Is God truly at work in the world?
Scripture to meditate on:
Then Elihu said:
“Do you think this is just?
You say, ‘I am in the right, not God.’
Yet you ask him, ‘What profit is it to me,
and what do I gain by not sinning?’
“I would like to reply to you
and to your friends with you.
Look up at the heavens and see;
gaze at the clouds so high above you.
If you sin, how does that affect him?
If your sins are many, what does that do to him?
If you are righteous, what do you give to him,
or what does he receive from your hand?
Your wickedness only affects humans like yourself,
and your righteousness only other people.
“People cry out under a load of oppression;
they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful.
But no one says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
who gives songs in the night,
who teaches us more than he teaches the beasts of the earth
and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?’
He does not answer when people cry out
because of the arrogance of the wicked.
Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea;
the Almighty pays no attention to it.
How much less, then, will he listen
when you say that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
and you must wait for him,
and further, that his anger never punishes
and he does not take the least notice of wickedness.
So Job opens his mouth with empty talk;
without knowledge he multiplies words.” – Job 35
In today’s reading Elihu reveals his perspective on God. “Look up at the heavens and see…” he says. Creation is vast and transcendent. God is so great he will take no note of Job’s problems or of the lives of men.
Although the book of Job is thousands of years old, Elihu’s “theology” is very current. If you were to survey Americans, this is likely the summary you would get. “I believe God exists, but He’s too big and powerful to care about a few billion people on one little planet.”
And yet we see God at work everywhere in his creation, from the inception of a new life, to the passing of an old. Colossians 1:15 is a glorious hymn to how Christ sustains our lives.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
“Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.” – Job 35:13
Questions to ponder:
- What do you think it means that Christ is “the firstborn over all creation”?
- How have you seen God’s sustaining work in your life this week?
- How would you respond to a friend who believes God does not care about His creation?