The Opposite of Faith is…

Certainty-is-overrated

S (Scripture): Job 37
14 “Pay attention to this, Job!
Stand still and consider the wonders God works.
15 Do you know how God commands them,
how he makes lightning flash in his storm cloud?
16 Do you know about the balancing of the clouds,
that wondrous activity of him who is perfect in knowledge?
17 You, whose garments are hot
when the earth is still because of the south wind,
18 will you, with him, spread out the clouds,
solid as a mirror of molten metal?
19 Tell us what we should say to him.
We cannot prepare a case
because of the darkness.
20 Should he be informed that I want to speak?
If a man speaks, surely he would be swallowed up!
21 But now, the sun cannot be looked at –
it is bright in the skies –
after a wind passed and swept the clouds away.
22 From the north he comes in golden splendor;
around God is awesome majesty.
23 As for the Almighty, we cannot attain to him!
He is great in power,
but justice and abundant righteousness he does not oppress.”

O (Observation): Elihu is wrapping up his speech to Job.  He wants to convey the vastness of God’s immensity…of God’s awe-inducing magnificence.   God’s dominion is all-encompassing, and as such, Elihu wants to know if ANYONE should feel like they have the ability to wrestle with God.

Elihu points to the vastness of creation for an example of humanity’s powerlessness compared to the forces of nature.   We cannot control clouds or lightning.   We cannot look into the sun.

And as much as God is more powerful than us, God still seeks justice and righteousness.  God does not oppress justice and righteousness.

A (Application):  Even if the winds don’t seem to be blowing our way, God is on the side of justice.   Even if the sun seems to be a burden on us, God is still on the side of righteousness.

We try to understand why all things happen.   We want certainty…Job wants certainty…and who could blame him?  So many things went wrong for no apparent reason.

Paul Tillich said (in his “Dynamics of Faith”) that “the opposite of faith is not doubt…the opposite of faith is certainty.”   Certainty means that no risk is involved.   Certainty leaves no room for faith.   And faith is all we have when it comes to believing in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God.

With faith, we become vulnerable to being let down, being hurt, being disappointed…  But with faith, we also have the possibility of a new day, a new hope.

Even though things may be difficult, faith (instilled in you by the Holy Spirit) still allows us to be surprised by hope.  Elihu is trying to give Job hope.

P (Prayer):  Lord, fill us with faith, even though we crave certainty.  Amen.

 

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