Pulpit Reflections

Pulpit Reflections
In recent weeks, a Nebraska state senator has been making headlines by filing a lawsuit against God for all the disasters that have been happening around the world. While the senator claims to be "agnostic," someone who neither affirms nor denies the existence of God, he evidently believes enough in God to blame Him for things that happen.

Now while the senator's lawsuit is obviously a ploy to gain publicity, he is not too far off in putting God at the center of what happens in the world. Jesus predicted in Matt. 24:6-7 that there would be wars, famines, and other disasters throughout the time between His first and second comings. Now, Jesus could not predict such things unless He knew that God is in control of them and that they are what God has in mind for this world of sinful people.

If you don't like the idea of sin, ask yourself why we have city police, county sheriffs, state police and several federal police agencies, not to speak of a court system clogged with cases.

The Book of Job, written about 4,000 years ago, at the time of Abraham, gives us a Christian way to handle disaster, a way that, like the senator's lawsuit, recognizes that God is in control of these things. Suing God is just the whiners' and complainers' way of handling things, something pretty common in our nation today.

But for Job, there is an entirely different approach. Job rightly recognizes that God has brought disaster into his life, but instead of complaining, Job is patient. He says, "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the lord." He also says, "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity." This is the patience of Job, a real virtue.

The second thing Job does in handling his disaster is to put his trust entirely in God. "Though He kills me," Job says, "yet will I bless His name." Job has seen God's great righteousness in his own life, and he is ready to trust God, even now, In fact, Job's trust in God goes right on through death into eternal life.

At the height of his distress, Job says, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at last on the earth. And though after my skin the worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh, I will see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another."

Job is absolutely confident that the same God who brought this disaster into his life is still his Savior, and that that salvation would include rising from the grave to personally see God in his own body.

Finally, through this trial, Job comes to recognize something about mankind, and especially himself, that is very important. Through this trial, Job has learned that even questioning God's motives is wrong. Job ends his speeches in the last chapter of the book my saying, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you. Therefore, I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes."

Individuals and mankind in general have no business questioning God, something we all do off and on. A good dose of repentance will help us to handle disaster well.

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