If – Then…

Read Job 36

Focus on verses 11-12

The Bible contains many “if – then” statements, most of which are spoken by God. They take many different forms, but typically contain some form or variation of the following. “If you keep My commands, then you will be blessed, but if You abandon my commands, then you will suffer the consequences of your disobedience.”

This statement in Elihu’s long speech is slightly more specific, and seems to be in reference to kings and rulers.

If they listen and serve him,

they complete their days in prosperity,

and their years in pleasantness.

But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword

and die without knowledge. (v. 11-12)

As one considers kings and rulers historically, this does seem to be consistent in most cases. There are not too many evil tyrants recorded in history who did not come to some form of ignominious end, while a good number of those who ruled with integrity and honor seemed to enjoy peace and prosperity. There are a few exceptions where this was not the case, but there does appear to be a general pattern.

One of the glaring exceptions is the man Job. Here is one who did listen and serve, attempting to follow and obey the Lord, yet lost everything and is suffering from a horrible wasting disease. How does this make sense? How is this consistent with the nature of God? One must read to the end of the book to find some of these answers, recognizing that there are some questions for which we may not find an answer.

This also is by God’s design. I have previously said if we were able to understand all there is to know about God, he would no longer be God. There is a sense in which the vast unfathomable nature of God is what makes Him God and us…not God. He knows us completely, we know Him partially.

In regard to this it is important to understand that it is not so much that God is deliberately hiding Himself from us. In fact the exact opposite is true, He deliberately is revealing Himself to us. What becomes problematic for us is the vast infinite volume of who He is. Yes, He is that big, that wise, that loving, that majestic, that incredible. It will take us eternity to know Him completely. I admit my finite linear thinking mind has a bit of a problem understanding that. Perhaps it is fortunate that we do not have to fully understand Him in order to believe in Him?

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About Dented-Knight

Peter Enns (aka - The Dented Knight) is a native of rural southern Manitoba, Canada. He is an ordained minister, the proprietor of LNE Web Services, father of four, grandfather of two, and life long husband of one. 
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