Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Hearing

But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God.
Job 13:3

Before the Judge of the living and the dead
I stand to know my end
and wondering why I've gone where I've been
I ask Him to show me then

I would speak to the Almighty
and to Him I present my case
I know He will treat me rightly
when I stand before His face

My defense is not my own to claim
for I have broken every law
but I humbly plead in Jesus' name
gospel's covering of it all

I would speak to the Almighty
hoping He will let me in
and in humble repentance crying
for forgiveness from my sin

The Judge is my Redeemer King
and the Savior is my only friend
He will pardon those who to Him bring
their lives to surrender to His ends

I would speak to the Almighty
and to His justice I will come
through my pain torments me nightly
He will safely bring me home

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

ancient wisdom > modern rationalism

With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leads counselors away stripped, and judges he makes fools.
Job 12:16-17

Job's speech in chapters twelve and thirteen really is a sermon of worship and praise. It is pointed at the majesty, power, and wisdom of God... the God who wagered Job's life with Satan. Job would not let his suffering pull him away from worship. He would not let the ignorant theologizing of his friends keep him from worship. Worshiping God brought a balance to his grief and his attempts at making sense of his suffering. Worship, when done in a manner that focuses on God and desires Him above all else, is very clarifying for us. If it is only about people, it is not worship. That experience is really a false religion, sure to disappoint.

I personally love that sarcasm was a part of Job's wry observations on life and God. In the midst of this hymn of praise, there is a dry sarcasm directed at the misguided musing of his friends. It begins in verse one: "No doubt you are the people and wisdom will die with you." It continues in verse seventeen where Job exalts God for His sovereignty over corrupt human reason and power. God will embarrass the misguided advice of warped reasoning from human counselors. God will show the foolishness of human judges. The very best human reasoning is really just drooling infant babble compared to the wisdom of God.

The rising worldview in the western world exalts human reason as enlightened and pure. It seeks what only God can be and is just another variation on the pride in Satan's heart. But human wisdom, though technologically impressive, fails to compare with even the simplest wisdom of God. It seeks to replicate His wisdom as it is seen in the physical universe, to some small success. But it rejects His wisdom revealed in Christ and the Word of God. With no moral reality to guide it, science gives full power to any human atrocity. Hitler and Stalin were great utilizers of scientific advancement. They show us the extent to which blind faith in human reason deceives us to the point where millions die.

So when the Science Channel broadcasts that the Higgs Boson particle eliminates the need for a Creator, it simply just creates more chaos for atrocity. Only in God can strength and wisdom be found. And yes, no experiment can prove that statement. There is no need. God has already revealed it to a desert nomad sitting in the ashes of his losses thousands of years ago.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

preaching a graceless guilt

But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
Job 11:5-6

Zophar's words to Job contain no comfort, only incomplete theology and this dark accusation that all of Job's sufferings do not add up to the punishments that his sins deserve. That may make for fiery fundamentalism, but it does virtually nothing to care for Job in any real fashion. It shows me that theology alone does not a good counselor make.

The real surprise in Job's story is the fact that godly friends with sound doctrine could not bring comfort to their suffering friend. They believed the truth (for the most part) but could not get past their locked down theology of suffering. They limited God's sovereign use of pain to just punishment over sin. They missed God's mercies as part of the equation. And this lopsided theology served to only further Job's torment.

Zophar dismisses the depth of Job's pain and in the process makes God out to be a punishing brute. He assumed that an omniscient God only doled out pain in order to punish sin. And he thought that God exacted suffering from mankind in proportion to their offenses. Since humans are born horribly twisted by sin, it is our lot to suffer intensely. By this reasoning, Job had it easy. God had only recently brought the hammer of justice down on his head. Zophar's twisted view would have Job be grateful for all his losses since he deserved so much worse.

We should always be careful about attributing to people a guilt that only God can know. We can lead people to consider their sins, but it is the role of the Spirit of God in the conscience of a man to convict him of sin. To presume to act as if we can do so is to go far beyond our human understanding. I can preach the guilt of sin, but I must balance it with the grace of the gospel. Guilt without grace is just a way for me to sinfully judge another person. Guilt with grace lets us both enter into the glory of the gospel and worship God for what He really has done for us.

