You Can’t Handle the Truth

“wisdom… mountains… stars…

sea… Orion… He alone…”

Job 9

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My “Read-the-Bible-in-approximately-a-year-depending-on-how-strictly-you-adhere-to-the-schedule” Schedule called for me to read two chapters of Job today.  I’ve always had trouble reading Job.  I know the basics of the story, and the lesson, as most of us do.  And the chapters at the end, when God responds to Job’s questions, are so rewarding, but a lot of the book is sort of depressing.  Job’s misery… his friends compounding his unhappiness with their condescending preaching… his wife being anything but a helpmate to him… Some days I feel it drags me down and encourages me to wallow in whatever might be my complaint du jour.

But today, for a different reason, I found one chapter was all I could handle.  Not because it was bringing me down, and not because I’m too busy to read two chapters of God’s Word, but because after one chapter, I found I was overwhelmed with God.  In a good way.

I once had an image of God that was like a sluice.  You know, the gate at the top of one of those channels that will funnel water where you want it?  When it’s closed, no water comes down the channel, but as soon as you lift it even slightly, the water starts coming.  I think they used to have them in the process of gold mining, but I’m not sure.  At any rate, I have an image of God like that.  That He is so amazing, so awesome, so powerful, so mighty, that we can only handle a small percentage of Him.  He opens the sluice only slightly.  But if we ever really understood His depth, the wonder that is God, we couldn’t handle it.  So He only allows us what we can handle.  And today, I was on the edge.  I closed the book so I could just revel in what I was appreciating about Him. 

Here’s some of what I read:

“His wisdom is profound, His power is vast… He moves mountains without their knowing it… He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; He seals off the light of the stars.  He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.  He is the maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.  He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted… He is not a man like me…”

 

The Book of Job is not about suffering and why God allows it.  It’s not about the fact that He allows us to ask Him questions.  It’s not even about challenging us to rise to Job’s standard of faith and trust in difficult circumstances.  The Book of Job is a reminder that God is completion and perfection.  We tend to forget that, if we even try to understand it at all.  But we owe it to ourselves to try.  For the more we try to understand Him, the more He will reveal.  Give it a try.  See how much truth you can handle.

 

~ “And you shall know the truth,

     and the truth shall make you free.” ~

John 8:32

~

Originally published: January 2011

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