Do you ever notice how people like to debate and at times argue over things they are passionate and confident about? I always find it captivating and sometime amusing when people try to debate God as shared in the Scriptures.
In the book of Job, while Job is debating with his friends the Lord is the silent listener to the conversation as we learn towards the end of Job.
Let’s listen in on Job’s case.
In Job 30:20-23, Job says, “ I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me. You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.” Job in chapter 31 goes on to defend himself as being innocent and not deserving of the hardship and suffering he had endured, which had been great and significant.
The Lord’s response to Job follows several chapters later in chapter 38.
“Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: ‘Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?”
I wonder how many times I obscure God’s plans with words without knowledge. Instead of sitting with God when trials come, I just react out of emotion without the full counsel of God. What needless stress we endure, because we do not listen to the heart and counsel of God.
In the New Testament the religious leaders of the day were working very hard to discredit Jesus’ ministry, so they decided to debate him and prove how smart and right they were. It didn’t go so well for them.
After they decided to challenge him and bring their “expert” in the law to take Jesus on about which was the greatest commandment he made the proclamation
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus then turns the tables and asks them a question, “What do you think about he Christ? Whose son is he?”
They couldn’t answer him, in fact it says, “No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.” v. 46
This side of heaven, when there is so much we don’t understand. Sometimes it is sometimes best just to be quiet and trust in the wisdom of God.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Be still, and know that I am God (and you are not) Psalm 46:10a (words in parenthesis are mine).