Monday, March 25, 2013

purpose hidden in pain

You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose.
Job 10:12-13

Job believes in the sovereign wisdom of God. He trusts with an unwavering faith in the purposes of God. He knows that none of his present sufferings are a surprise to God. Somehow God has had a purpose in Job's pain. It might have been hidden from Job, but God knew what Job would face and let him experience it. Nothing is truly accidental from that perspective.

Job's struggle is one we all have. It is what happens when we compare the good times to the bad. It is in that exercise that the challenging questions emerge. Job had been so blessed by God's grace (steadfast love is the poetic Old Testament term for it) for so long. And now in the humble loss of everything he held dear, he has to wrestle through the purposes of God when life is not as good as it once was. And the problem of pain is not necessarily lessoned by the knowledge that God has a purpose even in pain.

The assumption that all pain is bad and is symptomatic of judgment on sin is the stance of Job's friends. But that is not what Job knows by experience. The reality is that pain can be a good thing. God designed pain to save our lives. If my hand did not feel the pain of the fire, I would burn to death. And at times pain is a mark of health and growth. For instance, I woke up a little sore this morning from a workout yesterday. But that is a sign of health. It means that I pushed my body in a healthier direction. And the pain is a temporary discomfort that is a good thing.

God's grace is real in both the good times and the bad times. Loving God and accepting His purposes in my life means that I take from His hand both pleasures and pains. It means that I trust His goodness even when I am not particularly happy about my life circumstances. And it helps me to find the source of my strength, rooted in my faith in the holy purposes of the God Whose face I seek. I can desire God, even in life's deepest struggles.

Friday, March 22, 2013

plea for justice

If it is a contest of strength, behold, he is mighty! If it is a matter of justice, who can summon him? Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
Job 9:19-20

Job is admitting that even a blameless man is still a sinner and cannot stand in comparison to a holy God. In that fact he is in agreement with the assessment given by his friends. In reality he is always accountable to God for his wrong. There is no comparison. God is omnipotent and holy. No man can match that reality.

The heart's cry from Job in this reply to Bildad is for God to be just. He longs to be shown as clear of great transgression. His friends (now his accusers) would be silenced by a pronouncement from God. And that is the agonizing request of Job. He prays for someone to arbitrate this 'difference' with God so that all can see the wisdom of God and Job's innocence of wrong as well by God's declaration. But Job knows he cannot possibly be the person to do this. No man can stand between another man in a dispute with Almighty God!

Job's point is that only God can vindicate him. It is useless for Job or any other person to attempt to do so. Job knows in his heart the facts of his relationship with God, but he is still a sinful man. Only a holy God could initiate a defense of Job that mattered. And that is the appeal of Job's plea for justice.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

the thoughtlessness of reductionistic "cause and effect" theology

If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
Job 8:4

Bildad's words come as a direct assault on the most difficult of Job's circumstances. The most painful of his early losses was the tragic death of all his children in a weather-related catastrophe (Job 1:18-19). It was at the loss of his sons and daughters that Job's mourning began. And for Bildad to so blatantly theologize over their deaths is a counseling atrocity! I cringe when I read it.

It assumes that Job's children deserved to die for a specific rejection of God or His commands. But we know that Job was committed to the spiritual welfare of his entire family. Job specifically ministered to his sons and daughters, teaching them to sacrifice to God and plead for His mercies (Job 1:4-5). The text seems to indicate that they willingly participated in this consecration to God. It is a stretch of all that we know to think that the death of Job's children was divine retribution for their sin. Even if they had done wrong (inevitable consequence for all of us sinners), the lifestyle of confession and consecration they willingly practiced with their father would have made such an action by God to seem overbearing and unloving. But Bildad does not care about the implications of this theology in the real world. He wants a simplistic "cause and effect" God to rule the universe in stark black and white terms. It is as if God is only interested in lining up dominoes so that He can start the stream of tumbling consequences.

