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Can We Really Know God?

Job 26:5-14

April 17, 2019

However much we think we know of God, it is critical to understand that we really know very little. If we were to add up all of the insight, knowledge, and understanding of every great theologian throughout human history, it would still fall FAR short of explaining the full depth of who God really is! The scriptures proclaim that God is eternally self-existing and self-sustaining. This is a principle and concept that is simple to explain, but is impossible to understand. We as people cannot relate to this truth of God. As people, we are dependent on so many factors for our existence. We are dependent on so many variables to be sustained. All of these factors and variables are governed by God individually and collectively all at once! How can you quantify that kind of power? How can you explain that sort of wisdom? How can you level with that sort of glory? Therefore, no matter how much we might learn of God, we must always remember that we haven’t even scratched the surface. For that reason, we should praise Him and thank Him for any sort of revelation and understanding He provides, not boast in the things we think we know.
 
The testimony of Job 26:5-14 provides some insight into the depths of God’s being. When Bildad addressed Job for the third time, he spoke as if his understanding and declarations of God were the final word about God. Bildad had some understanding of God and stated a few things that were true of God. Bildad stated some things about God that were deep, but they were not reflective of all there is to know about God. Therefore, Job responded against Bildad’s arrogance. Job wanted to explain to Bildad that, the truths he spoke about God were not helpful to his suffering. Bildad’s words about God were not helpful because the depths of God are so rich, simply stating any fact about Him doesn’t necessarily apply to a particular human need. God’s depth is so rich, that there are many things that could be said of God, and in order to provide help and service, we must seek to know His full character and nature.
 
Job explained that he knew some things about God too; and the things Job knew were so unexplainable, that it proved Bildad’s “service” was weak. First, Job explained the extent of reach, control, authority and influence that God has over the living AND the dead. God is not just the God of the living, though He is the Provider of life – eternal and physical. The Bible teaches that God is also in charge of the dead! This means that even those who die remain under the control, influence, and authority of God in some capacity.  Though the dead have no functionality in the material world any more, God still administrates some sort of existence for the dead – existence unto eternal life in His presence, or eternal condemnation. God is in charge of both. Job explained that the dead tremble no matter where they are. Thus, whatever attitude someone might have against God in this life, they will tremble before Him in the next. There will be no arrogant arguments trying to disprove God. There will be no attempts to rebel against Him. Both the faithful and the unfaithful will tremble before God when life on this planet is over! How does that work exactly? Only God knows…
 
Job also explained that Sheol is naked before God. Sheol is the Old Testament reference to hell, though it doesn’t just speak of the dwelling of the unrighteous and the ungodly. The Bible describes Sheol as a sort of waiting room for all of those who have died as believers before the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. It is also a waiting room for those who die without faith. The dead will wait in Sheol until two different resurrections take place. God will raise up those who are righteous by faith first and reward their faith with eternal life, having new bodies and all of the eternal blessings of God. God will later raise up the unrighteous who did not have faith, and judge them at His great white throne judgment seat unto eternal condemnation. Job explained that “Destruction” has no covering there, referring to the chief of the bottomless pit that appears in Revelation 9:11. Though that demonic spirit causes pain, suffering, and torment on the earth at that time, God is in charge the whole way through. God’s control and influence over Sheol shows that He is not only aware of its existence, but of each and every heart that dwells in there. God is able to see the righteous and the unrighteous, differentiate one from the other, and then deal with them as Judge at the time He has proclaimed by His Word. How do you explain this? Only God knows…
 
The testimony of Job 26:5-14 explains God’s control and authority over planet Earth, everything in it, and everything beyond it. Job stated that God stretched out the north over empty space. God is able to provide direction out of nothing. Where things seem to be an empty abyss, God is able to provide direction, purpose, and the means to bear fruit by that purpose. Job explained that God hung the Earth on nothing. Though Job likely lived during the days of Abraham, he understood that Earth was floating in space. Science confirmed Job’s understanding much later. This statement not only proves the wisdom of God given in the scriptures, but also explains the depths of God’s power and control. Science explains that planet earth is 13,170,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 pounds! Yet, God is able to make something this heavy float in space. How do you explain this? Only God knows…
 
