“Can you discover the depths of God? Can you discover the limits of the Almighty?” –Job 11:7 Many of us enjoy a good mystery novel, television show, or movie because we enjoy the suspense and intrigue this genre has to offer. It is my guess that most of us revel in trying to figure it all out to see if in the end our suspicions prove correct. Our enjoyment of a mystery is predicated upon the conclusion of the mystery—we want to know what happened! We want an end to the mystery that will help us make sense of the story’s journey. Sometimes, if you are like me, we will seek to know the conclusion before we reach it because we just cannot take the suspense of not knowing.
Our human nature is not comfortable with mystery and ambiguity. We are addicted to reasoning and to understand the: who, what, where, when, why, and how of situations and circumstances. Job was a man who lost so much and asked many questions. His friends and wife were of no comfort. His wife told him, "Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!" (2:9). His friends sought to rationalize through blame because there had to be something that Job had done to be on the receiving end of so much pain. Finally, Job gets an audience with God, and we think, “Now, Job will get some answers.” But Job does not get answers from God, rather he gets questions posed by the Almighty in Chapters 38-41: “Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers” (38:2-3 Message).
God uses the questions to allow Job to reach this conclusion:
“I’m convinced: You can do anything and everything. Nothing and no one can upset your plans. You asked, ‘Who is this muddying the water, ignorantly confusing the issue, second-guessing my purposes?’ I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head. You told me, ‘Listen, and let me do the talking. Let me ask the questions. You give the answers.’ I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand—from my own eyes and ears! I’m sorry—forgive me. I’ll never do that again, I promise! I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor.” (42:1-6 Message)
Job does not get answers to his questions, but a revelation of truth!
Humankind’s first sin was to rebel against God and eat of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. The serpent tricked us when he said: “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). The serpent exposed a divine curiosity within us that when coupled with pride could have disastrous consequences. Since the garden, we have attempted to use reason to put God into the box that fits comfortably within the limits of our rationality. As much as we may try, God refuses to be placed in a box and refuses to allow us to remain comfortable with what we think we know about Him. In Isaiah 29:14, God declares through the prophet: “Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”
Our curiosity is a divine spark within us, but only when handled properly. God frustrates us by opposing our pride so that we can be in the best place to have a revelation of the truth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). God wants us to seek wisdom and knowledge in Him and through Him, but we must remember that He does not work for us rather we work for Him! In Isaiah 1:18 (ESV) He invites us to reason together—with Him! But we must exercise humility recognizing that truth in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Curiosity combined with pride lead to destruction; whereas, curiosity and humility lead to revelation. We must seek truth when we seek Christ (John 14:6). But we must let Jesus, be Jesus! We will receive revelation—that is the truth for us and for this time—when we seek God with all of our hearts and minds in love and through faith. We must be prepared for unanswered questions and respond in faith (trust and obedience in action). Keep asking questions, challenging assumptions, and the status quo, and allow yourself to be open to a fresh awakening of God’s movement around us. We may not know all the answers, but we know that in the end—LOVE WINS!
Dr. Rob Weinstein is the Founding/Senior Pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church in Bridgeton, NJ. He is also a Professor of Business Studies/Academic Director/Chair of Human Resource Management Studies. He is the Founder of the M25 Initiative, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness and food insecurity in Cumberland County, NJ.
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