Bildad's reasoning is still popular. In its most extreme, Bildad's "cause and effect" theology drives the hate of Westboro Baptist Church. It creates a system where vengeful prayers and hatred for sin get mixed up into a hatred for people as well. And it destroys the heart of the gospel which is the love of God in the sacrifice of His Son for us. The reality is that God sacrificed His only Son to atone for all sin WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS. It was the heart of God to give Himself for Job's children as well, for Job, even for thoughtless Bildad the Shuhite who sinned by making God look small, petty, and overbearing.

Save me from reductionistic, simplistic theology that only sees adversity as judgment on sin. The reason Job's story exists is to teach me Your sovereignty in human suffering. You are not vengeful, but merciful. And even in our worst pains, Your grace and mercies can call us to worship You from the ashes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


When I lie down I say, 'When shall I arise?' But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
Job 7:4

Job's anguish is compounded by sleepless nights. The agony of his physical suffering stretches through every day and continues through countless hours of tossing and turning through each night. His is a weary soul. The relentless pain of no relief wears on him with a constant driving friction.

Having had my own bouts with a sleep disorder, I empathize with Job's fears. Nothing matches the mental agony that accompanies the dread of another night's sleeplessness. Bed and pillows become instruments of torture. Blankets become strangling restraints. And the minutes tick by like hours as sleeplessness slows time to a painful and excruciating crawl. And all the mind can dwell on is the lack of rest. Sleep is the easiest and most natural of activities... and it will not come. The misery compounds each night that this pattern continues. Pretty soon the capacity to function at all slips away. Days and nights morph into a gray, drowsy, zombie haze.

Depression is inevitable as the body wears down in sleeplessness. That explains a great deal of Job's negative perspective in his lament. He is innocent of the charges that Eliphaz has accused him of doing. But his mind is not at its sharpest defense. In the end, his best argument is to complain about his bitter circumstances and insist upon his blamelessness. The complaining may be the insomnia talking. The blamelessness is his integrity holding out some limited hope despite his circumstances.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

useless words

For you have now become nothing; you see my calamity and are afraid.
Job 6:21

We are powerless
to understand
all the situations
from God's hand
that pour down on us
sunshine and rain
how human experience
is both joy and pain

but people try
to give meaning
to circumstance

Words are the tools
used to convey
hope or purpose
and what we say
is meant to make sense
of the senseless
we interpret experience
often words are worthless

we only try
to find meaning
in nothingness

We are usurpers
beyond limits
of understanding
we explain it
incorrectly assuming
we know God's ways
when silence
would better ponder our days

only God can
give true meaning
to our suffering

Monday, March 18, 2013

born to trouble

For affliction does not come from the dust, nor does trouble sprout from the ground, but man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
Job 5:6-7

To a degree, Eliphaz is right to make this observation. When difficulties, trials, afflictions, and pains arise, they are not random matters. They are inevitably part of human life in a fallen and cursed system. There is an ancient observation here that is still part of all human experience. Trouble is always a part of living in this world. It cannot be avoided.

God will not let us waste our pains. He wants us to learn from them and to trust His sovereign hand. In that sense Eliphaz is right in counseling his friend Job. It is just his insistence that Job admit that God was judging sin in him that twisted this advice too far. Job was not being reprimanded by hardship. He was getting a chance to continue in his faithfulness. And that is the perspective that God and Job knew. None of Job's friends could fathom it. They were too rigid in their view of pain and suffering.

God has purpose in our pain. And all of us will without fail find times of suffering. It is up to us to let that purpose drive us into the deep love of God. We may not immediately know why we suffer. That is not important at all. But we do know God is always good even as we navigate through a life that is "born to trouble".

Thursday, March 14, 2013

experiential dangers

As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
Job 4:8

This is the summary of the counseling methodology of Eliphaz. It is certainly not about comfort. Really, all of Job's friends do not stray away from this sort of thinking. They want to convince Job that suffering is the result of sin. Their rationale is not based on their knowledge of Job, but on their strict adherence to an unbendable works theology. It leaves them judging Job rather than comforting him.

