The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: power

Lent Devotional: Job 41

Job 41 (click here)
Will you play with [Leviathan] as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! 9 Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. 10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? 11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. (Job 41:5-11)

God draws Job’s attention to another fearsome  mysterious creature…Leviathan. This is some type of water animal that Job (nor anyone else with a brain) would ever attempt to tame. The point of all God’s questions is twofold: 1) Job you cannot do this, but 2) I can. Job cannot put Leviathan on a leash like a pet, but God can.

This is why God’s culminating question in verse 10 is, “Who then is he who can stand before me?” If Job cannot remotely overpower Leviathan, and yet Leviathan is like a pet to God… then why does Job have the audacity to think he can square off with the Lord! God is giving Job (and us) a clearer picture of who we are dealing with… for all to often we lose sight of who God is and try to put him on our level.

God makes it clear to Job that they are not on the same level. God is creator and we are creation. We have never given him anything that puts him in our debt. He owes us nothing. He doesn’t owe us good, or love, or blessing, or answers, or explanations, etc. God owns everything, including us, and we owe our entire existence to him!

Yet… God does love… God does bless… God is good. He doesn’t have to be… he just is. God wants us to see that he is the almighty who has freely (not out of obligation), lovingly given us life. He is so powerful that he could crush us like Leviathan, and he has the right to do so… but he doesn’t. No. The omnipotent God promises to use his power in such a way that it is for our ultimate good. Do we trust him? Or do we foolishly try to oppose omnipotence?

We’d have a better chance trying to conquer Leviathan.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 40

Job 40 (click here)
Will you even put me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be in the right? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his? (Job 40:8-9 ESV)

Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword! (Job 40:15-19)

Job has been so frustrated with his “friends” as they have judged him by only looking at his external circumstances… unable to see the purity of his heart. Yet, has Job not done the same thing with God? He (and we) judges God based on what he can see, not recognizing that there may be much hidden from his view. Ultimately, Job thinks he could do a better Job running the world than God.

So… God asks Job many questions designed to show Job just how powerless he is to “run the world.” He directs his attention to the creature Behemoth… an extremely powerful animal that Job dare not attempt to attack. Yet, God says that he made this creature just as surely as he made Job and, as creator, he has all power over it… he can “bring near his sword.”

The point is fairly simple… the most powerful creatures Job has seen are nothing before the all-powerful God. Perhaps Job cannot see exactly how God is working his power amidst his suffering, but that doesn’t mean he is not!

God works his power for his people, even amidst suffering. There is nothing in this world, not even Behemoth, more powerful than God! So, we can rest in the truth that he is in control and trustworthy. Just like Job’s friends could not see the purity of his heart, we often cannot see the goodness of God due to external circumstances, but that doesn’t mean his goodness is gone… just hidden from view.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 39

Job 39 (click here)
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does? Can you number the months that they fulfill, and do you know the time when they give birth, when they crouch, bring forth their offspring, and are delivered of their young? Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open; they go out and do not return to them. (Job 39:1-4)

God takes Job on a tour of the animal kingdom and the whole point is for Job to recognize that none of these creatures depend upon him for anything…they depend upon God for everything! From the moment they are born and throughout their lives, it is God who sustains their every waking moment.

Life itself displays the awesome power of God…for he gives it, sustains it, and guides it all the way home!

The point is not for Job to merely feel powerless (although he should), but to see that the all powerful one is on his side! If God uses his power to care for animals, then surely he will do the same for Job!

This is a promise to every believer…that God lovingly uses his power to work for our good and his glory…which are the same thing! God’s glory IS our greatest good, for that is where eternal joy and satisfaction are found! Through Job’s suffering, the glory of God is put on display as Job’s holding onto him reveals that he is more valuable than all Job has lost. Whether he knows it or not, Job is displaying God’s worth/value/glory to the world.

Job will discover more and more how glorious God truly is, and this will deepen Job’s joy in him. God IS working for his glory and Job’s joy…and we are promised that he is doing the same in our lives…even when we cannot see it! Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Verse 28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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