What is God Doing? #4

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

From time immemorial, philosophers in all cultures have speculated as to the origin of the universe, the existence of one God or numerous deities, what that God or those gods might be doing, and sundry related beliefs. Overwhelmingly, however, their explanations can be summed up as “excellency of speech” and “excellency of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:1), and “enticing words of man’s wisdom” (verse 4). It sounds right and appears good but it is grandiose verbosity—impressive long-windedness—failing to adequately address the matters at hand. Such was the dialogue between Job and his three friends!

As their name implies, the Corinthians resided in Corinth, a city close to Athens (then world intellectual capital). After the Apostle Paul visited them in Acts chapter 18 and led them to faith in Jesus Christ, they became increasingly infatuated with human philosophy. They supposed that man’s knowledge could provide them with insight into God’s wisdom. You would do well, dear friends, to read the first three chapters of 1 Corinthians. They gently rebuke these precious saints to return to the simplicity of God’s Word spoken through Paul. Despite all their philosophy and education, they were spiritual children, utterly clueless to the workings of God. True wisdom—the wisdom they lacked—would not be found “in the wisdom of men” but “in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5).

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (verse 9). Science, empiricism, could not help them learn God’s wisdom. Rationalism, reasoning, religious tradition, afforded them no Divine understanding. Intuition, hunches and inner impressions, could not bring them spiritual insight. If they were to “find out God,” “find out the Almighty unto perfection,” they would have to come God’s way….

What is God Doing? #3

Monday, January 7, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Early man knew a fragment of what Almighty God was working to accomplish. With a completed Bible canon in hand, however, we can see just how minute their peek was. Now, the entire Divine counsel has been disclosed, exposed for all to see if they want to see it, proclaimed for all to hear if they want to hear it, and available for all to believe if they want to believe it! Just how do we go about discovering that information though?

First Corinthians chapter 2: “[1] And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. [2] For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. [4] And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: [5] That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

“[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [9] But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

What God is operating today is “hidden wisdom” (verse 7)—something once secret but now made manifest….

What is God Doing? #2

Sunday, January 6, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

The Biblical Book of Job is one of the most well-known pieces of ancient world literature. Its protagonist, Job, although a righteous man, experiences disturbing inconveniences after God grants Satan permission to afflict Job (1:1-12; 2:1-6). Basically, wealthy Job loses his oxen, his asses (donkeys), his sheep, his camels, his sons, his daughters, and his servants (1:13-22). His health fails as he suffers a plague of boils or sores (2:7-10). Remarkably, after these ordeals, Job is still faithful to God (1:22; 2:10). Such bad news would send the ordinary saint into apostasy, but Job will neither accuse God foolishly nor sin with his lips. He worships and declares, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (1:21).

Chapter 2, verse 11: “Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.” Most unfortunately, these three “friends” are, in Job’s own words, nothing but “miserable comforters” (16:2). They accuse him of all sorts of wrongdoing, that he is responsible for his troubles, and so on.

Much of the Book of Job is he and his friends, along with a fourth man (Elihu), engaging in many, lengthy, theological squabbles. Zophar is the speaker in today’s Scripture. He essentially tells Job that he cannot know what God is doing—it is just too high, simply too deep, just too long, and simply too broad. My, oh my, dear friends, what comfort indeed (uh, NO)! Thank Almighty God we can understand (and in great detail!) what He is doing….

What is God Doing? #1

Saturday, January 5, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Dear friends, looking at the world around us, is it not difficult to believe that God is doing anything? After all, human society seems to be quite busy in doing what it wants—killing, stealing, dealing drugs, waging war, abusing, raping, using profanity, kidnapping, lying, tyrannizing citizens, and so on. Wherever we turn, evil, evil, evil is before us! Where is God? Is He “on vacation?” If so, is it temporary—or permanent? Does He even exist at all? These inquires exasperate millions of poor souls. Some are genuinely seeking the truth; however, many seem to be thoroughly content in ignorance.

It is ever so easy to get intertwined with the affairs of this world. Therefore, in 2 Timothy chapter 2, the Bible exhorts the Christian, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (verses 3,4). Distractions abound, for Christian and non-Christian alike. Additionally, we are quite enthralled in what we are doing—what we want, what we like, what we have, and so on. In all our hustle and bustle, do we ever bother to consider God’s desires? Have we contemplated what He would have us do? It is quite unlikely that we have spent even five seconds asking these questions.

The Holy Bible is not an accident; it came by “special delivery,” for a special reason. If we truly desire to know what God is doing (and yes, contrary to what we see in our circumstances, He does exist!), then we can open up His Book and read to see what He is doing. Rather than being content sitting in ignorance, we must we endeavor to see what God is doing and what He would have us do as well….

