A Worm’s Theology

Job 9:3, 16 “If one wished to dispute with Him, he could not answer Him once in a thousand times…If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice.”

Observation: I am astounded as I read these verses at how good a handle Job had on the “gap” between himself and God. He rightly recognized that he and God operated on utterly different planes, saying that he couldn’t answer God one time in a thousand; and even if the Lord heard Job’s voice and answered him, Job still would not be able to believe God was actually addressing him.   

Application: This is the sort of theology one might expect of a worm in relation to us. God is far too large and awesome to ever look down and take notice of me, and when He does appear He would probably come in the form of a really big boot, never noticing I am about to be crushed.   

But in his description of the gap, Job nevertheless admitted that he would love to see it bridged. Apparently even worms have feelings! He suggested he might like to dispute with God, that he would like to be able to speak with Him (v. 3). Another way of reading verse 16 is to say that Job would love to think he could call out to God and know his cries would be heard. In other words, Job voices a longing for fellowship, for relationship with God, but he concludes, wrongly as it turns out, that it’ll never happen.

Job is clueless about the one thing that matters most: the depth of God’s own longing for exactly the sort of relationship Job desires. He delights in the thought of fellowship with His creation. But the difference between God and me is this: God is able, as I am not, to take the initiative in creating opportunity for relationship. Jesus Christ is my bridge to fellowship with God. 

So while I flail about in despair over the prospect of God ever hearing my cries, He says He will answer (see Jer. 33:3). When I am overwhelmed by unending floodtides of troubles, He says that His ways are not mine (see Isa. 55:8), and encourages me not to grow weary (see 2 Thess. 3:13). His arm is not so short that He cannot reach into my desperate circumstances and bring peace (see Isa. 59:1). Job was right about his smallness, but he never imagined that the God of the universe would neither slumber nor sleep till Job was safely home (Ps. 121:4).

Prayer: Lord, You must watch my frantic flailings with such sadness. You have made a way for me to enter into relationship with You, but I so often go there only after exhausting all other avenues. I yield, Lord. I choose to embrace Your timing, Your methods, Your process of discipline for my life. I love You, Lord.

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