Not a Tame Lion [Devotion]
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy? ~ Job 38:1-7
That passage is the beginning of one of my favorite passages to go to when I need to submit my heart in worship to the Lord. Starting here and running almost uninterrupted for the next three chapters (I’d definitely recommend making time to read them all together) God declares His glory to Job. Sometimes I’ll read these passages in a responsive way, every time it says “who has” or something like that I’ll replace it with “You [the Lord] have” and it becomes a mighty declaration of who He is!
But why? Why is this passage so potent? Because it is all about how small we are. How insignificant we are compared with the might and power of God. Even though Job had been through all of that pain God didn’t owe him anything. God was under no obligation to him. Now I know that may sound harsh to many of us. We may prefer to think of God as someone more quiet and comfortable. However it is dangerous to do so! We forget the might and majesty of God only at our own peril. I love the way that C. S. Lewis puts it when referring to Aslan in The Last Battle, Tirian says, “He’s not a tame lion.” Sometimes we try to pretend that God is a grandpa in the sky but it’s not true. He is the one that spoke the universe into being at the authority of His voice! He is the one who flooded the earth so that even the mountains were drowned! He is the one who took the sin of the world on Himself, said “it is finished”, and then three days later rose to life again! He is the God who will one day judge all of humanity according to His righteous law! He is GOD! And we, who are in Him, should revel in the fact that He is rather than shrink from it. We should rejoice that we serve a mighty, powerful, sovereign God! He cannot be defeated or overcome and those who are in Him will share in His ultimate victory by the grace of Jesus Christ!
But we shouldn’t let this view of God’s power make Him seem impersonal or aloof. In fact if we look at what is going on there in Job we see just how kind and caring God is!
It can be easy to get caught up in the incredible power referred to in God’s speech with Job. But don’t forget what He’s doing… talking to Job. Remember what I said earlier. God didn’t owe Job anything. Even after all Job had been through God was under no obligation to him. And yet here is the God of universe, in the depths of Job’s misery, speaking to him and reminding him of who his God really is. God was there! God was with Job! The fact that God is responding to Job’s unwise words means that God heard what Job said!!!
There are two very common mistakes we see in modern Christian’s thinking about God. One is to only reflect on His love and kindness. The other is to only reflect on His righteousness and justice. But when we focus on either one at the expense of the other we miss important elements of both! The fact that God is so righteous, just, and powerful makes His love, mercy, and kindness all that more amazing! And the loving caring nature of God is made clear and poignant by the righteous judgement that had to be laid on God’s own Son in order for that love and mercy to be manifested to us!
God doesn’t need us but He wants us. God doesn’t owe us anything but He gives freely out of the abundance of His nature. So when I come face to face with the power displayed in this passage I am at once humbled as I think of myself and lifted up as I think of the One I serve! Praise God that He is God and let us live lives of obedience to and fellowship with our Mighty and Loving, Sovereign and Caring, Righteous and Merciful King of Kings and Lord of Lords!