The logic of Eliphaz is summed up in a sowing and reaping equation. And it is generally the case. It is a principle confirmed even in the New Testament. At issue though is whether every case of suffering is always the result of sinful sowing. It is true that sin always reaps trouble and pain. However, it is not true that all pain is the result of personal disobedience to God. That is the whole point of the "inside story" of the first two chapters of Job. In them we learn that God may have testing purposes in our trials.

So Eliphaz is in dangerous territory. He dares to speak for God about Job's situation to Job. And interpretation is a human trait... we want to make sense of our world. But we need revelation from God to get it absolutely accurately. Job's friends don't have the benefit of that revelation. They are winging it.

Nonetheless, Eliphaz tries to lend credibility to his analysis and argument by appealing to experiential spookiness. He desperately needs authority, so he describes a ghostly visitation (Job 4:13-17) in the night in which this reasoning that suffering is always the result of sin is expounded to him by a spirit. But I find the vision itself suspect. It smells bad from the very beginning. There is false theology in it. From the onset it is weak on God's grace and mercy (Job 4:17). It assumes that God does not even fully trust His own angelic messengers (Job 4:18), which is self defeating since Eliphaz claims a spiritual being came to him in the night with the message! The vision is obsessed with the finality of death (Job 4:19-21) as if God enjoys mortal punishment on sinful humans and that death is the end.

My conclusion is that Eliphaz is a blowhard, airbag, false prophet. He has to be right and he has no problem inventing a 'vision' from thin air to make his point. He is wrong about Job, but his greatest error is that he is very wrong about God.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

6 characteristics of crisis

For the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, but trouble comes.
Job 3:25-26

This is the description of a soul in crisis. Job is expressing the extent of his personal suffering and at least for the moment his pitying friends are listening to him. He pours out his feelings. There are six ways he describes his internal suffering.

1) FEAR. Job is afraid. The things that he has feared most are now his reality. He has lost wealth. He has lost his family. He has lost his health. He really has nothing left in life except his very life and breath.

2) LACK OF CONTROL. Job uses language ("comes upon", "befalls") that indicates the sudden and inescapable circumstances he now lives with daily. And the suffering came without warning. He is helpless to stop the feelings after the events, just as he could not prevent them from happening either. It is all out of his control. That is one of the worst aspects of suffering for us. It must be endured and we can't stop it.

3) UNSETTLED. Job could not be at ease in his suffering. There was really nothing that would suddenly make it all better. His circumstances were monumentally painful. No magic words of comfort could ever change that. No medicine would restore his joy.

4) DISQUIETED. Job's thoughts were filled with his crisis night and day. He could not escape its ever present reality. He could not be quiet about it. He had to converse over it, to mourn, to speak it, and to talk it out. It could not be ignored.

5) RESTLESS. Sleep was impossible and the crisis was compounded by lack of rest. But this is a common complication in suffering. It magnifies the feelings and drags the crisis on minute by sleepless minute.

6) TROUBLED. This was the dominant thought about everything. The story reads in such a way that bad news kept falling by the hour. It was a steady flow of heartbreaking trouble that eventually flooded his life and has at this point in the story started to drown his soul so that he despaired of life, cursing the day of his birth.

Crisis tests the human spirit, and what we see in Job, we'd see in our own hearts when trouble comes. The human drama is captured in scripture for our comfort and instruction. It's hard to look at, but necessary for us to know so that we know that God knows our troubles.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

the bad stuff

Then his wife said to him, "Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die." But he said to her, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
Job 2:9-10

This is, in my opinion, the low point in Job's experience. He has lost all his children, all of his possessions and wealth, and now his own health. Pain of every sort has fallen heavy upon him. And in his affliction his own wife's despair urges him to give up his only source of hope -- his faith in God. Yet even in this deepest darkness and emotional torture, he refuses to yield his integrity or faith.

