comes a batch of weeds as well. His workers challenge him with that age-old question: If you only had good seed, where did the bad stuff come from? Don't we all wonder about that occasionally?

Job was innocent and yet, his friends, seeing the outward picture of loss and disease, assumed there was an inner problem. Some great sin, that God was choosing to punish in this way. It seems to come down to whether or not you believe God is all, fills all space....or....that there is some place, some situation that you could be in where God is not present, where good is not omnipotent.

I have always read God's questions to Job, when He addresses him from the whirlwind, as accusatory. This morning, I read them as if God were speaking with gentleness and compassion. Where were you? Why, my dearest child, you were always with me. You are the child of Genesis One, with Me before the creation of the world. Are you believing there is someone or something that can challenge Me? Some devil or error?

I think all Job was 'guilty' of was in not trusted in the goodness and allness of God. We can see that he no longer resents God but he might have had some lingering resentment toward his three 'friends', who came to console with him, but believed in his guilt. So God's assignment for Job is to pray for those friends, and when Job can do that, the healing is complete for all of them.

When God speaks to Job out of the whirlwind Job is overwhelmed by the infinite power of the Creator. He sees things from God's perspective, not his own. Job had heard about God but now he has had a personal encounter. He sees far beyond the little petty deity accepted by his friends, an idol made by man. The Interpreter's Bible says "...we must remember that Job's answer was found, not in his friends' talk about a God who puts everything right in the world's affairs, nor even in what God says and does, but in God himself."

We don't need to inform God, infinite Mind, of anything. He already knows all. Through prayer and study we can 'see' understand God and our beautiful relationship with Him. When He askes where we were when He laid the foundation of the world, He expects us to answer that we were right there with Him when the morning stars sang together.

Be at peace.

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