Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Knowing About God Vs. Knowing God

Welcome to Week 2 of Relationship Tuesdays, where we’re looking at how God defines the relationship we have with Him. 

When I started my Christian walk, the first book of the Bible I read was Job.  What a place to start right?  But let’s look at his story in the context of knowing about God vs. knowing God.

When praising Job before Satan, God says this about Job, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."

Job is the most righteous man alive at the time; there is no one like him on the Earth.  I think most of us know the story from this point forward.  Satan says that if God lowered His protection of Job, Job would curse God and die.  God basically says, “take your best shot, but don’t kill him.”  And for the rest of the book we read about Job’s unparalleled misery.  We don’t know how long Job suffered, but we know his friends came and stayed with him for a week before they even talked, which must have been uncomfortable, especially since they broke the silence with all kinds of accusations about how Job must have sinned. 

And through it all, Job remains faithful though he does question God a lot.  And at the end God shows up and speaks to Job.  You’d think it would be words of comfort or encouragement, but God basically says, “Who are you to question me?  I’m God.” 

Job’s response is what really struck me as a new Christian, and even now it reminds me what this Christian walk is all about:

“I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." 'Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.'

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes."

Job, the most righteous man on earth, says, “until now I have only heard of You.  I’ve only known about You.”  And if you read the things Job says about God, his knowledge is on par with any seminarian or pastor you’ll ever meet.  “But now I’ve seen you, and I take it all back.  I was talking about things I didn’t understand, and I repent in dust in ashes.” 

Before I found Jesus, I had taught a class on the Bible as literature, wrote a thesis on St. Augustine and some of the early church fathers, and read the Bible cover to cover several times.  I used to debate with Christians all the time and much like Satan in the wilderness with Jesus, I’d use scripture against them.  But when I met Christ, I realized I didn’t know anything, and even now in the presence of His holiness, I’m an ignorant fool. 

There is no knowledge you’ll ever accumulate on earth that will compare to seeing God.

In 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 Paul says, “Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”

Next Week: Does God Know You?


Andrew Bernhardt said...

Job is one of my favorite books of the Old Testament. I just finished the second part of a series of articles on Job for my website that I'll post soon.

The book is primarily about the character and nature of God, and only secondarily about Job and suffering. I see the key verse as 42:7. It got me thinking "In what way did Job speak right of God and his friends speak wrong?". This forced a re-study of the book, which created more questions than answers at first. But by sticking with it, I found the study quite beneficial.

stephen porter said...

Looking forward to reading it Andrew. Love your studies.

Andrew Bernhardt said...

The study is posted at http://dtjsoft.com/disp/job2


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