Job 11:7 “Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?”
Zophar is now the third of Job’s friends to speak, but he too speaks only rhetorical questions, platitudes, and truisms, all couched in terms that put Job down. The interesting thing about this particular rhetorical question is that there are some today who are so blind in their hubris that they would answer, “Yes, we can.” This is the cult of “Science,” that actually worships man. Genuine scientists know that the essence of science is questions, always seeking to know more while recognizing the limits of what is known. Recently “the science is settled” has been heard frequently, when that is a contradiction in terms. It is fascinating to see how many times, and often how quickly, such assertions are shown to be totally false. Einstein is widely recognized as one of the greatest scientific minds, and he said something along the lines of, “The greatest foolishness is asserting that there is no Creator.” Zophar’s question, though intended to put Job down, at least acknowledged the Creator. God does give us the privilege of investigating and discovering things about His creation, but we’ve got to remember that He is by definition infinite, and since we are finite, we quickly run into our own limits. In His grace He does reveal things to us that we could not discern on our own. That’s why Paul speaks frequently of “mysteries.” After all, who would have dreamed that the Creator would send His Son to die for the sins of mankind? Proper living requires a fundamental humility and openness to learning. It’s not at all that we can’t know things positively, but we need to recognize that there are limits to our knowing, and be at peace with that.
I have an enormous curiosity, for which I am grateful. At the same time, I recognize that I don’t even know what I don’t know, and I’m grateful for that as well. I’m convinced that there is no limit to learning, and that is a huge blessing. Arriving in heaven is going to be an explosion of learning! Because of my curiosity I have quite a library of stored knowledge, but I must not let that puff me up, as Paul pointed out. (1 Corinthians 8:1) Rather, in gratitude to God I am to use that knowledge in love, allowing God to correct errors along the way. I am never to put people down the way Job’s friends did, but rather encourage them with what I have learned of God’s grace and mercy. He has taught me that none of His gifts are for the direct recipient alone, but are always to bless those around, in an ever-expanding series of “ripples,” for His glory. As my father pointed out in his final letter to the family before the surgery that took him home, God’s plans for any individual will always mesh perfectly with His plans for everyone else. My goal should always be to follow those plans so that I will indeed mesh as He desires and intends, for His glory.
Father, thank You for Your grace and mercy. Thank You for the gift of knowledge, and for awareness that what we have is incomplete. Help me continue to know You better, making that my first priority, so that everything else will fall into place as You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!