February 2019

God-Yes Indeed!

          Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (Job 38:1-2).

          Job was challenged with many hardships.  Things had not gone the way he would have liked. He finally expressed some of his frustrations. The following is an excerpt from Echo: Unbroken Truth Worth Repeating Again by Jonathan Fisk, page 14.

“Think back to the last time life didn’t go the way you thought that it should….think of the last time you got annoyed, you were frustrated. You got angry. It doesn’t matter what caused it or if it was justified…. On that day, during that moment, you were less than perfectly happy, and the reason you weren’t perfectly happy was that for a single moment the world around you gave you an experience that made abundantly clear this obvious fact: ‘You are not in charge. You aren’t in control everything. You don’t rule the universe. You are not God.’ There was nothing you could do about it, and that is why you got mad.”

          Job had this truth made perfectly clear to him. Previously God had high compliments for Job, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” (Job 1:8). However, after turmoil with loss of resources, family, and his own health, Job wavered, lamenting his own life: “Let the day perish on which I was born, and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’” (Job: 3:3a). What followed were accusations from people close him. Job drifts away from the teachings and behavior that had received compliments. Job was frustrated. Life did not go the way he thought it should. So he spoke against his antagonists; he laid out numerous examples of how “righteous” he saw himself. He was not in charge. He struggled, for he was not God.

          Job needed to be reminded, instructed again in the things he already knew: an echo of God’s truth. God sent a faithful servant, Elihu, to instruct him and then God’s direct word continued to subdue Job.

          We learn the summary of our church’s teaching in Luther’s Small Catechism.  We are guided to memorize forty-five questions and answers. When we have completed the lessons, there is a celebration for the church, family, and the person who confessed Biblical truths before God and man. 

          This confession is wonderful; however, and battle rages. Our flesh strives toward its natural ways, which gives our sinful inclinations another chance to take root. The world entices us, and Satan works his woe of deceiving mankind. Satan’s original and continual deception is “Did God really say….?” (Genesis 3:1).

          Echoing the Catechism’s teaching is a healthy practice to keep us at peace with God, even when all our vices (flesh, world, and Satan) throw turmoil in our paths, and we dare not get too relaxed when things seem so smooth.  Starting in February, the Sunday morning Bible study will be using the above quoted book. In this study, Luther’s Small Catechism’s points are “echoed” from a unique angle, worthy to be discussed.

The Lord be with you,

Pastor Sam Wiseman