Thursday, August 12, 2010

How He Answers

In Psalm 73, the psalmist, with a grieving heart and a bitter spirit, questioned why the wicked seemed to prosper, and his own life seemed so difficult. "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny." (v. 16)

I love the way that the psalmist's peace and acceptance of the life before his eyes came as a result of being in God's holy presence, where transformation took place and He was able to see what couldn't be seen with physical eyes: a life of eternity. He understood that God was always with him and would one day take him into glory (v. 24). And he received assurance that the God of justice would judge the wicked.

That was enough for him.

He went on to write:

"Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds."

(v. 25-28)

In a similar way to the psalmist, Job ("a blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil" 1:8) struggled with God over the reason for his suffering that seemed so unfair. Speaking out of their limited understanding, Job's not-very-helpful friends tried to reason with and counsel Job throughout the course of the book. Then, in chapter 38, "The LORD answered Job out of the storm." (v.1) His answer was not a simple explanation of "Job, this is why I allowed you to suffer in this way..."

No, over the next two chapters, God Almighty powerfully spoke of how He created and sustains the entire universe, in incredible detail, with both creativity and strength. In 40:4, Job apologized in humble repentance, "I am unworthy--how can I reply to you?" Then the LORD continued to describe His creation and sovereignty for another two chapters, allowing Job to see what he had not seen before, transforming Job in a way that can only come in the presence of the LORD. Job again gave a meek reply, "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know...My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you." (42:3b, 5)

The LORD may choose to answer our questions of Him in such a way that everything suddenly becomes clear, but I believe His true delight is to draw us to Himself so that in His presence, an amazing transformation takes place in our hearts. Then, for us to know the answer we had previously demanded of Him, becomes much less important than knowing God Himself. And our hardened hearts melt before Him in wonder that we CAN actually know Him and live our lives united with His, our Holy Creator God.

"But as for me, it is good to be near God."

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...