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Saturday, December 22, 2018

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Ironically, God’s wisdom ordained the birthplace of the Prince of Peace to be the contentious Middle East….

Almost from the very beginning of time, the Middle East has been a battleground, the chief war zone of good and evil. Originally the peaceful home of Adam and Eve, today it is the most contentious region on the globe. Because of Adam’s sin, what was a paradise is now known as the area where man joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Adam and Eve utterly failed to reign over the earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Instead they united with the opposition, and were banished from God’s presence and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23,24).

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Verse 14 says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come.” God would send another Man, Jesus Christ, and He would accomplish what Adam failed to do: glorify God on the earth by dispossessing it from Satan, and reigning in righteousness. This is the “government” spoken of in today’s Scripture.

“For if by one man’s [Adam’s] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (verse 17). Adam plunged the human race into sin and made it God’s enemy; Jesus Christ offers mankind eternal life, forgiveness of sins and a reconciled relationship with God! This was God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ.

As our world desperately continues to seek peace, let us remember there will be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns to His nation, Israel, and rids our planet of Satan and his policy of evil (the root of the Middle Eastern turmoil). At Christ’s Second Coming, there will be peace on earth (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

Hot Air—And Cold!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits (Ecclesiastes 1:6 KJV).

Behold, a most curious verse in a most interesting place!

Scoffers and skeptics portray the Bible writers as primitive, bumbling ignoramuses. They were not as “sophisticated” as we, “knowledgeable” as we, “enlightened” as we. Whereas they were so “superstitious,” here we are so “scientific.” The fact is, not only do we have an inflated view of ourselves, we hold a naïve view of them.

Earth’s atmosphere circulates in a highly complicated manner. We can think of it as a series of conveyor belts stretching from pole to pole, with “cells” or “belts” swirling up and down (vertically), and north and south (horizontally). Air parcels or air masses, depending on their temperature, will rise (warm) or fall (cool). This movement—greatly influenced by the Sun, Earth’s rotation, and vast ocean basins—drives our winds and the other weather phenomena we experience (as in fronts and storms).

Interestingly, today’s Scripture, written by King Solomon some 3,000 years ago, depicts wind movement just as we understand it according to modern science. The Bible is not a science textbook, but when it speaks of science, it speaks most accurately. Notice the word “circuits.” This is the idea of circles, or loops, or (if you prefer) a series of conveyor belts passing over rollers. The wind “returns” as it cycles around—down, south, up, north; or up, north, down, south. Most aptly, they are termed “wind belts.” Depending on the latitude, north or south of the Equator, wind travels along Earth’s surface in large sweeping motions.

Attempting to grasp the complexities of our natural world is quite exhausting. Our brains are fairly limited, yet our Creator has endowed us with some ability to analyze and understand His handywork. We, being so further removed from creation than the Bible writers, are actually less enlightened. Moreover, despite our technological advances, we (like them) still struggle with the basic challenges of this fallen world. We have yet to eliminate rampant crime, ceaseless war, rank cruelty, extreme poverty, absolute starvation, and so on. The human race, as a whole, has drifted further and further from the LORD God… just like the wind!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why did Saul of Tarsus not refuse his water baptism by Ananias?

The Greatest War Hero

Monday, May 28, 2018

“For God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 KJV).

In the United States, today is Memorial Day, when we remember those who sacrificed their time and lives to provide our physical freedom. Likewise, as Christians, we have spiritual freedom, which was more costly. Someone had to die to give us the eternal life we now enjoy….

Scripture describes a spiritual warfare between good and evil, God’s truth program versus Satan’s lie program: “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [schemes] of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:11,12; see also verses 13-20).

Satan distracts mankind from God’s pure Word, the Bible, keeping unbelievers lost (dead in their sins), and preventing unbelievers and Christians from knowing God’s will. The devil draws them away (seduces them) from God’s Word by using religious tradition and human “wisdom” (1 Timothy 4:1-3; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Galatians 3:1-3).

God loves us, so at Calvary’s cross, Christ fought for us sinners, died in battle (today’s Scripture), shed His divine sinless blood, and eternally rescued us from Satan and sin: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14,15).

Hebrews 9:12 says Jesus Christ has “obtained eternal redemption for us.”

If we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13). Now, God can use us for His glory for all eternity.

Beloved, let us rejoice in our victory over sin, death, and hell that Jesus Christ secured for us by going to Calvary’s rugged cross! Jesus Christ is now alive forevermore—He is our Hero, the Greatest Hero!

*Adapted from a larger Bible study “The Greatest Hero,” which can be read here or watched here.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should women speak in church?