Monday, March 04, 2013
Yet Job maintained his innocence, and when God appeared, Job responded not with repentance for previous sin, but repentance for uttering what He didn't understand concerning God's judgements, though God says that Job spoke of Him "what was right".
I'm reading through the historical books, and just finished up the last several chapters of Judges. To think of all the rape, lies, cowardice, and slaughter of innocent women and children! And much of it by "the good guys"! Even when they inquire of the LORD as to whether they ought to fight their brothers, and He says yes, they're still slaughtered by the evil Benjamites.
There is no explanation, no apology. God does not say whether or not He approves of them slaughtering the mothers and babies of Jabesh Gilead along with the men. These things hold true, and we see them. We see the victories, too, when we're told, like the Israelites, to fight, and are slaughtered when we do, but in perseverance see the victory even though it's not what we expected. Defeat even in victory. And even Phineas was there! The priest who stayed the Judgment of God by spearing the Israelite and midianite woman in the Torah.
What can we say? I came across some verses of Job's:
"Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,
And backward, but I do not perceive Him..."
We don't see Him at work, so often. Yet does this mean He is not there?
"...on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;
He turns to the right hand, but I do not see him..."
So he IS at work. Though we might not, most of the time, see it. We don't see God at work, but does he see us? Even if not seeing, are we at least seen?
"...but he knows the way that I take;
When he tries me I shall come out as gold..."
But how? How to follow an unseen God, when we don't hear a bell of approval for good actions, a thunder of heaven when we do badly, Nor a vision of angels when we need guidance? How can we please a God shrouded in such mysterious silence if he will not show himself?
IS He silent?
"...I have not departed from the commandment of his lips,
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food..."
So He Is there, He is not silent. He has spoken to us with certainty in His words, his revealed commandments. And this is enough for faith, and faithful walking. Enough of a word to pass the test.
But does He care? Are we only rats in a test, some sort of experiment? Who is this tester, and what are his intentions towards us? Are we only pawns, disposable lab rats, small bit and unmemorable players on a great stage? Who thinks of us?
"...for he will complete what he appoints for me,
And many such things are in his mind..."
He is there. He is not silent. And he watches. With great care and with much thought towards you, towards me, towards all.