Faith’s Response To Reason

“Then Job replied: “Even today my complaint is bitter;
his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!
I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.”
Job 23:1-4 (NIV)

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“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Job 23:10 (NIV)

One time as a teenager I was way out in the bush deer hunting when I became lost. My usual sense of direction failed me. It took some courage to beat back my fear and start thinking hard about what to do now. Finally I reasoned that I had walked for some time well east of the cottage where we were staying. So, if I followed the sun now descending in the west, I should come out to civilization once more.

I kept walking for two-three hours and finally came to the eastern shore of the lake where the cottage was located. I saw familiar shoreline and quickly judged where the cottage was. Within a few moments I was able to get back to the warmth of the cottage and my friends who had now realized that I must have become lost.

Job was in a far more difficult situation than mine that frosty fall day in the Haliburton Highlands of Ontario. He had finally lost his sense of the presence of the Lord. He felt surrounded by chaos, evil, and his faith wavered.  What was he to do now? God had apparently left him and his grief knew no boundaries. Everything was a mess. All that was left for him was death. All else was gone.

After making his great lament in vss. 1-4 of Job 23, Job asserts what seems impossible. He said that the loss of any knowledge where God was, or how to find him, was a trial he would some day finish and he would be reunited with his Maker. In other words Job would carry on as though life make sense when he could only see disorder and chaos. He was persuaded God would reveal Himself some day. And some day came for Job and the Lord wonderfully made Himself known.

Perhaps now, for a time, you too are called on to live as though everything made sense when it did not. As William Cowper wrote:

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste, But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain.

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