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February 22, 1995

The Greatness of God (Part One)

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God was the silent, unseen witness at the lengthy consulting session between Job and his friends. He heard Eliphaz proclaim, “Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty” (Job 5:17). He listened as Bildad announced, “Surely God does not reject a blameless man or strengthen the hands of evildoers” (Job 8:20). He stood by as Elihu declared, “Oh, that Job might be tested to the utmost for answering like a wicked man! To his sin he adds rebellion; scornfully he claps his hands among us and multiplies his words against God” (Job 34:36-37). He watched as, time and time again, Job disputed their arguments and stated his own case.

When He'd had enough of the friends' misguided theology, God called Job to attention: “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you; and you shall answer me” (Job 38:3). He then proceeded to give Job one of the most amazing illustrations of His omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence ever recorded. “Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?” (v. 4). “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?” (v. 12) “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been shown to you?” (vv. 16-17). “Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?” (v. 35). “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?” (39:19). “Does the eagle soar at your command and build his nest on high?” (v. 27). “Who has a claim against me that I must pay?” (41:11).

As God barraged Job with these penetrating questions, His message was clear: “Job, who do you think you are?” And it didn't take Job long to come up with a response: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—twice, but I will say no more” (40:4-5).

Face to face with God's greatness, Job stopped trying to understand his situation. He responded in the only way possible—with humility and repentance. “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you,” he said. “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (42:5-6).

How do you respond when you're confronted with God's greatness?

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