Job's message to his wife is insightful and firm. To curse God would be foolish. It would deny all of the reasons for why things had been so good in the past. And to turn to this spiritual dark place, directing his anger at God, would be a sin and a sign of a weak faith. The reality that Job accepts is that God is in both the blessings and the losses. It would be very inconsistent to only trust God in the good times. Job would accept the good stuff and the bad stuff as consistent with the rule of God in his life.

Job was one of the wealthiest men of his culture. Yet he refused to make material prosperity the barometer of God's faithfulness. He was no prosperity theologian. He did not need "feel good" smiling TV preachers coiffed in smug, wealthy idealism to encourage him. He was willing to trust God's faithfulness in the bad times. He directly attributed the hard times and the good times to God's gracious will.

A robust faith is proven through the difficult storms of life. Job is a guide, showing us how to navigate through them. He is an example of the faithfulness of God in our losses. He shows us how strong faith can grieve and suffer in a noble way that glorifies the God Who makes both sunshine and storm necessary experiences for all of us. Only a God Who is equally faithful and vital in the good stuff AND the bad stuff is worthy of my worship.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Job of Uz

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.
Job 1:1

This short character sketch sets the scene for the book of Job and the epic poetry detailing the chronic suffering of a worshiper of God. And from the very onset of the story we see that Job did everything right. He was a man who was everything anyone could have been in his day.

God's analysis of him as a forthright man of integrity is fourfold. He was first of all blameless in his reputation. He was squeaky clean. Nobody had a problem with Him, including God. There was not some deep character flaw or shady dealing from his past. There were no skeletons locked in his closets.

The second word used of him is "upright". That meant that righteousness described his actions. He obeyed God and it showed in the things that Job did. He could stand tall and live well because he did what was right as a matter of lifestyle. He did not seek ways to cheat others or do things quick and easy. He was above board, clear, and clean in how he conducted his life.

The reason these two character qualities marked him was that he was a man who feared God. He did these things not out of personal pride, but out of his love and respect for God. He had great and honest relationships with people because of his first relationship obeying God. Pleasing God was his first motivation. All else ranked under this.

His life resulted in pleasing God because these things naturally inclined him to turn away from sin. You cannot simultaneously love and obey God and then turn to evil. By prioritizing the worship, love, and obedience of God in his heart, it was clear to Job how to avoid sin's allure. And that is what made him a man whom God delighted in and that God saw as righteous. Integrity always starts with God.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

prophecy as motivation

In the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month-that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon-Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who served the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. And he burned the house of the LORD, and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down all the walls around Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 52:12-14

Everything that the LORD had decreed by the mouths of His prophets concerning the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of Judah came to pass. Jeremiah faithfully records the historical details of Babylon's siege of Jerusalem and the ensuing deportation of her citizens to Babylon. God's Word was faithful, even as God's people were not. The rubble that remained was a silent charred witness to the power of God in covenant with His people.

It is fitting for Jeremiah to end with this historical reminder. It is the capstone of the prophet's faithful proclamation of the warnings and admonishments God had given him to speak to Judah. He did so faithfully, living through the cycle of destruction to see God's activity in judgment confirmed. And the Jews survived in a remnant that God had promised to return to their homeland.

The Word of God is clear and true in its details, warnings, and promises. And fulfilled prophecy serves as a vivid reality to take God's Word seriously. It is proof of His work among humanity. It is how we see Him and know Him. And it calls us to follow and fear Him, not out of worry over the fires of judgment, but out of awe of His faithfulness to what He says He will do.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The End of Idols

Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them. They are worthless, a work of delusion; at the time of their punishment they shall perish.
Jeremiah 51:17-18

Idol worship is the preoccupation of ignorant people. And my heart can easily be one of those stupid idol worshippers. Yet the end result of idolatry is always disappoint and ruin. It can go no other way, for God judges the heart. He knows what people worship. He knows what I really worship. And He will rip away the appeal of idols to show us our delusional worship disorders and our utter need of only Him.

Our idols ultimately shame us. And the sad thing is that often we use the good gifts of God to build the idols that eventually perish and punish us. God gives us talent and ability and instead of using it for His glory, we lust after fame. The Lord blesses us with resources that provide for our families and help us promote His kingdom and His righteousness, and we horde our income to spend it on self, worshipping glittering trinkets until materialism fails to satisfy us.

