I ended the last blog discussing Noah and how God's instructions for the ark is in fact an image of what it means to walk with God: obedience to his word. Basically to walk with God you listen to what God says and do it.
Last time we ended in Genesis with things getting bad for humanity. After all the dying described in chapter 5, we see in chapter 6 that the wickedness is so extreme that every intention of the thoughts of people is only evil all the time. We read that God, grieved in his heart, regrets having created people. As a result, he decides to take action: "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth, man and animals and creeping. Things and birds of the heavens, for I regret having made them” Gn 6:7
Last time we ended with a discussion on the contrast between Cain and Lamech, and how those stories are good examples of how the Lord invites us to deal with our sins. Basically, it was taking matters into your own hands versus calling out to God. However, we don't get any further explanation on what it means to call upon the name Yahweh. What we get is a long genealogy.
One time I was sitting in an interview for a ministry job and one of the interviewers asked me: “What would you say to someone who asked you, ‘How shall I be saved?’” I have to admit when he asked that question, I chuckled a bit on the inside because of my experience, that’s a question that only Christians ask. I’ve never heard that question from an unbelieving person. It’s usually asked as a test of orthodoxy.
Last week we left of with Job sitting, suffering, and calling out to God. He had said some strong words about God. However, the point in the book of Job is to set circumstances that let us know Job is actually right! The suffering that Job is enduring does not have just cause. When Job cries out, "Violence!" in verse seven of chapter 19, what he's saying, the word there is the idea of my property, my possessions have been wrongfully usurped and seized through violent means.
We left off last week in Job 1 where Job had just lost everything. Then at the end of chapter 1 we're told that even in all of this, even in all of these horrible circumstances, Job did not sin by charging God with any wrong doing.
Last time we ended with discussing that so much of what we know comes from our experience, and God is aware of this. God addresses this in scripture. God is fully aware of the fact that it is very normal and natural for us to look around at all the junk in the world and extrapolate from that junk that God must not be as good as we think he is. Maybe he just doesn't care as much as we wish he would. Maybe he has bigger concerns, right. "Oh, I'm too small and insignificant for God to really care. He has bigger things going on, bigger fish to fry, whatever it is." In its extreme, we extrapolate from our circumstances that God must not even exist. God knows this is a thing and understands how to walk us through that.
I really am genuinely skeptical of anyone who claims they don't have doubts. I'm not necessarily proud of the fact, but runs through my mind is: "We'll, you haven't lived much life." Because, if you have lived much of life, I think there are plenty of reasons out there to doubt God, doubt his goodness, doubt his sovereignty, or doubt whatever. I think as believers sometimes we're well-meaning but somehow, we get it in our heads that if we're really good Christians then we don't have doubt about anything really.
When I was in seminary it was is was popular to say, “Orthodoxy leads to orthopraxy," which is a nerd way of saying, "Thinking rightly about something leads to acting rightly about something." What every counselor on the planet knows is the opposite is just as true. Right doing leads to right thinking. So, Paul is summing up his final exhortation to the Philippians by combining thinking and doing. Phil 4:4-9
The last blog I ended with a tough statement: It’s so much easier to think about and to dwell about, to dwell on whatever is messed up, or wrong, or crazy, or you know whatever. It’s easier to dwell on the things that create anxiety than it is to pray, talk the stuff through, allow God’s peace, and to fix our minds on things that are noble, and true, and trustworthy. I want to dig into that a bit more.