unconventional praise

6247-cream-color-flowersIn chapter 19,  Job blatantly blames God for all the calamity that has befallen him. Can you imagine the rebuke you would get from well meaning Christian friends if you began this dirge against God, Job’s three friends proved my point. But God doesn’t rebuke Job, rather he reveals truth to him. And, while Job acknowledges God as the one responsible for his hardships, Job does something else,  He acknowledges God. Job’s unwritten words are a confession of God’s mastery over all things. Only God has the power to afflict and only God has the power to redeem. Within Job’s blame we hear his farsighted anticipation of the cross. Job lays his dis-ease and sicknesses on the all-powerful One. the condition of his soul and the sorrow in his existence is placed on the back of his redeemer.  Job inadvertently proclaims God’s absolute ability and strength to take all the accusation and consequences of sin upon himself offering redemption in its place.

the bible says, this Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. Isaiah 53:4

Job declares with confidence that God has walled up my way, therefore the unspoken confession is that God is able to open the way. God puts darkness on my path,  the unspoken confession is God gives light to the path, God has stripped my honor, and only God can restore it. Like a captain, God alone has the authority to do strip honor or grant honor in it’s place. In all Job’s complaints against the holy one, Job is actually declaring the authority of the Holy One.  In verse twenty three, Job brings his grievances against God full circle when he says with perfect vision : I know my redeemer lives, why? Because his redeemer has brought this forth all these things, therefore he must be ALIVE. His declaration of God’s past power leads him to see God’s future power. He acknowledges both the crushing hand of God as well as the all encompassing might of his redeemer. Sometimes its hard to see one without the other.

“Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. Hosea 6:1

We often feel guilty for blaming God. Are there times you have felt a cold stare or cutting words like a slap on the wrist for not speaking praise and glorifying words about God?  Do we really think God is offended when we blame and hold him responsible? Do we really believe he can’t handle our verbal vomit and griefs? He came for that purpose! God is not a fragile flower, He is a strong tower! King David made his living recording his complaints to and often against God, and yet the psalms are a thorough revelation of God’s character in the midst of a troubled heart.  Is it possible that in our complaints against God we actually exalt him and prove his might? Is it possible that his judgments against us,  actually make him known to us.

Hashem became known through the judgments He executed. Psalm 9:17

After all, at the end it was Job, with all his complaints and accusations,  that spoke “what was right and proper about God.” Perhaps in the future we should be more honest about how we see God, it might be the most effective praise in the moment of suffering, leading us to the greatest revelation of our redeemer.

 

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