Job described how God is able to provide purpose, functionality, and excellence by the breath of His mouth. He puts water in thick clouds. Though airplanes can move through clouds, they are somehow filled with water at the same time so as to water the ground according to God’s purposes. When those clouds are filled, they don’t burst. They release water according to God’s declarations. He uses the same types of clouds to control the revelation of His glory. Job acknowledged that God uses clouds to conceal His glory in His kingdom. He places a dark cloud before His throne. He covered Mount Sinai with a dark cloud when He gave Moses the Law. He filled the tabernacle and the temple with a dark cloud when His presence filled them. When Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured, they were engulfed by a dark cloud that said to them, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” God uses whatever He wants according to His purposes to determine how much we see of Him at any given time. How do you explain this? Only God knows…
 
Job marveled at God’s appointment of the horizon. He explained that God drew a straight line to separate light from dark. The horizon is a clear separation of the start of day and the end of night, and vice versa. This shows that God is able to separate light from dark. He is the One that divides and separates one from the other. He determines when the light comes and when the darkness comes, and created the processes and time for which each appears. The horizon exists by God’s determination, and according to the Bible, these things were made manifest by the Spirit of God. According to Job, God adorned the heavens with His Spirit. The account in Genesis explains that God spoke, and His will was made physically manifest. Thus, it is the Breath of God (the Spirit), accompanied by His Word (the Son) that made all things come to be as we know them. How do you explain this? Only God knows…
 
Job then explained the extent of God’s power and authority in the spiritual realm. While it was the Spirit/Breath of God that filled the heavens (the universe) beyond the earth, it was the hand of God that takes care of the issues that plague earth. Job explained that God’s hand is set to pierce the fleeing serpent. If there was ever an awesome prophetic statement in the Bible, Job made one clear! In Genesis 3:15 God declared judgment upon the instigator of sin in the world – the devil, the serpent in the Garden of Eden that temped and deceived Eve. God promised that He would provide a solution to the issue that sin caused through His judgment of the devil. He promised to provide a Seed to be born through a woman. This Seed/Child would be bruised and wounded on the heel by the serpent, but this very wound/bruise would be sufficient to squash the head of the serpent unto his destruction. This promise refers to the incarnation of Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah. The bruise that Jesus took refers to the crucifixion. This wound was painful, but not sufficient to utterly destroy Him, which is why it is referred to as a mere bruise to the heel. However, it was the crucifixion of Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, that crushed Satan and the effects of His work. Since Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay for the total penalty of sin, the devil can no longer stand as an effective accuser of God’s people unto their condemnation. Jesus’ death took away the sting of sin’s consequence so that those who believe upon Him will never die, but have eternal life!
 
Notice that the serpent is a fleeing serpent. The devil seems to have authority and power in this world, but that power is in check as clearly evidenced by Job Chapter 1. Notice that it is the hand of God that causes the serpent to flee in terror. The devil is not God’s equal. The devil trembles at the hand of God just like everything else. Scripture later explains that it is specifically the right hand of God that brings justice and judgment to darkness. The Bible explains that it is Jesus Christ that sits at the right hand of God administrating the judgments of the Father unto perfection and unto His glory. Thus, it is Jesus that brings an end to the devil. In 1 John 3:8 it states that Jesus came into the world specifically to destroy the work of the devil. Jesus came as God in flesh, possessing the holy, perfect, and full righteousness, glory, power, and authority of God the Father. He came to fulfill the promises of the Father, such as those declared in Genesis 3:15. How does God do this? Only God knows…
 
These are the sorts of things that boggle the human mind. It is easy to proclaim the truths that the Bible states, but understanding them is much more difficult – in some cases, impossible. Job stated that these things about God don’t even scratch the surface to describe the full essence of who God is! These are some pretty deep truths that explain God’s nature, character, and eternal purpose, and yet, doesn’t come close to describing the full nature, character, and purpose of God. According to Job, these things are the mere edges of God’s full glory and majesty. When we hear God or receive revelation from Him, it is like a small whisper compared to the power that truly exists in His voice. So then, who can really understand God? Who can really know the depths of the Gospel? Who can really grasp the depths of His Word, His purposes, and His promises? Bildad spoke as if he had everything figured out. Job proved that no one will ever have God or His Word figured out. So then, we continue to pursue understanding with humility, rather than speak in arrogance.

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