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Friday, May 23, 2014

Accusing God

You remember the story of Job, right? He was a "blameless and upright" man (Job 1:1). Now that's some statement coming by the inspiration of God. This genuine "good guy" is faced with a couple of stunning tragedies where Satan tries to prove to God that Job is not faithful enough to stick with God under trial. He loses his children, his property, and his health. Still he says, "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him" (Job 13:15). Eventually, though, Job succumbs to the faulty assaults from "friends" who assure him that God only does this kind of thing to really bad people. Eventually Job declares, "Let the Almighty answer me!" (Job 31:35). And God does. Chapters 38 through 41 contain one of the most grueling exams ever offered. God essentially says, "Oh, you want to question Me? Let me ask you a few questions." And He proceeds to lay out clearly and indisputably Who is in charge.

Halfway through, Job sees his error and tries to catch a break. "Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further" (Job 40:4-5). Umm, yeah, okay ... but God is not done yet. "Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to Me" (Job 40:7). Then God says something that apparently not too many today have heard.
"Will you even put Me in the wrong? Will you condemn Me that you may be in the right?" (Job 40:8).
Oh, man, that is way too close to our current culture, isn't it? Okay, not close; dead on.

Here's the current view among both skeptics and "believers": "I think God needs to change." Maybe it's His view on homosexual behavior. Maybe it's His view on love, sex, marriage, or divorce. Maybe it's this "exclusivity" thing. Certainly the whole "Hell" concept has to go. No one likes that. And we know that God was wrong in the past. I mean, look at the Old Testament! There was a death penalty for homosexual behavior, adultery, even misbehaving children. On the other hand, slavery is not condemned and patriarchy is defended. God's treatment of women was less than stellar. And that's without even considering the obvious stuff about killing men, women and children (and their sheep) or forbidding the mixing of crops or threads or rules about cutting your hair. Obviously His rules on sex outside marriage or even "'til death do us part" unions are long past their time. I mean, come on! How much can we take? God has made mistakes in the past and He's still doing it today and we need to fix it!

And I can hear God echoing through time, "Will you even put Me in the wrong? Will you condemn Me that you may be in the right?" And I can imagine Paul chiming in as well. "Who are you, O man, to answer back to God?" (Rom 9:20).

We live in perilous times when people who call themselves followers of Christ and believers in God are perfectly happy claiming that God is wrong simply because He disagrees with and condemns their decisions or lifestyle choices. We boldly and brazenly flaunt our sin in His face and demand He come around to our way of thinking, condemning Him so that we can be right. Ask Job. It's not a safe tactic. Not even for a moment.

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