Our world preaches to us that self-satisfaction is the measure of fulfillment, so we end up worshipping our own bodies, pleasures, and lifestyles only to find mortality, burnout, and dissatisfaction at the end of the pursuit. Our idols all bring these punishments to us. And sometimes the consequences are irreversible.

Why are we put to shame by the things and ideals that our hearts worship? The simple answer is... because they are not true. They lie to us. The idols lie. The people who promote contemporary idolatry lie to us. And they do so elegantly with all the existing media and means. Satan deceived Eve with a lie aimed at selfish grandiosity... an ego idol... and it worked spectacularly. Why would he stop now? That first lie echoes in every idol we are tempted to follow away from God.

Idols do not give life. "There is no breathe in them." They ultimately are death-bringers. And God has decreed that those who follow idols will perish in punishment. These words were written about pagan Babylon, but they applied equally to the captive Jews who suffered in Babylon due to hundreds of years of generational idolatry.

When we see the end of idolatry in the pages of scripture we are warned to guard our own hearts. Idols often start as good gifts and resources that our hearts corrupt. Our prayer should be, "Lord, save me from making anything You give me into an idol that draws my heart away from You."

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

real repentance... real change.

In those days and in that time, declares the LORD, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, saying, 'Come, let us join ourselves to the LORD in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.'
Jeremiah 50:4-5

Even as Judah was in the earliest days of the Babylonian captivity, God spoke promises through His prophet Jeremiah that the remnant would return to the land of Israel. The way God would bring this about would be through judgment on Babylon itself. When Babylon fell as an empire, the stage would be set for the return of the Jews to their homeland.

And the beautiful thing about the return was that the Jews would return a changed people. The text here gives several evidences of changed hearts. They would first of all unite together to return to their homeland. That unity had been missing among the Jews for many generations. Unity was a sign of a changed nation.

Secondly, they would display strong emotion at the return. They would journey back to Israel weeping tears of joy and sorrow as they went. A third change would be in their hearts toward God. They would actively seek God as a nation. They would no more be torn by their idolatrous urges. The nation would wholeheartedly seek the LORD.

A fourth change would come in the "destination". They would not stop until they reached Zion and the ruins of the temple. They would seek out the place of God's worship and make it the focus of their return. The final mark of change would be shown in their willingness to once again enter into covenant with God. Their love for God would manifest itself in obedience to the Law. And they would apply themselves to live as people of the covenant.

Real repentance brings about real change. It is a change in heart and attitude as well as a change in lifestyle. And it keeps as its center the desire to know and love God and follow His commands.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Who can stand?

Behold, like a lion coming up from the jungle of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make him run away from her. And I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd can stand before me?
Jeremiah 49:19

Standing against the purposes of God has about as much of a chance of success as surviving against a charging lion! You will not be standing after the attack. God's power attends His purposes. And He will work His will among men. It is an inescapable reality.

The context of this metaphor is judgment upon Edom. The last few chapters of Jeremiah detail God's judgments against the historic enemies of Israel and Judah. He outlines in oracles the unstoppable justice of God against the foes of the Jews. And in all these prophecies there is an overwhelming sense of God's sovereign control. The nations cannot stand against Him. He will do as He pleases with kings and armies.

The tendency might have been for the Edomites to delight in the destruction of Jerusalem. But Nebuchadnezzar would extend Babylon's power across the Middle East. And the Edomites would not be free to scoff at Jerusalem for long. They too would suffer justice at the hands of the Chaldean army. The roaring of the lion would sweep through the hillsides and desert rocks until not a shepherd nomad of the Edomites would escape. All would know the loss that God had decreed.

It does no good to rage against a sovereign God. The world is His creation. Mankind is His kingdom. And He is moving all of world history to come to the knowledge of Him. Biblical prophecy calls us to believe us. Past prophecies have come to fruition, compelling us to believe with holy fear. And future prophecies point the same direction. Who is like God? Who can stand before Him?