Thursday, May 9, 2013

a wilder, bigger God

Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?
Job 39:26-27

When God challenges Job to "consider" Him, He does so at the beginning of His dialogue with Job by concentrating on the wildness of the natural world and how it all is out of Job's control and understanding. God seems to delight in the strength, beauty, and power of the creatures He has made. And He especially takes joy in the order in which they each uniquely fit. It is a way to contemplate God's sovereign reign in the universe. Each creature in the natural world has a unique role that is fit to a total ecosystem that God has designed.

Of course, Job has absolutely no control over the wild beasts. There were basic facets of their biology he did not know. But God does. And that is the point. God knows, understands, and takes credit for the functioning of the life cycle of even the most humble doe in the wilderness. What does that say about God's sovereign work in Job's life? If God could understand and direct the lives of eagles, hawks, ostriches, wild oxen, wild donkeys, deer, and any other wild beast, wouldn't it make sense that any human being's circumstances were also part of what God knows and relishes with the joy of a wise Creator?

God tells Job that all these creatures follow their natural instincts by His command. He understands them when the men of Job's day barely gave them a thought. And God knew the wild circumstances that had entered Job's life. They were not outside God's control. They might have been beyond Job but they were not beyond God.

I have always found this part of God's message to Job intriguing. I love the wildness of it. I love that God delights in the wildness of His creation. And it is awe-inspiring to realize that even a bird's flight occurs at His command. The world is a big place for one human to comprehend. The universe is absolutely mind-blowing. God is bigger than both.

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