There’s something about reading Job that, for me at least, sets a me bit back on my heals. Not so much chapters 1 and 2 in which God speaks with Satan . . . nor in chapters 38 through 42, where God speaks with Job . . . but in that middle part, chapters 3 through 37, where Job and his “friends” have their conversation about the ways of God. What keeps me a bit off balance is the fact that while I’m reading the Word of God concerning a discussion about God not everything written is true of God. While these men know a lot of facts about God, sometimes their understanding concerning the mind of God is lacking . . . and sometimes their application misses the mark . . . and sometimes their seeming arrogance gets in the way. So I find myself, as I read, always on edge a bit as I read these statements concerning God and seek to discern (with the help of my Teacher) that which is true of Him and that which is misunderstood by these men. This morning though, I found some pretty solid ground offered up by Job’s buddy, Elihu . . . “Stand still!”
“Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14)
Now those are words to take to the bank! When working through the “Why?” or the “How come?” of a tough situation . . . when the stress is piling up and the release valve seems stuck . . . when the going gets tough . . . or it’s just tough to get going . . . then maybe it’s wise to just stand still and look around.
Stop moving . . . cease the churn . . . take a breather . . . and behold the evidence and wonder of God in our midst. Take a peek at creation for the first time all over again. Marvel at the intricacies of how your body is put together. Determine for a few minutes to reflect on where you’ve been and where, but by the grace of God, you might have ended up. Recall the joy of your salvation . . . reflect on the certainty of your hope.
“Be still,” says the Lord through the psalmist, “and know that I am God. I will be exalted in all the earth. I am with you . . . and I will be your refuge” (Ps. 46:10-11). Sometimes we just need to cease and desist . . . stop the bus . . . put ‘er in park . . . and think . . . and ponder . . . and turn to our favorite passages in the Bible . . . dust off those promises that we’ve claimed and clung to for years. Sometimes we need to shut down the noise and seek to hear the still small voice of the Spirit inside us revealing the wondrous works of God in and around us.
This morning I also read the book of Habakkuk. Talk about some churn! The prophet is so bent out of shape over the persistent rebellion and sin of Israel, that He asks God, “How long are you going to put up with this, O Lord?” And the Lord responds, “Hold on to your hat (or yarmulke), Hab. I’m going to deal with the situation . . . I’m sending in the Chaldeans to judge my people.” And that doesn’t help Habakkuk much, “Them, Lord?!? You’re going to use them? They’re worse than us!” But then, check this out, Habakkuk must have read Job . . . “I will stand watch and set myself on a rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected” (Hab. 2:1). That’s it! At some point the striving ceases . . . the questions have been asked . . . and it’s time to stand still . . . to listen . . . to consider . . . to know that He is God.
And, I’m thinking, what better time of year to walk the talk . . . or not walk as the case may be. When all around us the birth of Christ is evident . . . what an opportunity to be still and think Immanuel (Matt. 1:23) . . . God with us . . . amazing. To pause and reflect that unto us a Savior is born (Luke 2:11) . . . to take a few quiet moments and behold the Lamb of God (John 1:29) . . . to hear His voice again call all those who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him (Matt. 11:28) . . . to stand still and know that our salvation is nearer than when we first believed (Rom. 13:11) . . . to quietly gaze heavenward and know that our redemption draws near (Luke 21:28).
Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God . . . now that’s truth! O Come Let Us Adore Him . . . amen?