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Posts Tagged ‘jealous God’

Artwork by Nathan Johnson

Artwork by Nathan Johnson

This question, “where were you?” changes its meaning by the emphasis put on each word. “WHERE were you?” versus “where WERE you?” versus “where were YOU?” And what emphasis did God use when he first spoke to Job?

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?Tell me, if you understand. . . . “ [Job 38:4, NIV]

Is it about place or time or person?

I’m pretty sure it’s about person, that neither Job or you or I were present in the time of creation energy. We can describe and count and observe and hypothesize, but we’ll never really “know” or understand Godwork.

Partially, the problem is that we continue to anthropomorphize God. We keep making very big and very wrong assumptions about God as though a jealous God is like a jealous man or woman. Or that fearing God is like fearing cockroaches or stink bugs. Or that listening to God is like listening to U2 or Taylor Swift. These words are human words used to describe human feelings and activities. It’s simply not the same with God.

I used to believe that Abraham had the God thing down. After all, didn’t he negotiate the salvation of his cousin Lot from the clutches of Sodom (or was it Gomorrah)? Really? Did Abraham actually bring up something that God had not considered? Was Abraham bargaining with God or was he really bargaining with himself, the value of human life against virtue and right living.

And so, here we come to Job who finally hears God, a God who asks Job question after question after question in order to lock in a simple truth: God is God and human is not God. Creator envisions creation; human lives in it, molding what is given. We do the same with our lives. We have much freedom in the managing of our persons. But the spark of life came from God alone.

For my scant few years, maybe they will be as many as 100 or maybe only 85 or even less, I cannot know. But for this time, I am given the opportunity to partner with God in gratitude, sharing in the work of creativity and love and joy and relationships. Or not.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” [Deuteronomy 30:19, NLT]

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